Book review: Usborne Children’s Books put art in the picture

You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy the world’s most famous paintings…

By Pam Norfolk
Wednesday, 30th April 2014, 10:00 am
Usborne Childrens Books put art in the picture
Usborne Childrens Books put art in the picture

Usborne Children’s Books, a leading UK independent publishing company, are putting the focus firmly on art in a bright and beautiful new collection of springtime books.

Whether it’s a sticker book packed with paintings to sort and assemble, a journey through the lives and works of the best-known artists or a fascinating, internet-linked introduction to the weird wonders of modern art, there is something exciting for children of all ages.

Age 9 plus:

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The Usborne Book of Famous Artists

How about a big, bold art book bulging with the incredible stories and paintings of the world’s most famous artists?

Usborne’s Book of Famous Artists is the best introduction a child could get to the lives and works of 35 great artists, including Vincent van Gogh, Michelangelo, J.M.W. Turner, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.

This magnificent book, ideal for home or school, includes reproductions of the artists’ works as well as photographs of the artists at work, their personal belongings, homes and the places that were important to them.

Inquisitive youngsters can discover which famous artist designed a flying machine, which prolific artist produced over 900 paintings in just 10 years and which painter declared that his most beautiful masterpiece was his garden.

Ideal for older children eager to learn more about art and artists, The Usborne Book of Famous Artists includes internet links to websites to see more art works and find art activities, and provides just the right amount of information and background on the masters and their masterpieces.

Don’t miss the chance to get in on the big picture…

(Usborne, paperback, £9.99)

Age 9 plus:

Introduction to Modern Art by Rosie Dickins

If your budding young artists have ever asked what modern art is all about, this brilliant, illustrated book will answer all their questions.

Packed with over 100 stunning photographs of major art works, the development of modern art is explained in a simple, straightforward way from the first stirrings of the avant-garde in the 19th century to the latest controversies over contemporary art.

All the key movements in modern art, including Impressionism, Surrealism, Minimalism, Pop Art and Britart, are covered in an interesting and highly accessible way.

Youngsters learn how modern art has developed over the decades, reflecting world events and age-old themes, provoking arguments or censure, and sometimes shocking and amazing those who come along to see it.

Diagrams and photos help children to follow a timeline of art movements with short, easy-to-read biographies of major artists and a useful glossary of art terms. There are also internet links to recommended websites with online galleries, virtual tours, art games and activities, all of which can be accessed through

This truly wonderful introduction to the marvels and mysteries of modern art, written in consultation with art expert and broadcaster Tim Marlow, opens a spellbinding window onto modern art by explaining how to find clues to the meaning of a painting and how to appreciate and enjoy images, styles and colours.

A book to inform, instruct and inspire…

(Usborne, paperback, £9.99)

Age 7 plus:

Famous Artists Sticker Book

Younger children will love getting to grips with the Famous Artists Sticker Book, the ideal, interactive way to find out about the lives and work of the famous artists.

This well-designed, fun and educational book is packed with information about the biggest names in art, including Van Gogh, Dali, Monet, Picasso and English artist J.M.W.Turner. See photographs of Van Gogh’s paint tubes, close-ups of Jackson Pollock’s hand prints on a canvas or a postcard picture of Picasso’s favourite café bar in Paris.

There are over 130 stickers celebrating the amazing lives and works of 29 famous artists and explaining how they earned their place in history plus internet links to carefully chosen websites which enable children to zoom in on and explore lots more artworks.

A captivating, hands-on introduction to the fascinating world of art…

(Usborne, paperback, £6.99)