Hilma af Klint Books

Although Hilma af Klint lived and created art more than 100 years ago, the world is just now discovering and appreciating her work. There is still so much we don’t quite understand about her. That’s what makes her life and work so intriguing! Together with your children, use these books to learn more about Hilma’s inspiration and her process of creating abstract art. You will learn more about modern art and be able to teach your children how to approach art that they may not fully understand.

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Hilma af Klint: Activities for Kids Marisa Boan

This activity book focused on Hilma af Klint will introduce your children to the artist and give them the opportunity to complete several literacy-based activities to reinforce their learning. They will learn new vocabulary, order a timeline, write stories, compose poems, and much more. These activities are geared toward children 6 to12 years old.

What Am I? The Story of an Abstract Painting Serena Bocchino

Meet Color, Line, and Shape. In this book, they all come together to create abstract art. The story encourages preschoolers to let go of the way things should look and open their minds to how things would look with a little imagination. It’s a useful resource for teaching the basics of abstract art to little ones.

How to Talk to Children about Modern Art Françoise Barbe-Gall

This book is the perfect choice for parents and teachers who need a bit of extra help when talking to children about modern art. It provides full-color reproductions of 30 modern pieces. For each, the author gives examples of observations and questions children might ask and suggests how adults can respond. Instead of brushing off their questions, the suggestions inspire adults to probe deeper into children’s questions!

Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future Various authors

This book is the Guggenheim catalog that accompanied Hilma af Klint’s first major art exhibition in the United States. It features full-color printings of Hilma’s work alongside essays written by museum curators and art professors. The topics take a closer look at Hilma’s life, art, and social relevance. The writing is quite scholarly, so parents may wish to read this one together with their upper elementary and middle school children.

The Dot Peter H. Reynolds

One small dot unlocks a world of art for the little girl in this story. Frustration is all she feels at first, but her disheartened attitude gets flipped on its head when her art teacher takes notice of her. The simple line-drawing illustrations add just the right amount of visual interest. It’s an incredibly inspiring book that shows there are no limits to creativity. Read it with your preschoolers or high schoolers—the message of this book is timeless.

Modern Art Explorer Alice Harman

Skip around this book and discover the meaning behind 30 pieces of modern art from the likes of Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Frida Kahlo. It also features a few lesser-known artists who’ve created sculptures and wall installations. The author discusses each piece in a way that pre-teens and teens can understand—non-threatening and non-stuffy. There’s also a useful timeline and glossary.

I Have An Idea Herve Tullet

Where does a good idea come from? And what do you do with it once you find it? This book explores the emotional rollercoaster of ideas and uses mesmerizing abstract art to illustrate everything our brains are feeling. It’s an exciting read-aloud for preschoolers and early elementary kids.

Art: Small Great Gestures Francisco Llorca

In this brand new book, you and your children will dive into the lives of 11 artists who blazed their own paths. You will learn about Hilma af Klint, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Banksy (a street artist in England), and others. Bright illustrations and a wealth of information accompany the description of each artist. The book gives a great view of these artists but remains simple enough for elementary kids to understand.

Seen Art? Jon Sciezka

As a boy looks for his friend named Art, he finds an entire museum of art at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. This creative storyline pairs illustrated characters with real pieces of modern art. The joke of finding Art is used throughout the book, and there are some pretty funny misunderstandings as the boy continues searching. It provides a basic introduction to modern art for preschoolers and early elementary students.

The Masterpiece Jay Miletsky

In the back of an art studio, a group of paint brushes sets out to create a masterpiece. Even though they all have different abilities, there is a place for everyone as the brushes work together. The rhyming words give a beautiful picture of inclusivity and community. Their final abstract painting is truly a masterpiece! Kids 4-7 will enjoy the bright illustrations and the overall message of this book.

Hilma af Klint: Notes and Methods Edited by Christina Burgin

Page through select copies of Hilma’s notebooks in this remarkable book. An English translation of her words is included. You will see her notes and drawings for “Paintings for the Temple” and from the “Blue Notebooks.” There’s also an extensive glossary at the end of the book. Through the pages, you will learn first-hand about Hilma’s inner thinking and process of creating art. This book provides the opportunity for parents and preteens to study Hilma’s work together.

How to Be an Explorer of the World Keri Smith

Encourage your children to explore and document the world around them with this unique journal. There are 59 suggested points of exploration, several thought-provoking quotes, and illustrative prompts to lead them along the way. Kids will practice seeing the beautiful among the boring and their abstract creativity will soar! This one is great to work through with upper elementary and middle school kids.

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