Books About Paul Klee

Paul Klee’s paintings incorporated a variety of subjects: animals, poetry, literature, and current world events. Throughout all of his work, he showed an incredible skill for drawing and color theory. His work often appeals to children because of its whimsical and humorous qualities. Each of the books on this list will take your children on a colorful journey through art. Many of the books are biographical, but some use Klee’s playful pieces as a starting point for imaginative stories. No matter your children’s ages, they’re sure to find new inspiration in these books!

The Cat and the Bird Géraldine Elschner

Paul Klee’s iconic painting Cat and Bird is the basis for this fictional story about a cat that dreams to be as free as a bird. It’s a playful story! The text is filled with detailed descriptions of the cat’s feelings, and each page features bright illustrations that follow Klee’s style. Kids are sure to grasp the whimsical elements of Klee’s style as you read. Use this book to introduce elementary children to Paul Klee and his art.

Meet Paul Klee Read With You Publishing

This book is one in a series of 20 “Meet the Artist” books. It’s written in first-person, so it feels as though Paul Klee himself is teaching you about his art. Each spread features a reproduction of one of Klee’s paintings and engaging questions that encourage children to study the painting. It also describes color theory and complementary colors in a kid-friendly way. It’s a great read-aloud for preschool and early elementary kids.

The Line Paula Bossio

This wordless story is packed full of imagination! A little girl finds a line. She’ll turn it into a slide, a monkey, and bubbles before it turns into a monster. Have no fear—the line turns into a friendly bear before the monster gets angry! Encourage your children to make up their own words for the story and, afterwards, grab a ball of yarn and see what they can do with a line! This book is a great pick for preschoolers and early elementary kids.

What Paul Made Valerie Downs

This book is inspired by one of Klee’s most famous quotes: “A line is a dot that went for a walk.” The story follows Klee as a young child. He walks and his dot follows. They’ll jump in puddles, walk up hills, pick apples, and have many more adventures in nature. When they get home, a beautiful painting is revealed: Rich Harbour (1938). It’s an inspiring book with lots of colors and creativity. Read it with preschoolers.

Paul Klee: Animal Tricks Christian Rumelin

Klee’s paintings featuring animals are especially captivating to young children. They give us a feeling of whimsy and joy! This book takes a look at several of Klee’s paintings. It’s filled with reproductions and insight into the inspiration behind Klee’s work. It describes his use of artistic techniques and his expertise with color and shapes. Read this one with elementary kids.

A Line Can Be Laura Ljungkvist

The illustrations in this book are deceptively simple: bright, modern backgrounds and a single black line. On each spread, that line forms opposites. On one page it’s “clean” and on the next page it’s “messy.” On the next pages, kids will see “hard” compared to “soft.” With each page, the line turns into something new. It’s a great source of drawing inspiration for kids in preschool or early elementary grades!

Paul Klee: Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists Mike Venezia

This series is a favorite of art teachers and parents alike. In this edition, kids will get a front-row seat to Klee’s life and art. They will laugh at the cartoon illustrations and jokes, but they will be learning about Klee on every page. The book explains Klee’s artistic style and includes full-color reproductions of some of his most famous paintings. Read this one alongside your elementary-aged children.

Paul Klee: Activities for Kids Marisa Boan

This book begins with a biography of Klee and then, it launches into dozens of activity pages. Children will learn new vocabulary, write stories, study paintings, practice their reading skills, and much more! It’s a great book to have around when you need to fill a few minutes with a quick and easy activity. The activities are age-appropriate for early elementary children.

Dreaming Pictures: Paul Klee Jürgen von Schemm

Take a look at some of Klee’s most interesting paintings in this book. The commentary provides silly questions and comments that kids have made about Klee’s art. Children will be encouraged to look at different aspects of Klee’s art and transport their minds into his dream world. Read this one with elementary kids.

Lines that Wiggle Candace Whitman

This book has a little bit of everything! As you read, kids will see how a line transforms into an octopus and the waves of the ocean. Then, it will turn into a ladybug tickling a monster. It’s a humorous book with bright, playful illustrations. Reading it will open children’s minds to see that anything is possible in art! It’s perfect for elementary students.

Paul Klee for Children Silke Vry

This book takes a more in-depth look at Klee’s life, artistic style, and inspiration. It also discusses Klee’s use of color, symbols, and musical influences. Children will read about Klee’s methods and be encouraged to try them out in a series of activities! There are illustrations, photographs, and reproductions of Klee’s paintings. Upper elementary and middle school children can read this one on their own, but younger children will enjoy reading one section at a time with an adult.

Paul Klee Coloring Book Annette Roeder

Children can explore a few of Klee’s most famous paintings in this coloring book. They’ll be able to add their own colorful touch to each piece! There’s plenty of white space too. Kids of all ages can use Klee’s works for inspiration as they get creative.

When a Line Bends . . . a Shape Begins Rhonda Gowler Greene

With jumpy text and vibrant illustrations, this book introduces young children to several geometric shapes. A line turns into a square, a rectangle, a triangle, a diamond, and more! The book is incredibly engaging because each shape is put in the context of real life. A rectangle is a book, a triangle is a sail on a boat, a circle is a wheel, and so on. Toddlers and preschoolers will love to point out the shapes on each page and call them by name!

The Life and Work of Paul Klee Sean Connolly

This book provides a full picture of Paul Klee’s life and art for elementary students. They’ll study Klee’s biography and see examples of Klee’s work at various stages of his career. They’ll be encouraged to learn about the influential events in his life, think critically about his art, and see how he evolved as an artist. Read this one with elementary kids.

A Line Is a Dot That Went for a Walk Sterling Children’s

This inspirational drawing book is a fun way to engage children with the whimsy and energy that defined Klee’s art career. The introduction page gives instructions that set the stage for the rest of the book: draw with freedom, creativity, and imagination. Each page provides quirky doodling and drawing prompts. Kids will learn about color theory, too. It’s nearly one hundred pages of creative drawing ideas for children ages 5-12!

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