We are going through a very exciting time as parents right now - our son is finally getting into drawing and art and has enough motor control to create what he wants to depict on the page. We're having a lot of fun - and we definitely want to keep nurturing his love of art. There is a great blog I recommend for this purpose called The Artful Parent, written by Jean Van't Hul. She recently gave some great recommendations for picture books that can help inspire the artists inside our children. Here they are - along with a couple of suggestions of my own! 1. Chalk, by Bill Thompson http://goo.gl/WBrmzK "In this story, three children discover a bag of chalk at the playground on a rainy day. They soon discover that anything they draw with this chalk comes to life. This discovery is fun when they are able to draw the sun and make the rain disappear but becomes less pleasant when the dinosaurs they draw chase them through the park." 2. Art & Max, by David Weisner http://goo.gl/DdIJjC "Arthur, a serious painter, is enthusiastically approached by his playful friend Max while he is in the midst of decorating a canvas with gorgeous color. Max decides that he too wants to paint and so begins the fun." 3. Perfect Square, by Michael Hall http://goo.gl/bj7hzj "Perfect Square is another book with a message. Change is ok. But it also has the added benefit of inspiring simple paper creations. The book’s pages inspire us to realize that a square, when cut up, can become anything we want it to be from a garden to a boat to a fountain. It’s hard to imagine an easier list of materials than paper and scissors. With that and inspiration from Perfect Square, my girls have created wonderful images and scenes." My picks: 4. My Many Colored Days, by Dr. Seuss http://goo.gl/qjZDoZ This book was published posthumously according to a manuscript left by Dr. Seuss with the desire that this book about moods and emotions be illustrated by other artists pairing those feelings with a flurry of color and imaginative illustration. I think it's a great book to learn about how art can be a great way to express our emotions. I included a nice video reading of the story, showing the pages. 5. Journey, by Aaron Becker http://goo.gl/5I8z3p I previously recommended this book in a Gift Guide (http://www.vingle.net/posts/621669). A lonely girl draws a door in her bedroom that takes her on an incredible journey. As she goes she draws what needs into existence using the same red marker. A wonderful story about our power to create opportunities for adventure and to bring our dreams to life.