Should you be looking for classic books for art lovers, and their children, make sure you check out the “How Artists See…” series, published by Abbeville Press. The beautiful books describe the work of photographers, painters, muralists, and other artists by separating them into categorized volulmes.
In the “How Artists See … ” series, author Colleen Carroll explores a variety of famous pieces, telling the story of each image, identifying characteristics that determine the meaning of the piece. She connects children’s everyday life experiences (cities, America, sports, animals, etc,) with the more abstract world of art, introducing the children through the familiar to pieces they will soon identify; connecting the readers to a famous piece most children won’t learn about until High School or beyond. Her elementary text engages young readers, as well as their parents and teachers, and promotes further conversation through related, conversational questions.
The series is above the ages of my children, but my four-year-old was able to quickly select a favorite, How Artists See Heroes, which explores photos of heroes such as Muhammad Ali (Neil Liefer). It introduces sculpture with reading and photo of Michealangelo’s David, and discusses 14 other great heroes of centuries past as well as present. Just today we read about Ruby Bridges as we explored Norman Rockwell’s The Problem We All Live With. While some of the terms discussed in Carroll’s writing were above the pre-school level, it gave us great discussion points as I skipped along through the reading. Each volume contains 16 pieces from a variety of time periods, all connecting to the child through the books’ theme.
Ideal for late elementary through middle school age, Carroll’s series will introduce or reinforce a love for art. Children will delight in later recognizing pieces they first learned of in “How Artisits See…” MWS readers can save 40% off all How Artists See titles through Oct. 31 by entering the coupon code “mommies.”


  1. You got very interesting discussion started on your blog and its worth a lot of comments. Very less people are able to talk so well about this issue. A big thumbs up from me.

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