Dance for Joy!
If your toddler likes looking through bright-colored books with pictures, may I recommend Matisse, Dance for Joy, by Susan Goldman Rubin. We bought this book at the Hirshhorn Museum and our son couldn’t be happier with it (and the twenty or so other books we have).
As the book states – “Here in the latest addition to our contemporary art board-book series, Henri Matisse’s exuberant cut-paper art leaps off the page, accompanied by simple, lyrical text sure to delight the very young.”
I can attest to this. My son giggles and coos on every page. While the pictures are of works of art that appeal to kids, they are also major works of art that appeal to the most highly regarded fine art museums in the world.
You can read it to your kids, just like this lady does in this YouTube video:
Who was Henri Matisse?
For those that don’t know, Henri Matisse was a French artist (1869-1954), whose “vast oeuvre encompassed painting, drawing, sculpture, graphic arts (as diverse as etchings, linocuts, lithographs, and aquatints), paper cutouts, and book illustration. His varied subjects comprised landscape, still life, portraiture, domestic and studio interiors, and particularly focused on the female figure.” (1)
Holy moly, the guy did all kinds of art. Just for that, he inspires me. I’d also like to illustrate a book!
Furthermore, he was initially trained as a lawyer. Most lawyers I know would not be creating the kind of art that Matisse created, nor would they be interested in it. Likewise, I was trained as an Accountant, and most Accountants I know tell me that they can’t draw a straight line if they try!