Benefits of Art for Children, Book Spotlight, Public Locations / April 2023
How would you paint joy? What does adventure sound like? Does love move fast or slowly? Which words best describe laughter? When we engage with questions like these, we're on our way to creating art. Visual arts, music, dance, and writing are uniquely human forms of self-expression, communication, and contemplation.

Art has many proven benefits for children, such as developing important attributes like collaboration and perserverance, stimulating learning and improving problem solving skills, building cultural awareness, reducing stress, and experiencing joy.

Art education can happen at home by reading books about artists and the arts. Stories about unique approaches to art, art's transformational capability, and yes, even making musical instruments out of trash, teach us to appreciate the talents and works of others and inspire us to develop our own innate gifts and create our own art!

- Kathy Balch, BookTree Founder
Book Spotlight: The Arts
Bread and Honey, by Frank Asch. Young Bear paints an unusual and creative portrait of his mother, receives advice from friends on how to improve it, and we anticipate Mama Bear's reaction; for ages 2 and up.

Why is Blue Dog Blue?, by artist George Rodrigue and writer Bruce Goldstone. In this fun and imaginative exploration of the world of color, we learn about primary, secondary, and exotic colors and how artists use color; for ages 3 and up.

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood, by F. Isabel Campoy, Theresa Howell, and illustrator Rafael Lopez. Based on a true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, this inspirational book demonstrates art's transformational qualities and shows that even small artists can accomplish big things; for ages 4 and up.

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, by Javaka Steptoe. This award-winning biographical book uses bold and vivid artwork to tell the story of a little boy's unique vision of art and his journey to becoming a great artist; for ages 5 and up.

Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay, by Susan Hood and illustrator Sally Wern Comport. In this extraordinary true story set in a poor village built on a landfill, a music teacher works with Ada and other children to create an orchestra with instruments made of recycled trash; for ages 6 and up.
Why is Art Critical to Child Development?
Countless studies and articles address this question. This one from Michigan State University describes benefits (fine motor skills, cognitive development, math skills, language skills), and how to work with your child (talking with your child, providing choices, process not product, freedom to experiment).
Consider a BookTree Public Location for Summer or Beyond!
If you are graduating from your school and would like to continue book tote exchanges this summer, consider transferring to one of our convenient public location partners! And please do check out these fabulous local businesses; they need our support to keep our neighborhoods vibrant!
San Francisco: Chloe's Closet (Bernal and Inner Sunset), Fiddlesticks (Hayes Valley), Pet Camp (Presidio Heights), Small Frys (Noe Valley), Sprout SF (Cow Hollow), Sylvan Learning (West Portal). Marin: A Child's Delight (Corte Madera), Rims & Goggles (Mill Valley), Secret Garden (Greenbrae), Toy Crazy (Marin Country Mart). N Peninsula: My Gym (San Carlos), Pacifica Athletic Center, Paper Caper (Burlingame), The Right Approach to Education (San Mateo). S Peninsula: Cheeky Monkey Toys (Menlo Park and Los Altos), Sprout SF (Palo Alto).