My kids, especially my youngest, love to draw. Because I want to support their creativity and their skills, I continue to provide books, sketchbooks, and art supplies so they can express themselves artistically as well as grow in their drawing skills. Whether or not your child wants to learn how to draw or just improve their skills and expand their drawing abilities, these best drawing books can help!
For absolute beginners who want to learn some fundamentals of drawing with drawing exercises to the more advanced artists, these books cover the primary concepts behind learning how to draw, basic forms with step-by-step instructions, guiding readers to learn how to draw people, animals, and other subjects.
Keep scrolling and you’ll discover the best art and drawing supplies for kids–tested by my own children.
Best Drawing Books for Kids
Step by Step Drawing Book by Fiona Watt (Usborne)
This book for kids is excellent — our most used drawing book for littles and ME. And you know what, this book makes even little old me look like an artist because it teaches you how to draw step by step using shapes.
Doodle Games Activity Book by Joe Rhatigan, illustrations by Anthony Owsley
We’ve loved this drawing book with fun games, particularly because it facilitates a fun parent-child time. JJ and her dad so far love The Mutant Game (players give each other weird mutant animal combos to draw), Doodle Dare Circles (draw as many things as you can using only circles), and Squiggle Masterpieces (squiggles that become something wonderful).
How to Draw a Unicorn and Other Cute Animals (With Simple Shapes in 5 Steps) by Lulu Mayo
My oldest daughter AJ really likes the step-by-step directions in this book for beginners. You’ll find directions for 30 animals, including a llama, sloth, beaver, panda, tiger, and much more. AJ likes that she can easily draw these on her new iPad with the Apple Pencil.
How to Draw a Bunny and Other Cute Creatures with Simple Shapes in 5 Steps by Lulu Mayo
Do you love Lulu Mayo as much as my kids and me? In this spring-themed how-to-draw book, you’ll learn how to draw many CUTE animals, including a guinea pig, bunny, and duckling, plus a sloth on an Easter egg, a llama bunny, and a unicorn. The directions are easy to follow, and the book gives you plenty of space for your drawings next to the directions.
Kawaii Doodle Class by Pic Candle, illustrated by Zainab Khan
This is a learn-to-draw cute cartoons type of book — it appeals to my girls, especially my oldest who picked up a copy at our local bookstore.
Art for Kids: Drawing by Kathryn Temple
This book takes beginning artists to another level by teaching contouring, shading, perspective, and more with step by step directions for people, animals, and landscapes.
The Artist’s Guide to Drawing Animals by J.C. Amberlyn
My daughter has drawn some beautiful cats and bunnies, among other animals, using this book. I really like how this book teaches specific pencil techniques to get a textured illustration.
Pick and Draw
This fun game takes learning the basics of cartoon faces and makes it a game for kids and families. Created by Rich Davis, the illustrator of the Tiny and Kell book series, you can also buy his activity book.
Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals by Ed Emberley
Here’s another book for complete beginners that uses shapes to help kids learn to draw, this adorable creatures book is a popular choice for kids.
How to Draw People by Barbara Soloff Levy
Kids will learn about drawing people with directions on how to draw 30 characters using basic shapes and step-by-step directions.
Drawing with Squiggles & Wiggles by Christopher Hart
Many beginning drawing books start with basic shapes. This one uses basic shapes but also adds squiggles in order to teach children how to draw all sorts of animals and people. You’ll find step-by-step directions for creatures like a baby koala, a pony, a snake, and a cat, as well as more advanced drawing tasks like turtles shaking hands, a girl with surprised hair, and a scared pear.
Drawing Fantasy Creatures by A.J. Sautter
This drawing book ROCKS!! JJ loves the step-by-step directions and has improved her drawing skills by trying most of the 48 fantasy creatures more than once.
How to Draw Diverse Manga by Saturday AM
If you love manga but want more diverse versions, this drawing book shows ways to draw faces, hairstyles, and body types that represent the diversity of our world.
How to Draw Manga: Basics and Beyond by Manga University
My kids love manga and I still don’t quite get what makes it different from comics– is it the eyes and head? My daughter keeps explaining and I’m not grasping it. Anyway, learn to draw the heads, faces, and bodies using a pencil and then ink with pen nibs like G-pen.
Drawing Dragons by Sandra Staple
For advanced artists who want to draw dragons, this is the book for you. From eyes to expressions to different kinds of dragons, this book has so much information. Although my kids haven’t tried it yet, others have recommended this drawing book very highly.
The Drawing Lesson: A Graphic Novel That Teaches You How to Draw by Mark Crilley
The drawing lessons within this graphic novel story will inspire and educate young artists. The lessons for complete beginners are woven within the larger story of a young boy named David who asks a young woman named Becky to give him drawing lessons. She reluctantly agrees, first asking him to draw her watch. This becomes a lesson in seeing scale, the blank spaces, and the differences between the real watch and the drawing. Lessons continue on shadowing, loose sketching, negative space, proportions, and more.
For teenagers and older who want to try to draw the human body with proper anatomy, one of the most popular books of all time is called Drawing Lessons From the Great Masters by Robert Beverly Hale.
Art Supplies for Kids (That We Recommend)
My kids started out with ALEX Chunky Pad notebook and washable crayons and markers but as they grew, I moved them to higher-quality art materials like those below. Because the Chunky Pad is unavailable, try these similar sketch pads.
Crayons help young children draw smooth lines with ease.
Always a go-to favorite for my kids, colored pencils give artists options for shading that you don’t get with markers.
Crayola Pip-Squeaks Washable Markers
This carrying case makes it easy to carry your markers anywhere. And washable markers are a must-buy arts and crafts gift for creative kids!
Crayola Fine Line Markers
You can’t go wrong with a set of fine-line markers. My kids generally prefer these to create more precise shapes and images.
My daughter recently asked for a light box as a gift — and it has been AMAZING for her drawing skills. I highly recommend it for your budding artists. This one is only $17.29. I also recommend this stand for it.
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