Our Summer Adventure at The Eric Carle Museum

August 8, 2016

eric carle museum

After reading about the opening of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in 2002, I knew I wanted to visit. The museum was founded by Eric Carle and his wife, who after visiting Japan in the 1980s and visiting many picture book museums, decided to create their own picture book museum. This opened in 2002 in Amherst, Massachusetts. It houses over 6000 illustrations in its permanent collection, as well as many more pieces in the many exhibitions which are held every year. The good news is that I get to visit next week! My husband and I are traveling to our niece’s wedding in Doylestown, PA this week. After the festivities and the special family times that are sure to occur, we are taking a road trip to Massachusetts! I plan to take lots of pictures and share them with you once we get back home.

eric carle museum exhibitions

When we made the decision that we would add the museum to our travel plans, I began doing my research. I was delighted to learn that there are three special exhibitions at the Eric Carle Museum this summer, featuring three renown American illustrators, Robert McCloskey, Eric Carle and Louis Darling. After learning this, I checked out many books by these men, and as a result had so much fun revisiting old favorites!

The art of eric carle: hide and seek

During Eric Carle’s fifty year career, he has illustrated more that 70 books. In reading about this exhibit, I was amazed to learn that Mr. Carle has hidden an R and a C in many of his illustrations, which are the first letters of his children’s names. He’s also hidden names of people and places that are important to him. This exhibit invites the visitor to find these hidden gems. We’ll see how well I do!

Americana on Parade: The Art of Robert McCloskey

eric carle museum

When I read about this exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum, I couldn’t have been happier. You see, I began a love affair with Robert McCloskey’s books when I was in my Children’s Literature class at Purdue, many many years ago. My professor was friends with Robert McCloskey, so we were extremely fortunate to have him visit our class and talk about his books. I remember him as a quiet man and very kind. I didn’t really realize at the time how amazing it was to have this opportunity to chat with a two time Caldecott Award winner in our small group setting. I look back now and I can’t really believe it! However, I have proof. Here’s my signed copy of Time of Wonder. Two years later my brother started college in Boston, so I was able to have many joyful visits to The Public Garden, the swan boats and of course the duckling statues. And thanks to Robert McCloskey’s books, I also developed a love of the rocky beaches of Maine.

eric carle museum

The Eric Carle Museum’s exhibit is in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Make Way for Ducklings. The exhibit of over 90 pieces includes sketches, drawings, watercolors and paintings. I can’t wait!

Louis darling: drawing the words of Beverly cleary

The Eric Carle Museum is celebrating Beverly Cleary’s 100th birthday by presenting this exhibit of Louis Darling’s illustrations of Beverly Cleary’s books. Mr. Darling illustrated Ms. Cleary’s books beginning with her first work, Henry Huggins in 1950 until his untimely death twenty years later. In all, he illustrated twelve of Beverly Cleary’s books. After learning about this exhibit, I visited my local library and was able to find these copies that are illustrated by Louis Darling. After his death, and through the years new copies of her older titles were newly illustrated, but if you look hard you can find some titles with the original illustrations. Here are two that I found!

eric carle museum


I’ll be posting again in a few weeks and report on our trip. In the meantime, why don’t you visit your library or peruse your book shelves for copies of Eric Carle’s, Robert McCloskey’s and Beverly Cleary’s books? I’m sure you’ll enjoy revisiting these classics, as much as I did! Can you find the hidden letters in Eric Carle’s books? Let us know in the comments below.

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More about Susan

Hi! I'm Susan, a wife, a mom and a recently retired elementary school librarian with 22 years of experience. One of my greatest joys is to connect kids with a perfect book, which then leads them to a lifelong love of learning. Through my blog, I'm hoping to reach parents, their children and teachers to help them find those special books. I’m also hoping to offer some tips and techniques to use with your children as you read aloud.

I appreciate your comments!

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