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Kid’s Book Matters: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Celebrating at the Carle:

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA is currently celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Officially kicked off last month, the festivities will continue through November 2013. Among the events and exhibits planned are:

Beyond Books: The Independent Art of Eric Carle (Through February 24, 2013)

I guess it goes without saying that if you found your own museum; you get to have your own exhibit. But this exhibit is well earned and largely unexpected. Most everyone is familiar with Carle’s “iconic images” from his Very Hungry Caterpillar series for children; however most people don’t know that Eric Carle began his career as a poster artist in the 1940’s and has continued making “Art Art” to this day. This exhibit features some of his early posters, hand drawn caricatures of friends, sculptures, photography, and other artistic inspirations from this beloved children’s artist.

Iconic Images: Ten Years of Collecting (Through March 10, 2013)

This is the first major exhibition featuring works from the museum’s permanent collection. Chosen from the more than 10,000 works of art in the museum’s archives, this exhibit will feature original artwork from such illustrious illustrators as Maurice Sendak, Leo Lionni, William Steig, Arnold Lobel, Roemary Wells and may others.

Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art and Whimsy by Mo Willems (Coming in June 2013)

I totally get the art part, but how do you frame whimsy? I can’t wait to find out when they unveil this exhibit. Most people know Mo from his Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus series, but he actually got his start working (and winning emmys) on Sesame Street. I hope they include some of this earlier period work as well. Whatever they choose to display, I’m sure that it will be Mo than entertaining!

Also, throughout the year the museum will host musical events, puppet shows, guest lectures, training seminars, and assorted fun filled activities.

The museum’s official mission is to “inspire a love of art and reading through picture books.” However, I feel the museum does something even more. It give picture books the respect they deserve and have so rarely gotten. So, bravo to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Here’s to your next ten years!

Brian Rock is a blogger for JenningsWire, a blogging community created by Annie Jennings.