Thank You to the Eric Carle Museum, and Kate DiCamillo’s New Book.

Just before the pandemic hit, the Eric Carle Museum asked me if they could include in their quarterly newsletter my story, my blog post, about visiting the museum and hearing author Kate DiCamillo speak.

Yes!  Of course, yes!


They enjoy reading my blog posts about my visits to the museum.  Well, how can I not write about a visit?  Every one is remarkable.  When I heard Kate DiCamillo speak, the blog post flowed.  She is one of my favorite authors- for many reasons.

Little did I know that my inclusion in the newsletter would be a full page.  What an honor!  Thank you Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art!  Their write-up was terrific.


Good News!

The museum is opening this week for members only (I snagged my reservation right away) before it opens in August for the public.  Yes, the protocol procedures will be strictly enforced.  I will have two (wonderful) hours to visit.

Kate DiCamillo has published a new book in her Tales From Deckawoo Drive series.  It is phenomenal.  Before I tell you about this book, I need to give you some background.  ‘Kate 101’.  She was a struggling writer, like many of us, and was ready to quit at rejection letter  #473, after five-and-a-half years.  Few if any writers have had that many rejections or as much persistence.  She hung in there a bit longer, and then got a hit.  Not only that, the book won the Newbery Medal.  For those of you not familiar with children’s books, the award is the Holy Grail.

The book was Because of Winn-Dixie.  Yes, many of you know that book.

She continued to write more winners, like The Tale of Despereaux.  My favorite is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.  Next, she wrote books for the very young, a series titled ‘Mercy Watson’.  Mercy is a pig who… well, you have to read the books.  The characters in this series became popular ‘household names’, and she wrote a series of books for slightly older readers titled ‘Tales From Deckawoo Drive’, based on these characters.  Her new book is about one of those characters, Stella.

Kate then wrote a book for older readers, Raymie Nightingale.  I was glued to the book.  There are three characters, and the other two now have their own book.

My point?  Kate DiCamillo can write at many different age levels.  That is an enormous task few writers can do.  I am amazed and ever-inspired.  Her new book is Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem, in the Deckawoo Drive series.


Stella adores her new teacher Miss Liliana, yet dislikes the brainy know-it-all and irritating classmate, Horace Broom.  When I read the words Stella’s teacher said, “Class, I want you to know that I believe in listening closely and speaking softly and singing loudly.  I also believe in examining mysteries.”- I was hooked.  Courage and curiosity are Stella’s mantra as she and Horace are on the way to the principal’s office.  Horace has much to learn, even though he knows most everything about the planets.  When he showed Stella the planet Venus through his telescope, she said, “It’s beautiful and bright.  It’s a heart humming in the night.”

Kate DiCamillio’s character development is subtle, humorous, and well-crafted,  leaving the reader with a smile, and feeling as if a good lesson was woven into a great story.  This newest book does not disappoint.  I highly recommend the Deckawoo  Drive series.

“If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.”
-Roald Dahl-


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in Book Review, books, children's books, Early Education, Eric Carle, Expressing words and feelings, Giving thanks, Inspiration, reading, Teaching young children, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to Thank You to the Eric Carle Museum, and Kate DiCamillo’s New Book.

  1. beetleypete says:

    Great to see you get such a big feature, and I know you will love your special 2-hour visit to the museum too. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Norah says:

    How exciting, Jennie – all of it – the museum article, the museum visit and Kate’s new book. How absolutely wonderful!

  3. beth says:

    how wonderful and all of this is perfect, they found the perfect person for this

  4. Dan Antion says:

    They made a great choice, Jennie. Enjoy your visit. I think we will all return to museums with a much greater appreciation of what they mean to us.

  5. Wonderful, Jennie! ❤

  6. Opher says:

    There’s always hope – I just got another rejection slip today!

  7. carhicks says:

    That is amazing. Bravo for you Jennie.

  8. quiall says:

    Well deserved kudos!

  9. I LOVE the illustration on the new book. I’d want to buy it for that. Since I have no little children;( I’ll have to wait a while to see if it comes to the bookstore and browse a bit. No museums are open here yet. I’m so happy for you getting mentioned and your blog mentioned in an article. Thanks for sharing this author with us. Hugs.

    • Jennie says:

      The illustrator does a perfect job for every character in the series. You will laugh! I hope you get to see the book. Tomorrow is the big day to visit the museum. Hooray! In August I will visit the Bennington Museum in VT and see their Grandma Moses collection. I want to do a unit on her with the children when school starts. They will help me and also do a virtual field trip. Cool, huh? Best to you, Marlene.

  10. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, this is wonderful! Congratulations!

  11. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    Here is another wonderful post from the excellent teacher, Jennie!

  12. Excellent! Such a classy article, too! Seriously, wish this sort of content (including but not limited to authors/musicians/artists/scientists/etc were more widely ‘broadcast’ to the general public.
    And I’m thrilled you get to go visit – yippee – an outing for teacher!

  13. Sejal Sheth says:

    Amazing! Have fun!

  14. Ritu says:

    Absolutely fabulous, Jennie!

  15. Darlene says:

    Kate is a great example of perseverance! Just think had she given up, we wouldn’t have all these great books.

  16. SWEET! But I was kind of hoping the museum would be shaped like a giant caterpillar…

  17. Congratulations on your feature in the newsletter! (I love your fangirl smile as you get your book signed.) Here’s to a safe and successful reopening of the museum that brings such joy to children and adults alike!

  18. sjhigbee says:

    What a wonderful surprise, Jennie:)). And congratulations on getting such a writeup. I hope you thoroughly enjoy your upcoming visit to the Museum, it sounds like a wonderful place. I loved reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to my children and grandchildren – and I’m looking forward to reading it the littlest one, too!

  19. petespringerauthor says:

    What a great honor, Jennie! Being associated with such an outstanding author has to feel special. Of course, I’m familiar with Because of Winn-Dixie and Tales of Despereaux as I read them to my students. I have not read any of her books for younger kids. As you say, many authors are not adept at writing for different ages.

    Her personal story with letters of rejection is what many aspiring authors need to hear. You have to have talent, but there is a certain degree of being in the right place at the right time.

    • Jennie says:

      It was certainly an honor, Pete. I’m on my way back home from the museum, they had extra copies of the newsletter for me. So nice!

      I’ve often thought about you reading her books aloud to your students. What a treat for you! If you happen to see this book at the library, check it out to read.

      I want to get refrigerator magnet numbers 473, so I can see them every day.

  20. How lovely that you had a write up in the museum’s newsletter, Jennie. The books by Kate sound lovely. She is very determined to have kept going in the face of all that rejection.

    • Jennie says:

      It was quite an honor, Robbie. Thank you. Her books are wonderful, and at many different levels. The boys will love The Tale of Despereaux, and you will love The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (your love of dolls.) I have memorized the number of rejection letters she got- quite inspiring.

  21. How wonderful! This is well-deserved Jennie. The first grocery store I shopped in after moving to AL was a Winn Dixie, Because…😏😉

  22. Fabulous Jennie and what a wonderful feature.. and being a fan of your museum posts as well as your others I can understand why they asked you. Wonderful background to Kate DiCamillo and have pressed for Tuesday..Have a lovely weekend.. hugsx

  23. What a wonderful posting, Jennie! You got the paradies, this meeting. Sounds a wonderful read for children too. Thank you for sharing the information. Michael

  24. Shoes says:

    Congratulations on your story getting put into the newsletter, such fun! I adore Kate DiCamillo and read Because of Winn-Dixie to my class every year. My family also sa The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane in play form, which was amazing.
    I hope you enjoy your time at the museum, as I am sure you will.

    • Jennie says:

      I would love to read aloud her books to elementary children! Thank you, shoes. It was quite an honor. I went to the museum and had a fabulous visit. It will be my next blog post!

  25. dgkaye says:

    Brava my friend! You most certainly deserve your moment in the spotlght! ❤

  26. Pingback: Thank You to the Eric Carle Museum, and Kate DiCamillo’s New Book. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  27. CarolCooks2 says: lovely and so well deserved..enjoy your visit… Hugs x

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