A Visit to The Eric Carle Museum

Just when I thought I might not discover something new, my recent visit to the Eric Carle Museum proved me very wrong.  Everything I experienced and saw was very new.  Lucky me!

The main event was the museum’s annual Barbara Ellerman Research Library (BERL) lecture.  This year’s presenter was Wendell Minor.  This is what is said about Minor:

“With roots in the images of the American Midwest and in classic American book illustration created by N.C. Wyeth, Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper, Minor has brought the art of twentieth-century illustrators into the twenty-first century.”
~Anita Silvey, author and editor~

Wow!  I was excited!

Minor has illustrated over two thousand book jackets of many famous authors, including David McCullough, James Michener, Harper Lee, and Mary Higgins Clark.  I knew these books and their jackets.  I hadn’t realized he was such a prolific artist.  Do you recognize these award winning books:

His fifty-year career includes illustrating many children’s books.  He has a strong love for nature and a reverence for the natural world- just what young children need to see in his illustrations.  I discovered a jewel!

My preschool class absolutely loves the book.  Did you know that the ruby-throated hummingbird migrates to Mexico every year?  I did not know that.  The trip is dangerous, many hummingbirds do not survive.  Children understood.

Children were on the edge of their seat throughout the book.  We learned hummingbird facts and we pulled out our Big Book Atlas to trace the long journey.

Minor brilliantly illustrated “America the Beautiful.”  Yes, I had to have this book, too.  I sang it to the children, and stopped at every glorious illustration on each page to truly see America, through the eyes of a visionary artist.

Children were excited to see this illustration,
as we’re reading “Little House on the Prairie.”

With my two treasured books in hand, and my mind full of what I had learned at the lecture, I toured the current exhibits.  Ed Emberley was featured!  My children loved his books growing up.  Many of his illustrations were done from woodcuts.  It was fascinating to see the original woodcut and the print itself.  The one of Paul Bunyan was life size!  Do you recognize these illustrations from “Green Says Go?”

Another exhibit was the modern art of Nura Woodson Ulreich, a woman far ahead of her time.  Her children’s picture books were mostly from the 40’s and early 50’s, and the illustrations are stunning.  I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something very familiar here from my childhood:

Of course no visit would be complete without seeing Eric Carle’s art.  His collection on display at the museum often has a theme, so every visit has something new and exciting.  At the very end, this is what I saw:

Another of Eric Carle’s many stars.  This one made me stop and look for a long time.  Yes, I had a lump in my throat.  People need art the way they need sunshine and food.  Art fills the heart.  Mine was full.

There is always something new at The Carle!


P.S. Their bookshop has the best of the best books, new and old. It is far better than B&N.  I have always found high quality books.  The museum also has a full library.  By the desk, right inside the doorway, is a collection of the newest books.  They also have the full collection of every Caldecott award winning book.  In 2018 they were all displayed on a timeline, and I videoed the books:

I bet you recognize some of these books!  I still read many of these books to children.  Once a good book, always a good book.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a big shout out to the museum’s art studio.  Children can drop in with their parents and create art.  Yes!  It’s a full studio packed with materials and inspirational ideas.  It’s very popular.  I am always inspired.

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 America, art, Author interview, Book Review, children's books, Early Education, Eric Carle, geography, Inspiration, Learning About the World, museums, Nature, patriotism, picture books, reading aloud, Teaching young children, wonder and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to A Visit to The Eric Carle Museum

  1. Ritu says:

    You are so lucky to have this place close enough to visit regularly, Jennie! 🥰

  2. beth says:

    another wonderful experience and discovery! it seems an endless adventure there. that’s exactly how a museum should be

  3. How lovely to visit a place like this!

  4. What a special experience. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  5. Darlene says:

    How wonderful!! I love hearing the children and their comments on the video. The picture of you and the Very Hungry Caterpillar is perfect. Is that a hungry caterpillar bag you are holding? I love it!

  6. Thanks for sharing your wonderful impressions, Jennie! Great to have such a museum so close. Have a beautiful weekend! Best wishes, Michael

  7. Thank you for sharing so many of the illustrations, Jennie. They’re all wonderful!! My mother gave me her copy of Animals of the Bible when I was little. I recognized the Robert McCloskey books as well. (My mother was a big fan. I’d totally forgotten that until I saw the covers.) Thanks again for a delightful post!

  8. What a fun visit. I love illustrations. And how cool that they have a library in addition to the bookstore. Great picture of you in front of the hungry caterpillar. 🙂

    • Jennie says:

      Thanks so much, Diana. I’m glad you enjoyed this. Yes, with a library, a bookshop, and an art studio, they really have it all. You should have seen me trying to take a selfie with the caterpillar. Ha! A lovely person took pity on me and took the photo. 😀

  9. prather742 says:

    Thank you for sharing this experience, Jennie!! It’s now on my bucket list to visit this museum!! ❤️

  10. quiall says:

    It is amazing how some people touch us and brilliant when they do. The best ones are remembered for a lifetime.

  11. petespringerauthor says:

    So many familiar books. It’s exciting to see many favorites all in one place. Minor has a very distinctive style.

  12. The videos were fabulous and the visit was terrific. Well done, Jennie

  13. Dan Antion says:

    I need to drive up and see this place, Jennie. The artwork is beautiful. I can see why your students enjoy these books.

  14. Thanks for sharing! How wonderful we can have all these resources at the click of a mouse or visit to our local schools/libraries because you share.

  15. beetleypete says:

    That museum seems to have been designed with you in mind. It should be called ‘Jennie’s Heaven’!
    Best wishes, Pete.

  16. Norah says:

    What a wonderful adventure. One day, I hope, I’ll get to visit there too.

  17. Another wonderful visit! Thank you so much sharing this, Jennie. It was neat seeing all the old books.

  18. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, this is wonderful!

  19. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    Please enjoy this excellent post from the extraordinary teacher, Jennie!

  20. dgkaye says:

    What a wonderful place to have so nearby. Beautiful share Jennie ❤

  21. K.L. Hale says:

    Jennie, what an amazing trip filled with outstanding art and learning all around you. I love this picture of you sitting in your “element”. Yes, seeing all those books by Minor brought back memories! Wow! How inspiring! 💛💚

  22. What beautiful illustrations… They look fabulous books Jennie ❤

  23. Ally Bean says:

    I don’t recognize any of these books. Not one. I am old, aren’t I?

    • Jennie says:

      You are not old! 🙂 Did you recognize any books on the timeline video?

      • Ally Bean says:

        I recognized Make Way for Ducklings. I read many books as a child, but maybe not the most popular ones!

      • Jennie says:

        Yes, it is still a winner today. I have to say that good books are meant to be read over and over again- and that is why I read Make Way For Ducklings as often as I read the good new books. Also, the books you remember as a child are more important than the popular ones, because they made an impression on you. That’s the power of books and reading.

  24. Elizabeth says:

    I was trying to remember the name of a book and then saw the cover here of “The Egg Tree.” That was my favorite Easter book as a kid. As for Ulreich, the Little Golden Books came to mind. I think she must have done more than the one shown here. Thanks for the revisit.

    • Jennie says:

      Yes, maybe it was the Little Golden books that seem much the same. Thank you for your sharp eye! Yes, she did more which were on display. I remember The Egg Tree, too.

  25. Your video shows so many good memories. Books I remember as a child, books I read to my kids, and books I am reading to my grandchildren. You are lucky to have the Eric Carle Museum close to you. Someday I want to visit.

    • Jennie says:

      I’m glad it triggered so many good memories. I am definitely lucky to have this museum only an hour and a half away. I do hope you get to visit, Dayne.

  26. What a great adventure you had. I didn’t realize how prolific Wendell Minor has been over the years with all those beautiful book covers! And I love how you bring so much to the books you share with your students.

    • Jennie says:

      I had to look him up to see all of his books. The lecture showed many more that I posted, most of which you would know. Thank you for your kind words, Marcia!

  27. bosssybabe says:

    How wonderful and such a fitting place to visit as a lover of books and reading aloud to children! 🙂 I bet they were delighted!!!

  28. Which town is this in? I haven’t heard of it, and when I visit western MA (this summer?) I’d love to stop in. Also, I think the illustrator for my two children’s books (Birds of Paradise and Molly Finds Her Purr) should have her art in this museum!!! https://www.amazon.com/Birds-Paradise-Pamela-S-Wight/dp/0998460613/ref=sr_1_1?crid=U2TPER9FLSWI&keywords=birds+of+paradise+pamela+s+wight&qid=1651757378&s=books&sprefix=birds+of+paradise+pamela+s+wight%2Cstripbooks%2C60&sr=1-1 (Sorry for the long scroll…)

  29. My Rollercoaster Journey says:

    This place seems amazing! And the art is superb! The books look very interesting. I did recognize a few. I never used to focus on who the illustrator of a book was. From now on I’ll pay more attention.

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