Hector Fox at the Eric Carle Museum, and More

Few museums give patrons an up-close, personal experience.  The Eric Carle Museum in Massachusetts is a master at doing just that.  Their three rotating exhibits are grounded in the best art of illustrators, and patrons can be inches away from their favorite books.  I have seen brush strokes, pencil outlines, thick paint, and even linoleum from the art of my favorite children’s books.

There’s more.  Artists visit and give readings and presentations.  This week Astrid Sheckels, author of the popular Hector Fox books, was at the museum with her latest book.  I was there!

Hector Fox and his friends (all animals native to New England- including a marten) have adventures.  The illustrations are glorious, detailed, and draw the reader in.  The text is exciting, with challenging words that keep the reader hooked.  For example, Hector’s first book is the Giant Quest.  Yes, ‘quest’, just the word I want my preschoolers to learn.

Astrid Sheckels had a wonderful presentation and reading of her new book, and she drew Hector Fox with the audience.

One of her illustrations is a new museum acquisition.  It is magnificent!  There’s nothing like the ‘real deal’.

Of course I had to see the other exhibits.  One was an illustrator, Christian Robinson.  I recognized his art right away.  And then…there it was.  Gaston!

YES!  It’s the story of puppies in two very different families.  There’s a mix up, an exchange, and dog families who learn that being different is okay.  My preschoolers love this book.  I do, too.

Okay, I was out of control, yelling at my fellow teacher to look at the brush strokes.  “Naomi, this is IT, the real art, and we can see every brush stroke!”

For art lovers, seeing a beloved masterpiece is thrilling.  For book lovers who have seen that art hundreds of times reading the book to children, the experience of seeing the original art is tenfold.

Thank you to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for bringing the art of illustrators for all of us to see.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty 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 am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in art, Book Review, children's books, Diversity, Dogs, literacy, museums, picture books, reading, reading aloud and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to Hector Fox at the Eric Carle Museum, and More

  1. Norah says:

    Gorgeous artwork, Jennie. What an experience. Picture books are a gallery of artworks you can hold in your hands but, as you say, nothing beats the real thing up close.

  2. beth says:

    what a wonderful experience and how lucky – her book is beautiful and I can understand your excitement

  3. Ritu says:

    You are so lucky to have this on your doorstep 🥰

  4. Darlene says:

    How wonderful to have met Astrid Sheckels. I love the Hector Fox puppet too. You are fortunate to have this museum near you. The excitement came through the blog post!

  5. Excellent. Nicely penned with beautiful photos.

  6. willedare says:

    The Hector Fox artwork is indeed beautiful. Thank you, yet again, for sharing your enthusiasm and delight and wisdom with the rest of us!!!

  7. This sounds like such a wonderful museum. I’ve enjoyed all of your posts about it.

  8. Dan Antion says:

    Thank you for this post, Jennie, in all its glory. I need to visit this museum.

  9. The art work looks wonderful. I can feel your excitement about the art, books, and museum pumping out of this post! 💗

  10. You are lucky to have this experience . Thank you for sharing.

  11. beetleypete says:

    Her illustrations are wonderful, and being able to watch her in action was a rare treat indeed.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  12. Don Ostertag says:

    What a fine attraction. And the artwork in Hector Fox is beyond belief! She sure does not play down to her young readers.
    That is a museum that one can really get excited about.
    Will that Hector Fox you are holding join Gloria back at school?

  13. Fraggle says:

    A great experience!

  14. Super fun, Jennie. You’re so lucky to be close enough to the museum to take advantage of all it has to offer. Thanks for sharing the illustrations of Hector. They’re beautiful. ❤

  15. I have to agree, Jennie. I have an original oil painting that was used as a cover for Boys Life magazine. I bought it directly from the artist many moons ago and love it.

  16. quiall says:

    Museums play an important part in our lives. Interactive ones, even more so.

  17. Opher says:

    Fabulous! I’m jealous!

  18. Sounds like a wonderful museum, and it is so neat they not only display art, but bring the art “to life” on-site.

    • Jennie says:

      It really is, Bruce. The bringing art to life is huge. And, I didn’t even talk about the drop-in art studio, the library, or the bookstore. It’s a big wow.

  19. Prior... says:

    I love the photos here and the joy
    I loved eric carle when I taught art and I think it was grade three when stduents made collages from cut ups of paitnted paper and we used Carle’s books for ideas
    the museum looks amazing and the book is great

  20. Elizabeth says:

    As you know one of my favorite places. Being next door to the sweets at Atkins doesn’t hurt either!

  21. petespringerauthor says:

    Haha! Nice to see that you haven’t lost any of your enthusiasm, Jennie. What a great opportunity to meet Astrid!

  22. Oh Jennie… what a delight to meet and greet this author and see all of these wonderful art exhibits… What a wonderful post… Love it xx ❤

  23. frenchc1955 says:

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

  24. I would love to visit and see the artworks, Jennie. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  25. So wonderful! I hope you will not become one of the assets of the museum, Jennie! Lol They will need you in Groton, as long as possible. xx Michael

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