The Eric Carle Annual Children’s Book Festival & Birthday Party is Sunday, June 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a day full of activities, special performances, and events. The celebration is held on Eric Carle’s 88th birthday and features a special groundbreaking ceremony at 10:30 am for Bobbie’s Garden, a project underway that will honor The Museum’s late co-founder, Barbara Carle—known to her friends as Bobbie.
This year’s theme is “Dig It! Build It! Dream It!” with New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, Tom Lichtenheld, illustrator of the construction-themed books, Goodnight, Construction Site and its sequel, Mighty, Mighty Construction Site, will provide inspiration for the day with a special storytime. Activities throughout the Museum will be construction-themed, including a sand pit for digging and building and an assortment of large cardboard shapes to create moveable sculptures in the courtyard. (Make sure to dress for a mess!) The first 200 children will receive a free play construction hat. Guests will also enjoy free birthday cupcakes, in honor of Eric Carle, as well as a performance by The Happier Family Comedy show. Geared for kids 12 and under, this silly, playful, and imaginative improv performance is sure to result in lots of laughs and smiles.
During the Festival, guests can also visit The Carle’s three art galleries. The West Gallery features Eric Carle and Friends: What’s Your Favorite Color?, which poses the age-old question to 15 famous children’s book artists. The Central Gallery (opening May 23) will feature Collecting Inspiration: Contemporary Illustrators and Their Heroes, organized by guest curators Tony DiTerlizzi and Mo Willems. This exhibit takes a look into the minds and motivations of a variety of artists and their artmaking process. In the East Gallery (opening June 17), David Wiesner & The Art of Wordless Storytelling, showcases some of the esteemed artist’s best known whimsical work as well as some of his earliest successes and artwork from his three Caldecott-winning books: Tuesday (1992), The Three Pigs (2002), and Flotsam (2007) .
10:30 Groundbreaking Celebration for Bobbie’s Garden (Orchard)
The future location in the Museum’s apple orchard will be a space where guests can learn, explore, read, and relax.
11:00 Special Storytime with Tom Lichtenheld (Auditorium)
11:30 Book signing with Tom Lichtenheld (Great Hall)
12:30 Cupcakes celebrating Eric Carle’s birthday!
1:00–2:00 Happier Family Comedy Show (Auditorium)
2:00 Storytime (Reading Library)
ABOUT THE MUSEUM
The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. The only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.
Eric Carle and his wife, the late Barbara Carle, co-founded the Museum in November 2002. Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 40,000-square foot facility has served more than half a million visitors, including 30,000 schoolchildren. The Carle houses more than 13,000 objects, including 6,600 permanent collection illustrations. The Carle has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country and Master’s degree programs in children’s literature with Simmons College. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. AFor further information and directions, call (413) 559-6300 or visit the Museum’s website at www.carlemuseum.org