Travel

Viewfinder: Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst

Michele McDonald for the boston globe

A lover of art, Julia Fettes, 8, of Springfield, (right) also reads books with a flashlight under the comforter when she’s supposed to be sleeping — and writes her own books and movie scripts. Her favorite part of her visit to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst was hearing illustrator Jane Dyer in the reading library talk about her process of making art. No surprise there.

Eric Carle, famous for his colorful collage art (“The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” just one among dozens of works), and his wife, Bobbi, founded the museum after being inspired by book art museums in Japan. They thought of children’s book art as the introduction to art for young people and wanted to demonstrate “the beauty, seriousness, and the fun of it.”

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Amherst, MA 2/18/15 Kids running outside the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Although it specializes in picture book art, in a larger sense, it is devoted to art, visual literacy, and reading. Eric Carle has illustrated and/or written over 70 picture books and his collage art using brightly colored papers is distinctive. Inspired by picture book museums in Japan, Carle and his wife Bobbie co-founded this museum, which opened in 2002.
Michele McDonald for the boston globe
Kids ran outside the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

Amherst, MA 2/18/15 Brothers Henry Moore, 9, left, and Charlie, 5, came with their mom and 2 sisters from New York City to visit the Carle museum, and hadn't stepped outside the art studio since they arrived. Charlie likes to dress up and he rarely leaves home without his batman cape. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, is one of a kind.The museum has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, but mostly, it has picture books, and the art of picture books.
Michele McDonald for the boston globe
Brothers Henry Moore, 9, left, and Charlie, 5, came with their mom and two sisters from New York City to visit the museum.

Amherst, MA 2/18/15 Lilly Karl, 5, Falmouth, MA, in the gallery showing the art of Ludwig Bemelmans, creator of Madeline. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, is one of a kind.The museum has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, but mostly, it has picture books, and the art of picture books.
Michele McDonald for the boston globe
Lilly Karl, 5, of Falmouth, in the gallery showing the art of Ludwig Bemelmans.

Amherst, MA 2/18/15 The Very Hungry Caterpillar, having sold over 38 million copies, is Eric Carle's most well-known book, reproduced as a play caterpillar structure at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Abe Pastore, 4, Delmar, NY, is inside. His family became members on their first visit to the museum. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, is one of a kind.The museum has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, but mostly, it has picture books, and the art of picture books.
Michele McDonald for the boston globe
Abe Pastore, 4, of Delmar, NY, inside “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

Amherst, MA 2/18/15 Penelope McMahon, right, Huntington, MA, is "seven and a half" years old and green is one of her favorite colors. She is posing with her sister Fiona, 11, at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, where they are frequent visitors. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, is one of a kind.The museum has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, but mostly, it has picture books, and the art of picture books.
Michele McDonald for the boston globe
Fiona, 11, left, and Penelope McMahon, 7, of Huntington, are frequent visitors.

Amherst, MA 2/18/15 Illustrator Jane Dyer read "Lucky and Squash" a book by Jeanne Birdsall, in the library of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Afterwards, she showed children the process of how she made the illustrations, using photos for reference. Dyer also signed copies of her newest illustrated book by Sally Lloyd-Jones called The House That's Your Home. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, is one of a kind.The museum has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, but mostly, it has picture books, and the art of picture books.
Michele McDonald for the boston globe
Illustrator Jane Dyer read "Lucky and Squash" by Jeanne Birdsall.