It’s fall! My absolute favorite season! The first chill is in the air. The trees are changing colors. And there’s nothing I love more than crunching leaves under my feet, wearing sweaters, drinking tea, picking apples, eating apples, dehydrating apples, making apple pie…
You get the idea.
Plus, there’s no better time to snuggle up with a blanket and a book. So here are a few of our fall favorites for you to read. And tell us yours!
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert (1991, HMH Books for Young Readers)
True to Ehlert’s style, this book’s bright colors and mixed media explain the story of a sugar maple: leaves, seeds, roots and all!
Four Friends In Autumn by Tomie DePaola (2004, Simon & Schuster)
It’s autumn! Four friends meet to feast and talk about fall, their favorite season. But a mishap sends them on a new adventure…
Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber & Leslie Evans (2004, Charlesbridge)
In delightful rhyme, this book details the shapes and colors of sycamore leaves, maple, willow and more. Plus, it reminds us the best part about all these leaves: jumping in the piles!
Applesauce Season by Eden Ross Lipson & Mordicai Gerstein (2009, Roaring Brook Press)
MacIntosh. Honey Crisp. Cortland. Red Delicious. Do you have a favorite apple? With all those apples and all that sauce, this book is the perfect addition to any apple-loving family!
The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson & Jonathan Bean (2007, Simon & Schuster)
Folk-art illustrations and a cumulative text take this adventure of pie to the apples, to the tree, to the rain, to the clouds, sky, sun and world!
The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger (2008, Greenwillow Books)
Stunning colors and collages tell the story of the leaf who isn’t ready for winter, and the path to acceptance.
Interested in purchasing one of these lovely fall favorites? Visit our website here.
We here at The Carle are (obviously) big fans of picture book art, so when the opportunity comes along for us to revel in some illustrations, we embrace it. To really celebrate picture book illustration, we’ve compiled a collection of picture books that express an entire story without ever writing a word! Each of these books feature vivid illustrations that are perfect for a “read aloud” experience while still being completely captivating for a child to explore on their own. Check out this list of our very favorite wordless books:
The bold shapes and colors of Raschka’s watercolors perfectly encompass the relationship that any one of us had once with a special toy, and the feelings of loss when it broke. This Caldecott winning book is both empathetic and expressive.
Wiesner’s Caldecott winning book only begins to unveil the underwater mysteries of the ocean. A young boy finds an underwater camera washed up on the beach, and with it discovers the magic and beauty of the ocean deep. Watch him explore the secrets this camera holds as he adds a picture of his own.
Lee’s simple, yet bold lines, show us the story of a young girl’s encounter with her own reflection. Whether we are watching her timidly peep through her fingers, or dance with abandon, Lee’s use of the book’s gutter makes for a sublimely self-reflective experience.
DePaola will have you giggling at this scrumptious tale of a woman wakes up with the taste for pancakes. Watch her run around town trying to collect all of the ingredients, as everything goes wrong. This classic tale presses you to ask yourself: what would I do to get my pancakes?!
Readers will delight in following the story of a magical red book (just like yours!) that transports a young girl into entirely new lands, and opens up the possibility of adventure for others after her.
Wiesner’s ability to spin a tale through only pictures is so spectacular, he had two books make the list. In this particular saga, a young boy on a school trip gets whisked away by a runaway cloud, only to be taken to Sector 7′s Cloud Dispatch Center, the facility where clouds are produced. This enduring tale tells the story of creativity, friendship, and the eternal forces of weather and imagination.
In a beautiful wash of colors, the Tolmans show us the story of two bears in a tree house, as they host a whole variety of extraordinary guests, and experience all that their magical tree house has to offer.
Unspoken by Henry Cole (2012, Scholastic Press)
Cole’s beautifully sketched, full-page drawings tell the story of a young girl who discovers a runaway slave hiding in the barn, and the courage she must call upon if she decides to help him.
Happy New Year! Hooray! We had a totally fabulous year here at The Carle. Let me share with you a few of our favorite highlights from 2011:
Eric Carle Visit and Book Signing
Eric Carle came to visit not once, but TWICE, this year. Once for his annual summer book signing and then again in September to launch the release of his newest picture book, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse.
Eric Carle signs his new book. Photo by Kristin Angel
Eric Carle admires the artwork of a young fan. Photo by Kristin Angel
The Carle’s galleries are no longer the only place to see artwork in the Museum. This year we installed two amazing sculptures by renowned artists Leo Lionni and Mo Willems. Eric Carle and Leo Lionni’s family were on hand for the unveiling of Leo Lionni’s sculpture titled, “Imaginary Garden” in July, which is now on view for the public in our Great Hall.
Photo by Jerrey Roberts
Leo Lionni's "Imaginary Garden"
Mo Willem’s bright Red Elephant sculpture is a cheery new addition to our museum’s courtyard. Here’s a link to Mo Willem’s blog where he documents the full journey of the elephant sculpture from idea to installation.
Mo Willems' Red Elephant sculpture at The Carle. Photo by Kristin Angel
Mo Willems signs books for fans. Photo by Kristin Angel
We hosted a year full of fabulous exhibitions. I hope you had the chance to come see them. Each event brought a chance to meet the talented creators behind the artwork. Here’s a small sampling of the authors and illustrators who joined us at The Carle this year for these exhibits.
Monsters & Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Picture Books:
(l-r) Neal Sokol, Alix Kennedy, Uri Shulevitz, Nonny Hogrogian, Nick Clark, Lisa Brown and Ilan Stavans. Photo by Kristin Angel
Partners in Wonder: Selections from the Collection of Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen signs Owl Moon. Photo by Kristin Angel
What a Circus! The Art of Etienne Delessert
Etienne Delessert and David Macaulay. Photo by Kristin Angel
Tomi Ungerer: Chronicler of the Absurd
Eric Carle and Tomi Ungerer. Photo by Kristin Angel
Barbara McClintock’s The Heartaches of a French Cat
Barbara McClintock and David Johnson. Photo by Kristin Angel
Growing Every Which Way But Up: The Children’s Book Art of Jules Feiffer
Leonard Marcus, Jules Feiffer and Kate Feiffer. Photo by Kristin Angel
This year was the 6th annual Carle Honors ceremony in New York City. This year The Carle honored Lois Ehlert (Artist), Jeanne Steig (Angel), Michael di Capua (Mentor) and Karen Nelson Hoyle (Bridge). To learn more about the recipients and about the awards, you can read my blog post from earlier this year here.
Artist award recipient Lois Ehlert
Photo by Johnny Wolf Photography
Angel award recipient Jeanne Steig
Photo by Johnny Wolf Photography
Mentor award recipient Michael di Capua
Photo by Johnny Wolf Photography
Bridge award recipient Karen Nelson Hoyle
Photo by Johnny Wolf Photography
Check out these wonderful decorations from the night to celebrate Artist award recipient Lois Ehlert.
Photo by Johnny Wolf Photography
Guests were greeted by the coconut tree and letters from the well-loved Chicka Chicka Boom Boom picture book and tables featured these absolutely stunning centerpieces. Each centerpiece base is an actual book with beautiful and bright tissue paper flowers bursting from the pages.
Photo by Sandy Soderberg. Sculptures by Marlena Pavich.
Other wonderful events hosted here this past year was a viewing of the children’s literature documentary, The Library of the Early Mind, in our auditorium, with a panel of guests featured in the film including Richard Michelson, Grace Lin and Jane Yolen as well as the director Edward J. Delaney and co-producer, Steven Withrow. Here’s a trailer for the documentary:
And here’s a glimpse at the panel discussion that followed that night at The Carle:
David White, Diane deGroat, Bob Marstall, John Gurney, Greg Ruth, Tomie dePaola, Astrid Sheckels, Ruth Sanderson and Linda Graves. Photo by Kristin Angel
The Very Hungry Caterpillar had a birthday party and made some new friends:
Very Hungry Caterpillar greets fans. Photo by Kristin Angel
We had special storytimes in our Reading Library such as Nancy Ekholm Burkert and her son Rand Burkert’s storytime and blues performance of their new book, Mouse & Lion.
Nancy Ekholm Burkert
And Frank Viva led a storytime of his New York Times Best Illustrated book, Along a Long Road, and then led his audience into The Carle auditorium to see the artwork from the entire book in one long frieze along the length of the auditorium.
Frank Viva. Photo by Kristin Angel
Our annual Educator night was hosted by Lisa Holton, Anita Silvey and Betsy Bird who sparked a wonderfully uplifting discussion about the future of books and technology.
Lisa Holton and Anita Silvey at Educator Night.
Betsy Bird at Educator Night
In 2011, we hosted the first in a series of BERL (Barbara Elleman Research Library) Lectures here at The Carle. This year’s lecture was given by publisher, editor, educator and author-extraordinaire Patricia Lee Gauch.
This year we also launched the Shop’s BookTalk interview series. Each month bookseller Andy interviewed an author or illustrator about their books and career, followed by a book signing. In the past year we interviewed Mordicai Gerstein, Norton Juster, Mo Willems, Diane deGroat, Jarrett Krosoczka, Barry Moser, Jeff Mack, Ted & Betsy Lewin, Sophie Blackall, Brian Floca, John Bemelmans Marciano, John Rocco, Sergio Ruzzier, Beth Krommes and Barney Saltzberg. We are excited to be continuing the interview series into the new year and will be making recordings of the interviews available on our website for our faraway friends.
Mo Willems and Norton Juster
This year also marked the 50th anniversary of a beloved classic, The Phantom Tollbooth. We celebrated this November with a pun-filled Phantom Tollbooth Day with Norton Juster and Leonard Marcus, author of The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth, and guests viewed original Jules Feiffer artwork from the book in our gallery. No Phantom Tollbooth day can be complete without a tollbooth and Toc the dog!
Phantom Tollbooth Day
Phantom Tollbooth Day (Yes, that's me)
We hopped across the river for R. Michelson Galleries 22nd Annual Children’s Illustration Show where the Carle Bookshop sold books by the featured artists, including special guests Jules Feiffer and Roger Sutton. There was a quite a turn out! Here’s a photo from the night.
Front Row: Paul Jacobs, Rebecca Guay, Diane deGroat, Richard Michelson, Karla Gudeon, Sara Levine, Carol Weis, Angela DiTerlizzi, Heidi Stemple Second Row: Steven Withrow, Lesley Breen Withrow, Jennifer Swender, Jane Yolen, Jane Dyer, Barry Moser, Burleigh Muten, Barbara Diamond Goldin, Lesleá Newman, Kathy Brown, Tony DiTerlizzi. Third Row: Wendell Minor, Jules Feiffer, Raul Colón, David Hyde Costello, Neil Waldman.
Back Row: Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Tom Warburton, Scott Fischer, Mo Willems, , David Milgrim
Lastly, we ended the year with some great presentations about the best books of 2011. First Horn Book editors Roger Sutton and Martha Parravano shared their picks while talking about their book, A Family of Readers. Click here to see what books they loved from this year.
Roger Sutton and Martha Parravano
In December, Susan Bloom was back for her annual Picture Books of Distinction lecture, where she highlighted her picks for the year’s best picture books. Click here for her list. We’re so excited to see what will win the Caldecott and what the new year will bring.
Looking ahead, we have so many exhibitions and events that we’re excited about. We’re especially looking forward to The Carle’s 10th anniversay!
Did you have a favorite moment at The Carle this year? I’d love to hear some of your memories. Happy New Year!
DePaola incorporates eight December Italian festivals in his newest extravaganza starring the lovable grandmother witch and her bumbling companion Big Anthony. Special treats are being made for each of the occasions and, of course, Big Anthony meddles in the preparation. In the end, Strega Nona surprises everyone with a very special gift and Big Anthony? Well, he gets his “just desserts.” Once more, dePaola gets it right in a book to delight old and new fans.
On shelves October 18th.
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Want more recommendations from The Carle Bookshop? Click here to read for Top of the Shelf book reviews.
As you probably already know, Jarrett is a very talented, very funny author and illustrator of both picture books, such as the fabulous Punk Farm, and the bestselling Lunch Lady graphic novel series for middle grade readers, the newest of which will be released in September.
Speaking of new books for September, Jarrett is one of the featured authors of the newest Guys Read anthology, Thriller, edited by Jon Scieszka. In celebration of the book’s release, I ran into Jarrett in his best Michael Jackson Thriller costume at Book Expo last week.
Now this is a guy who knows how to draw a crowd! If you want to watch the whole conversation about the upcoming book with Jon Scieszka, Jarrett, Matt de la Pena, Mac Barnett, Jack Gantos and Eoin Colfer, head on over to Jarrett’s blog where he’s uploaded the whole video. I had a great time exploring Jarrett’s website, where you get the option of reading his real bio, his fake bio or his even faker bio. It even has a pronunciation guide for saying his last name (it’s like crow-zaus-ka”).
You may also remember his hilarious video Book by Book: The Making of a Monkey Man that featured a funny star-studded cast such as Mo Willems, Tomie dePaola, and Jon Scieszka. While the video doesn’t seem to be online anymore, you can still view tidbits here, including Zen Master Tomie! How perfect since these two funny guys will both be at The Carle this weekend!
So come by and meet Jarrett on Sunday, June 5th! Andy will be interviewing him in the auditorium at 11:30 am (the Museum doesn’t open until Noon, but we open the doors for this event at 11), followed by a book signing outside the Shop. I know I’ll be purchasing a whole stack of books for my nephew who insists he doesn’t have all of the Lunch Lady books yet! Hope to see you there! And as always, if you just can’t make it to the event, place your pre-order by Saturday, June 4th, and we’ll get your book autographed and shipped to you. You can shop all of Jarrett’s books for sale on our website here.
After yesterday’s maple syrup post, I’m in the mood for pancakes! Even among the fussiest eaters, pancakes are usually a breakfast favorite. But what goes into making pancakes? Two of my favorite picture books explain it all quite nicely:
Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola (Harcourt, 1978)
This wordless picture book shows with comic and cartoon-like illustrations the steps that go into making pancakes. The hungry woman in this book does not use a mix! She gets all her ingredients fresh from the farm (okay fine, she doesn’t grind her own wheat to make her own flour) even if that means going outside to collect the eggs from hens and to milk the cow and churn it into butter. I love that she even buys fresh maple syrup from a neighbor. With all the freshest ingredients collected, these are bound to be the best pancakes ever. But when she gets home, she finds she’s going to have change her plans! This funny, surprise ending leaves readers with the motto “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Look closely at the illustration and you can read Tomie’s own pancake recipe to try and make your own. (Shhh, I won’t tell if you don’t churn your own butter to make them!)
Once you’ve tried Tomie’s pancakes, you have to try out Eric Carle’s recipe next! It’s included in the back of Pancakes, Pancakes! (Simon & Schuster, 1990). Eric’s preferred pancake is thin like a crepe, which you can eat flat or rolled up with jam or maple syrup inside! They’re “devastatingly delicious”. Here’s a photo of Eric eating pancakes for breakfast!
In Pancakes, Pancakes, Jack wants pancakes for breakfast but he has to get all the ingredients before his mother can make them. I love this book because it really goes into the detail of not only how pancakes are made, but how a variety of foods we take for granted, get on our plates. To get flour, Jack must go cut down wheat from the fields and take it to the miller to grind into flour, gather eggs from the hens, milk the cow and churn the butter. There are also wonderful step-by-step illustrations in Eric Carle’s beautiful cut paper collage technique showing how to prepare and cook pancakes. After reading this book, you and your kids have no excuse not to make your own!
Just be careful you don’t make yours too big or you might have a real problem on your hands!
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett, illustrated by Ron Barrett (Simon & Schuster, 1978)
Still feeling stuck in this cold chill of winter, I’m spending a lot of time lately with my quilt. I drag it from the bed to the couch and back again, spending hours reading, knitting, and okay, maybe watching TV too, underneath its cozy enclosure. But quilts are so much more than something to keep you warm. A quilt is filled with comfort, handmade pride and memories. Just by looking at its pieces, each quilt can tell you its own story.
Some of my very favorite picture books know how to tell the story of a quilt just right. Here are a few that you should cozy on up with.
In this book of an adventurous journey through a girl’s imagination, the quilt represents a rite of passage. The girl is growing up and she’s proud of it. “I have a new quilt” she immediately tells the reader. “It’s to go on my new grown-up bed.” She points out the pieces of the quilt made from her family’s old clothes and curtains. Each piece is a comforting memory as well as a sign for how much she’s grown. At night the quilt comes alive and she embarks on an imaginative journey. I love how the character directly addresses the reader in an easy stream-of-conscious way. The reader can see her anxiety over sleeping in a new bed and of growing up, even if she can’t see it herself and cheers her on as she’s able to make it through the night.
The Quilt Story by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Tomie dePaola (Penguin Putnam)
Often handmade quilts are passed down through family members, keeping history and memories alive. In The Quilt Story, a quilt is initially made by a mother for her little girl who uses it as a blanket to keep warm, a place for a tea party, and even a gown for playing pretend. When the family moves, the quilt is a constant in the girl’s life, giving her a feeling of comfort – of feeling tucked in and safe, even in a strange place. As time passes on, the quilt is passed down and new generations discover the quilt and are comforted in their time of need. For them, a quilt feels like home.
The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (Dial Books for Young Readers)
Tanya’s grandmother lets her help her make a quilt and through her, Tanya learns the true power of homemade. “Yes, your mama can get you a quilt from any department store. But it won’t be like my patchwork quilt, and it won’t last as long either.” They use bits of old clothes from all the family, slowly working together until Tanya’s grandmother gets sick. Tanya then takes it upon herself (with help from her family) to continue working on the quilt. This is a real family story as they work together to pass down not only family memories through quilt pieces, but the sewing knowledge and skill needed to keep this kind of tradition alive.
When Clara, a slave working as a seamstress, overhears about the difficulties other slaves have reaching the Underground Railroad, she realizes what they need is a map. She saves bits of cloth and asks around to get the right bearings, creating a quilt that maps the way to freedom for many others, as well as herself. The language of this book is as beautiful and inspiring as this young girl’s story. “Sometimes I wish I could sew a quilt that would spread over the whole land, and the people just follow the stitches to freedom.”
Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbot (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Just like Clara, the women in Show Way are taught to sew map quilts for slaves to follow to freedom, called “Show Ways”. They pass down sewing through the generations, sewing and selling the quilts even after the slaves were freed to preserve the history. The quilts represented strength and bravery as time goes on, as well as comfort and family. Using the most beautiful language and rhythm, this book, like a quilt, is meant to be passed on and on. It’s a personal family history of Jacqueline Woodson, but also a history of the African American people and this Newbery Honor winning picture (quite a rare feat!) is a true work of art.
The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau, illustrated by Gail de Marcken (Orchard Books)
In this fairy tale-esque tale, an old woman refuses to sell the quilts she makes, but gives them to the poor or homeless. When a greedy king decides he must have one of her quilts to be happy, the quiltmaker leads him in a mission of redemption. Only when he has given away everything he owns, and finally understands true happiness, will she give him a handmade quilt. This book is stunningly illustrated with watercolors, busily detailed, a rainbow of color, and pieced together as if it was a quilt itself.
I bet some of you have some favorite cozy quilt books. Or maybe you’re a quilter or have a quiltmaker in the family. Share your stories with us below!
The results are in! The winners of the 2011 Youth Media Awards were announced on Monday. You can view all the winning books on the American Library Association’s website. The Carle Museum offers its congratulations to all the authors, illustrators, and publishers who put out such an amazing selection of children’s books this year. I definitely don’t envy the committees who had to choose the winners. What a tough decision! We are just so pleased with the results.
Caldecott Medal Winner: A Sick Day for Amos McGee illustrated by Erin E. Stead, written by Philip C. Stead
You can read more of our love for this book on previous posts here and here. It even made it on my Caldecott prediction list!
Interrupting Chicken illustrated and written by David Ezra Stein
If you haven’t seen it already, you should definitely watch the delightful book trailer for this funny picture book:
Other award-winning books we’re excited about:
Geisel Award (Given to the most distinguished beginner reader book)
Winner: Bink & Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile
We talked about it here, here and here!
Also has a very cute book trailer:
Coretta Scott King Awards (given to African American authors and illustrators whose books reflect the African American experience)
Author Winner: One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Illustrator Winner: Dave the Potter illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill
Pura Belpré Awards: (given to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays and celebrates Latino culture)
Author Winner: The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Peter Sis
Illustrator Winner: Grandma’s Gift illustrated and written by Eric Velasquez
Siebert Award: (Given to the most distinguished informational book for children)
Winner: Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot by Sy Montgomery, photographs by Nic Bishop
Newbery Award: (Given to the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children)
Winner: Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
Honors: Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen
Stay tuned for our upcoming Top of the Shelf book review of this one!
Laura Ingalls Wilder Award: (Honors an author or illustrator whose books have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children)
Winner: Tomie dePaola! Tomie has written and illustrated over 200 books for children (and he’s still going!). We are so glad that he was recognized for this amazing lifetime achievement.
What an amazing years of books it has been. I know I can’t wait to see what 2011 will bring!
Two new entries about well-loved characters flow from the pen and brush of a well-loved artist.
Strega Nona’s Harvest finds the feisty grandmother witch inspired to grow a garden. As usual Big Anthony tries to imitate his mentor but without her magical know-how his gardening attempts go laughably astray.
For the Duration, the eighth title in the 26 Fairmount series, relates the ups and downs of life of the second grader in World War II. Once again, he brings to life the humor and drama of the time through engaging text and black-and-white sketches.