The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is one of my family's favorite places. It's difficult to put into words the charm, beauty, and inspiration that is found within the walls of the Carle- this museum and it's wonderful staff have helped to mold some of my most dear memories of my daughter's childhood. We are members of the museum so we spend long summer days running through the whimsical apple orchards, chilly Autumn afternoons snuggled up in their cozy library listening to new stories being read by their beloved librarian, Abigail, who holds the most enchanting story time I've ever been to- engaging the children (and grown-ups!) on a journey through each page- soaking up otherwise unnoticed details and imploring us to explore different ideas and make predictions based on the context before us. We have spent dreary winter days escaping the harsh weather in their quaint auditorium while engrossed in a puppet show, a play or perhaps a short film about a beloved picture book. We have spent cheery spring days in their fantastic art studio working on our own masterpieces after being inspired by the work of some of the greats. It is here that my daughter got to meet some of her heroes- Eric Carle and his beloved caterpillar, Mo Willems who somehow managed to get my shy girl out of her shell and laughing within moments, and Madeline- her favorite heroine. It is so much more than a museum of picture book art; it is a muse in itself. We adore the Eric Carle Museum and send them our congratulations on being a finalist!