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Eric Carle: Raining Cats & Dogs

Blue cats, striped cats, and calicos—Eric Carle made it no secret he had a special affection for felines. They popped up all over his books, like in 2014’s What’s Your Favorite Animal? which features his pet Fiffi, a black long-haired cat with green eyes who liked to playing fetch with green beans. Carle loved dogs too. He and his wife Barbara named their white Samoyed Tock after the canine character in The Phantom Tollbooth (written by their friend Norton Juster).

In tribute to Eric Carle and dogs and cats everywhere, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is pleased to present Eric Carle: Raining Cats and Dogs, on view March 19 through August 21, 2022. The exhibition features Carle’s original collages from 20 picture books— including Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (1967), Pancakes, Pancakes! (1970), The Very Busy Spider (1984), and The Very Lonely Firefly (1995)—as well as examples of his independent art. On view for the first time is Carle’s image of juggling animals created for the 2003 annual White House Easter Egg Roll and his 2004 illustration of a guitar-playing cat for a Dutch Children’s Book Week poster. Also included are rarely seen photographs and collages of Carle’s own beloved pets.

“Eric inherited his love of animals from his father,” says Chief Curator Ellen Keiter. “He fondly recalled the woodland walks they enjoyed together when he was a boy, discovering insects and listening to the sounds of nature. This reverence for animals and the natural world became a hallmark of his art and stories. Everyone—whether they’re a cat person or a dog lover—will find something sweet in this exhibition.”

Guests to the exhibition are invited to curl up in a cozy “Kitty Corner” with Carle’s books or visit the “Bark Park” and draw pictures of family pets and stuffed animals.  

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Hsin-Yi Foundation. 

Exhibition Booklist

All About Arthur, 1974
All in a Day, 1986 
Animals Animals by Laura Whipple, 1989 
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr, 1967 
Draw Me a Star, 1992 
Flora and Tiger, 1997 
Have You Seen My Cat?, 1987 
Hello, Red Fox, 1998 
Let’s Paint a Rainbow, 1999 
My Very First Book of Family, 1986 
My Very First Book of Food, 1986 
My Very First Book of Homes, 1986
Otter Nonsense by Norton Juster, 1982 
Pancakes, Pancakes!, 1970 
Rooster’s Off to See the World, 1972 
Small Circus
by Lee Bennett Hopkins, 1975 
Today is Monday, 1993
The Very Busy Spider, 1984 
The Very Lonely Firefly, 1995 
Walter the Baker, 1995 
What’s Your Favorite Animal?, 2014 

About the Museum 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is the international champion for picture books. We collect, preserve, and exhibit original illustrations, encourage guests of all ages to read and create art, and foster an ever-growing audience passionate about children’s literature. 

The late Eric and Barbara Carle co-founded the Museum in November 2002. Carle was the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 43,000-square foot facility has served more than 750,000 visitors, including 50,000 schoolchildren. The Carle houses more than 11,000 objects, including 7,300 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. Bobbie’s Meadow is an outdoor space that combines art and nature. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country and Master’s degree programs in children’s literature with Simmons University.

The Museum offers digital resources, including art activities, book recommendations, collections videos, and professional development and workshops for online visitors. Learn more at www.carlemuseum.org and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @CarleMuseum.

For media inquiries, additional press information, and photo requests, please contact Sandy Soderberg at sandys@carlemuseum.org.

Explore Further
Past Exhibition
March 19 - August 21, 2022
Did you know cats were Eric Carle’s favorite animal?