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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Making Art Together

Fold, Write, Draw

Ryan Murray from Guest Services at The Carle has been noticing guests create in the galleries this summer and wrote a blog post to share with us. Read more to see what has been happening in the galleries!

A book goes through many stages before it is published. As Eric Carle thinks through an idea for a book, he works on a rough draft - or "dummy book" - using sheets of paper and simple drawing tools.

Eric Carle, Dummy book page for The Very Clumsy Click Beetle (Philomel Books, 1999). Collection of Eric and Barbara Carle. © Eric Carle.

This summer at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, guests of all ages have an opportunity to create their own  the exhibit Eric Carle Makes A Book, we set up a table where guests folded simple sheets of paper many different ways and used colored pencils to create their own stories, as part of an ongoing effort to make our galleries more interactive and inclusive.

Some used the mix-and-match writing prompts that were set up, while others drew from their own imagination and experiences. The result was a very diverse and colorful pile of accordion-shaped stories, proving that books can take any form or shape!

The simplicity of the project also allowed for some interesting questions: In what order should the story be read – left to right? Or up to down? If I want to tell a story in a certain number of parts, how many times should the paper be folded? 

Eric Carle, Alternate illustration for “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth (Philomel Books, 2002). Collection of Eric and Barbara Carle. © Eric Carle.

The simplicity of the project reflects how Eric Carle’s bookmaking process begins. In the galleries you could see how his pencil drawings evolved into the tissue-paper characters we know and love.

Eric Carle, Study for 10 Little Rubber Ducks (HarperCollins, 2005). Collection of Eric and Barbara Carle. © Eric Carle.

All it takes is a pencil and a paper, making this an activity that can be recreated anywhere at any time!

by Sara Ottomano

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 31st, 2019 at 3:30 pm and is filed under Bookmaking, Drawing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

The space and programming of The Carle Art Studio is supported by a generous annual sponsorship from Penguin Books For Young Readers.

We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we're excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment:

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials.

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