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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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Picture Books We Love

Books with Impact

I may be alone is this, but to me, the feeling of finishing a good book is bittersweet. The reward is a wonderful ending, but there's a sadness, too, that it's all over. A perfect book-shaped void where the story you spent days or even weeks reading used to be. How to fill that void? Sometimes you can just pick up another book and get lost in something all over again. But sometimes that isn't enough. You need that story to live on.

Very Hungry Caterpillar tattoo. Photo by Kristin Angel.

What fascinates me is the way people find ways to do just that - to pay homage to the those books that have made such an impact on their lives. Authors and artists may reference favorite books in their own books, die-hard fans might write their own fan fiction or create an online book trailer. I've seen people even go for more permanent homage, like getting a tattoo featuring a book character or quotation, naming a restaurant after a favorite or even your own child after a special character or book. I hadn't really thought about this until this weekend when Norton Juster did an event at this store. Even days before the book signing, customers in anticipation were telling me their personal stories of how The Phantom Tollbooth had changed their life. Two (two!!) different customers had named their sons Milo after the main character in the book. Even Eric Carle was impacted enough to name his dog Tock, after the Tollbooth's watchdog. I get to hear a lot of these special stories working here. Stepping inside our bookstore, you see all the books like old friends sitting on the shelves that you remember from your childhood and you know that the booksellers here are kindred book-loving spirits. They tell me about the books that have changed their life. Alice in Wonderland, Harold and the Purple Crayon or Where the Wild Things Are. I love hearing how these books have impacted their childhood, their career choices, the way they saw things from then on. I grew up with so many books that I don't think I have just one that I can say has made an enormous impact. At least not yet. But what about you?

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