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


  • Thursday, Friday 10 am - 4 pm
  • Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

Accessibility Information

Visit the carle


Picture Books We Love

Summer Camp Round-Up

Summer is here and camps are in full swing!

A customer recently ordered a stack of Eric Carle postcards to have shipped to her son at summer camp.  I thought that was a super cute idea because not only does it feel really exciting to be one of those kids who gets mail at camp, but now Mom will look forward to receiving little colorful notes from her son the whole time he's away. That got me thinking how special it really is to get mail or care packages from home when you're away (sometimes for the first time) from Mom & Dad.  Even though camp keeps you busy with friends, sports and activities, I remember there was still always that down time in the bunk that got you thinking about home.  Having a stack of postcards handy is a great way to let friends from school or relatives know what a great time you're having at camp.

If you're putting a care package together, don't forget those homebaked cookies (if you can sneak 'em in) and maybe some temporary tattoos or stickers to share with bunkmates. And even if your child's just going to day camp, a little spiral-bound journal or sketchbook is perfect for drawing, pressing flowers, or passing around between camp friends to create a scrapbook.  Colored pencils (our metallic ones are a big hit) make a nice addition to a care package.

Looking for picture books about camp?  My favorite book to recommend is Marla Frazee's A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever.  While the text often says one thing, Marla's hilarious cartoon-esque illustrations tell the story like it really is.  Either way, these two boys have the BEST week ever, even if nature camp is a little boring.

Is your child worried about sleepaway camp? Local author, Diane deGroat tackles these fears in Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite! And, even though it's not about camp, Bernard  Waber's Ira Sleeps Over is great read-aloud for anyone nervous about that first sleepover. Not sending your kid to camp but want to get in that summertime camping spirit?  S is for S'mores is an alphabet book by Helen Foster James and illustrated by Lita Judge (who we were lucky enough to have visit us at The Carle this March).  It covers everything from hiking canoeing to campfire songs and, of course, yummy gooey s'mores.

Rebecca Emberley (daughter of the fabulous Ed Emberley) has a great activity book called Adventure Girls that I would have LOVED when I was a girl.  It's a handy guide to building treehouses, making tincan lanterns and maps and tons more activities for a bold and crafty adventurista. And while it might be too dark to read books around the campfire, don't forget lots of books for your summer car ride - wherever your summer may take you. Do you have a favorite book about summer camp or camping? Let us know in the comments below!

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