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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

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Friendiversary press release

The Carle Hosts Free ‘Friendiversary’

Celebration on February 1

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is partnering with First Book to host a free family day on Saturday, February 1 at the Amherst, MA museum.  Friendiversary, a celebration of friendship and reading, will feature costumed characters Elephant and Piggie from Mo Willems’ award-winning book series, Newbery Honor artist Grace Lin, and storytimes, films, exhibitions, and art activities surrounding the theme of friendship.  Peter Pan Bus Lines is providing free, round-trip transportation to the Museum from Holyoke and Springfield. The first 500 children who attend will receive a free Elephant and Piggie book.

What is a Friendiversary? As Caldecott-winning author/illustrator and Mo Willems describes it, “It's the celebration of when two pals first met, in this case Elephant and Piggie. It's an opportunity for fun, games, friendship, and reading.” In addition to the above-mentioned activities, The Museum’s current exhibitions all highlight special friendships. These include Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art and Whimsy by Mo Willems, featuring Elephant and Piggie, Pigeon, and Knuffle Bunny, among others; The Art of Eric Carle: Friends, showcasing Eric Carle’s newest book, and Natalie Merchant and Barbara McClintock: Leave Your Sleep, a beautiful collaboration between two talented friends.

“We are delighted to offer this free day with support of our sponsors,” said Director of Development Rebecca Miller Goggins.  “It’s a wonderful opportunity to give back by opening our doors to new faces, and to celebrate reading and friendship with the community.”

“We created Friendiversary to celebrate friendship and reading, as well as connect more kids from low-income families with the wonderful work of Mo Willems,” said Erica Perl, First Book’s vice-president of author and publisher relations. “We’re also huge fans of the incredible work done by The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and we couldn’t be more excited to team up with them for this event.”

For the day’s schedule or details of Peter Pan bus reservations, visit or call 413-658-1126. Free books are compliments of Disney Publishing Worldwide.

About First Book

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada.  By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information, please visit them online or follow their latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Museum

The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books.  The only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world.  In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy. 

Eric and Barbara Carle founded the Museum in November 2002.  Eric Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Since opening, the 40,000-square foot facility has served more than half a million visitors, including 30,000 schoolchildren.  Its extensive resources include a collection of more than 10,000 picture book illustrations, three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren.  Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country.  Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m.  Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks.  Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four.  For further information and directions, call 413-658-1100 or visit the Museum’s website at

IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE FOR REPRODUCTION    For additional press information and/or images, please contact Sandy Soderberg, Marketing Manager (413) 658–1105 /


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