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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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The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is one of my family's favorite places. It's difficult to put into words the charm, beauty, and inspiration that is found within the walls of the Carle- this museum and it's wonderful staff have helped to mold some of my most dear memories of my daughter's childhood. We are members of the museum so we spend long summer days running through the whimsical apple orchards, chilly Autumn afternoons snuggled up in their cozy library listening to new stories being read by their beloved librarian, Abigail, who holds the most enchanting story time I've ever been to- engaging the children (and grown-ups!) on a journey through each page- soaking up otherwise unnoticed details and imploring us to explore different ideas and make predictions based on the context before us. We have spent dreary winter days escaping the harsh weather in their quaint auditorium while engrossed in a puppet show, a play or perhaps a short film about a beloved picture book. We have spent cheery spring days in their fantastic art studio working on our own masterpieces after being inspired by the work of some of the greats. It is here that my daughter got to meet some of her heroes- Eric Carle and his beloved caterpillar, Mo Willems who somehow managed to get my shy girl out of her shell and laughing within moments, and Madeline- her favorite heroine. It is so much more than a museum of picture book art; it is a muse in itself. We adore the Eric Carle Museum and send them our congratulations on being a finalist!

Julia Liszka

I love that the Eric Carle Museum is in my hometown and that I'm a children's book author and photo-illustrator. It is such an extension of a rich community that can change a child's life. I'm so happy to be included in this creative and diverse group who inspire and challenge learning, art and curiosity.

Shelley Rotner


Nearly every Friday morning on my day off from work, I take my two-year old to the Eric Carle Museum for Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, a finalist for this year's National Medal. In the Carle's sun-filled art room, we are treated to a new art project perfect for her developmental stage. She picks out her smock, walks over to the pint-sized toddler table, and sets to exploring with a variety of materials from paper and paints, to found objects. The amazing staff are always willing to get down to her level and help us create something beautiful and unique to take home. From the art project, we walk down the hallway to the library where we are treated to story hour featuring multiple picture books from the museum's extensive collection. We sing songs, play with the toys and puzzles, and see lots of other children and parents. When my daughter needs to get up and move, we walk into the gallery space and visit one of the always stimulating exhibits on display. Often, we sit down at one of the benches in the gallery and read one of the books from which the exhibit is based. How amazing to be surrounded by the original art while reading the book it illustrates! Our weekly visits are usually capped off with a stop in the Very Hungry Caterpillar book nook, where my daughter selects one of the books on display to look at on her own.

And just two weeks ago, we trekked out in a snowstorm to the Carle to see a special dance presentation inspired by Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline (the Carle is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the book right now) and my daughter has become completely enthralled with the story. We read it nearly every night and she likes to show me how to 'twirl' like Madeline.

The Carle has thought of every detail to be child- and family-friendly, from the child size toilets to step-stools at all sinks and water fountains to the beautifully designed high chairs in the cafeteria. I am incredibly grateful to have a resource like this so close to my home, with a staff that makes us feel welcome every single time we go. I know that our use of the Carle is already instilling a love of reading and creating in my little girl.

The Carle is beyond deserving of this prestigious honor.

Susanna Thompson

My favorite memory at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art?  Well there was the time I met the talented and dreamy Oliver Jeffers...or the time I brought my second grade class on a TWO HOUR bus ride across the state to see the exhibit on Virginia Lee Burton...or the opportunity to dress up and clink glasses with my favorite authors (ok, maybe I hid in the bathroom for a couple minutes) when I was invited to attend the hard to name just one. But I know I love the Carle enough that this winter, when Boston was buried, my friend and I knew there was only one way to celebrate - to build our own Very Hungry Caterpillar. The Carle has been a home to me over the past ten years. I was honored to become a member of their family, officially, two years ago. In fact, I will always be honored to have the Carle in my life. But it would be extra special if this fantastic establishment, that has done so much for me and my students, won the National Medal for Museum and Library Service!

Meghan Howe

As an author and illustrator of children's books, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has offered me many invaluable resources. It has provided me with a space to view original art, a venue to connect with both my readers and my colleagues, and at The Carle I've met and befriended many of my heroes, including Mr. Carle himself. But I'm writing today to tell you about a far more impactful way in which The Carle has enriched my life, and that is in my role as a father. It's at The Carle that I took my daughters to see an art exhibits for the first time. I'll never forget my eldest daughter's reaction to spotting a piece from I am a Bunny by Richard Scarry—the very familiar Nicholas smiled at her from the gallery walls. She was just over a year old, it was magical. It's at The Carle that I make regular trips with both my daughters for special daddy-daughter days. We talk about color, we look at art, we analyze the images, we make art, we read books in the caterpillar, and then we have lunch and talk about all of the wonderful things we saw. These memories will last with us for a lifetime, and I am so eternally grateful that this place exists. Because of The Carle I am raising my daughters in a world where all art, especially their art, is highly valued and where the creator of their favorite books may just be presenting in the next room over.

Jarrett Krosoczka


The Eric Carle Museum is staffed by warm and welcoming folk who know everything about the museum and its subjects and are always willing to take time to sit and talk to their visitors--whatever age that visitor might be. I have seen the head curator take time to talk to a five year old who had a range of questions, as well as to this 76 year old.

I especially love the times that picture book authors and illustrators present at the Carle and we can't meet old favorites like Uri Shulevitz or new ones like Melissa Sweet talk about their passionate and personal work approach to their work.

Jane Yolen

The Carle is a dreamland for anyone who likes picture books, and let's face it who doesn't? It elevates and celebrates the first art a child builds a personal relationship with. I especially love how it gives long overdue recognition to artists and writers who have influenced generations.

Julie Anne Bomba


The Carle holds a very special place in my heart! In the summer of 2007, I had the pleasure of being their first Trinkett Clark Intern. That experience influenced my decision to become an art administrator/educator. Today, I continue to speak passionately about the museum and its programs, encouraging everyone I know to visit at least once. The Carle is a real treasure that definitely knows how to elevate and celebrate the art of the picture book in all its forms.

Nia Taylor

Everything about this museum is beautifully thought out and welcoming. I love the fact that the floors are radiantly heated, which is perfect for the small people who are so close to them. In every season, it is a warm and special place from the very design of the building to the people who are inside it.

Cheryl Willems

As an elementary school librarian I have had a long passion for children's literature & children's book art. When I learned the Eric Carle Museum was being "born" I became a charter member. During my many visits there (all the way from AZ) I have been able to see art I never thought I would get to see in person, meet authors & illustrators that I never thought I would get to meet. I took those experiences back to my students to enrich their lives as well. Even now being retired, I relish my visits to the Carle & plan trips around their exhibits & events. It's part of my life!

Cathy Bonnell



We finally made it to the Erica Carle Museum yesterday (March 22, 2015) and I have to say : WE LOVED IT! I have loved the caterpillar since I was a little girl “Die kleine raupe nimmersatt” – I grew up with the German version. You can imagine my surprise when I found out that I was living less than an hour away from the “caterpillar” here in the U.S. We celebrated 45 years with many other families, participated in arts and crafts, smoothie tasting and story time. My children and I bought some caterpillar souvenirs and they are happily playing with them today. I am thankful for such a wonderfully laid out museum and love the generous space it offers. The staff was amazingly friendly and knowledgeable about events. I give this museum and its famous caterpillar 2 thumbs up!!! Thank you!

Macaroni Kid Barre-Brookfield-Hubbardston, MA


I was fortunate to work at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art as a marketing and fundraising intern during my senior year at Smith College. I was immediately drawn to the museum's mission to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books - a mission which I saw in action each and every day. Joy filled the air of the Art Studio, hushed read aloud tones and quiet laughter wafted from the Library, and awe, wonder and inspiration permeated the beautiful gallery spaces as families explored their favorite authors and illustrators. It is impossible to walk through the doors of The Carle without a smile spreading across your face. I am proud to have started my fundraising career at the Carle, and to have learned from such top notch staff!

Sarah Hyjek Ayers

We have the privilege of sharing our campus with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Hampshire College students have had the opportunity to experience the museum through collaborations with The Eric Carle staff for special exhibitions, interactive activities, and learning about the legacy of Eric Carle. The museum staff are committed to engaging all members of the community in fostering learning and creativity.

Gretchen LaBonte

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