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


  • Tuesday- Friday10 am - 4 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 5pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm

Accessibility Information

Visit the carle


Simmons University

Simmons University at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

For nearly 40 years, The Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons University has shared its passionate commitment to literature for young people through scholarly engaement. Since 2008, The Carle has been proud to partner with Simmons to offer its graduate courses in the creation, culture, and criticism of children's literature—from picturebooks and early readers to works for young adults. Classes meet regularly in The Carle's Reading Library and students are encouraged to take advantage of the Museum’s many resources. Simmons offers four graduate programs in children's literature, each encouraging a rigorous study of children's books with an emphasis on historical and critical analysis. Non-degree students are welcome to apply for specific classes.


Degree Programs

MFA in Writing for Children

A 32-credit MFA program taught at The Carle

This program consists of four academic courses and four writing courses, including a two-course sequence in which a student develops a manuscript from conception to submission.

MA in Children's Literature

A 36-credit MA program taught at The Carle

This program consists of four electives and the following five required courses: Criticism of Literature for Children, The Picture Book, Contemporary Realistic Fiction, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and a historical literature course.

MFA/MA in Children's Literature

Students who wish to pursue both degrees may combine both masters' programs in a 56-credit course of study that includes core requirements for both programs.

M.A. in Children's Literature/M.S. in Library Science

This dual degree is offered in collaboration with Simmons's Graduate School of Library Science program at Mount Holyoke.

Course Offerings

Courses are open to non-degree students, and are offered nights and weekends on site at The Carle. For registration information, please contact

CHL 415 – A Whole Book Approach to Picturebook Art & Design (2 credits)
Thursday, October 24 (6:00 – 8:50 pm; class meeting on the main campus in Boston)
Friday, October 25 (3:00 – 5:50 pm; class meeting on the main campus in Boston)
Saturday, October 26 & Sunday, October 27 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm; class meetings at The Carle)

Provides an overview of The Whole Book Approach, a storytime model developed by Megan Dowd Lambert in association with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, which is grounded in critical engagement with the picturebook as a visual art form. Students will critically engage with the design and production elements of a broad range of contemporary picture books, employing Structuralist, Reader Response, and other approaches to examining how words, pictures and design impact readers' engagement with primary texts. The course will also include opportunities for students to observe WBA storytimes to see how theory informs practice as children engage with picturebooks in facilitated reading.

Instructor: Megan D. Lambert

CHL 430 – Writing for Children I (4 credits)
Tuesdays, September 3 – December 10, 2019 (5:00 – 7:50 pm)

Investigates the process of writing fiction for children through written assignments and class discussion of both assignments and of published books. Examines different narrative forms and techniques and the elements and development of a story. Includes individual conferences and an opportunity to work on individual projects if desired. Requires a willingness to participate and experiment, but previous creative writing experience is not necessary.

Instructor: Jeannine Atkins

CHL 435B – Creators & Ideologies: Jacqueline Woodson (2 credits)
Wednesdays, September 4 – October 16, 2019 (5:00 – 7:50 pm)

Provides a unique opportunity to examine the entire body of a writer's work. Develops critical skills through study of the developing, revised, and completed works by Jacqueline Woodson. Requires corollary readings of literary criticism. A book-by-book exploration of the writer's evolution, style, themes, ideology, and ultimately achievement with an eye to the connections between books and to the author's work as a whole.

Instructor: Megan D. Lambert

A full description of courses is available online in the Simmons Graduate Course Catalog.
Classes may be subject to cancellation depending on enrollment.
Listen to what students and graduates say about the program!


More Information

To learn more about these programs, visit the Simmons website, email, or register for an Information Session at The Carle.  For tuition information click here.

Information Sessions

Saturday, July 20, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Tuesday, August 6, 11:30 am -12:30 pm
Saturday, September 21, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

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