Amherst was at the top of my list for our trip to the Boston area. In fact, I suspect it’s the reason Steady Eddie had Boston on his radar when we began thinking about a Christmas trip. After all, I had only mentioned The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art a time or two (or three or four). We headed over to Amherst on Sunday, which was our first day to be out and about on our own in our rented minivan. The drive over took us several hours and gave us the opportunity to see the snowy Massachusetts countryside. We agreed that what we saw was exactly what we expected New England to look like. 🙂
Of course, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit Emily Dickinson’s home while we were in Amherst. 🙂 Unfortunately, photography wasn’t allowed in the home, but I can say with full assurance that it was thrilling to look out the windows through which she surveyed her limited world. Our tour guide was knowledgable and friendly, and the tour definitely reawakened my interest in Dickinson.
(That’s Emily’s bedroom–second floor, left corner.)
Then it was on to lunch and the Carle!
The boys enjoyed storytime in the library. The book selections were by authors who were visiting the Carle that day for the Celebrating the Jewish Experience in Children’s Books panel discussion that day.
The library was cozy and kid-friendly, just as you would expect. The boys and Steady Eddie spent the most time there.
My next-to-favorite room at the Carle was the art studio. The whole museum is big and bright (well, as bright as it could be on a cold and snowy Massachusetts day!) and airy, and the art studio is especially.
The young women who were working in the studio this wintry Sunday were SO kind and helpful. They actively engaged all my kids in the art-making process, which is not always easy (with one of them, anyway). I enjoyed walking around and looking at the bookshelves (of course!), and I even made a bit of art myself. We could’ve stayed in there all day.
The museum has three galleries.
The current exhibits are Brown Bear Turns 50:
The Art of Brinton Turkle (that’s me and my friend, Obadiah):
and the Michael and Ellen Droller Collection:
I enjoyed all three exhibits immensely. I don’t know if I’ve ever looked at every single thing in a museum before, but I did at the Carle. 🙂
Far and away my favorite thing at the Carle was the bookstore. Oh, my! I only purchased two books (including a copy of Owl Moon that I had signed by Jane Yolen herself!), but I could’ve literally spent every bit of money I have and then some. If you can imagine having all the best and brightest in children’s (and even some YA) lit, plus games and art supplies, at your fingertips–that’s the bookstore at the Carle.
And with that I have fulfilled one of my fondest dreams.
Stay tuned. I have another post or two up my sleeve!