Monday, January 12, 2009

picture books, the good.

It's true, I love picture books. It's in my blood, I cannot be the daughter of an elementary school librarian and not adore them. I especially like reading them as an adult, finding the meanings that a lot of kids might miss, perhaps slyly inserted by authors for the entertainment of us older folk reading them to kids. [Imagine my surprise when my coworker saw my copy of Swimmy, and immediately noticed the little fish all swimming together to make a big fish was also a symbol for union organizing. Or socialist organizing? Either way, it makes sense...the little fish getting eaten by the big fish until they band together for a revolution!]

Right, so there's a lot to love about picture books, especially the pictures themselves. Thus, I was really excited to hear that there exists an entire museum devoted to picture books and the art within: The Eric Carle Museum Of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Oddly, I was just thinking the other day about how pages from picture books would make lovely wall hangings - but to do so you must destroy the book, which seems a travesty. So I looked through the store hoping to find prints, but all I could come up with was large posters and postcards, only in packs of ten. Guess I'll just to go to MA.

The coolness is not over, though. The online shop also sells Eric Carle inspired fabrics, and asks those who have bought it to show off their work on flickr. I looked at a bunch of pillows and quilts until I came across this:

Holy cow, a dress with the Hungry Caterpillar print! Nice. Picture books inspire us for years to come.

(This is the part where I would post a bunch of pictures from my favorite books, but they're rather hard to find on google. Sigh.)

Addendum: I actually agree with Mr. Bush on this one: "One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures." (from Top 25 Bushisms)


tim j said...

the Eric Carle Museum is GREAT! I went there a few years ago when there was a Maurice Sendak exhibit and it showcased a lot of work outside the realm of children's picture books that they did. It is out in the hills of Western MA but well worth it. We'll probably go again in a few years when both girls can appreciate it (which will be sooner than I think, I'm sure).

e said...

Aw, I'm jealous!

willikat said...

i love little kid books too. some of them reduce me to tears in just 16 cardboard-stock board-pages. i still have some golden books lined up on my shelves at home.

tim j said...

this all being said, there are some HORRIBLE children's board books out there. No plot, no art, no underlying theme...

the museum is a quick drive from Boston (about an hour), so if you're ever in New England, it's easy to go to.