Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6th: how to turn hungry tissue paper into a butterfly

So tell me, did you get a case of the warm fuzzies last year when Google changed its home page design for a day to honour the 40th birthday of Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar? I sure did. In an instant, I was transported back to Mrs. Smith's Grade 1 class, when Mrs Kite, the librarian, came in to read it to us for the first time. Have you ever wanted to make art just like Carle's? I've tried but the best I've been able to muster is tissue paper collage using lots of glue. It was a sticky mess of a business (especially when done with a 5-year-old), and no matter how hard I tried my creations never looked right. They never looked--dare I coin an adjective?--Carlesque. Which is why I was thrilled a few weeks ago when I discovered Eric Carle's website. Here, he offers up a slideshow that details exactly how he gets the fantastic results he does. Now my art (and my daughter's) will still not look like Carle's, because we clearly do not have his talent, but it will be a lot better than it was. You and yours should give it a try too. The site also offers other up other helpful slideshows that detail his creative process further. Just check the Photo and Video Gallery to access them.

And if you ever find yourself in western Massachusetts, make sure you visit The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. It's a dream of mine to get there.


  1. When you make your pilgrimage to westerm Massachusetts, I'll meet you there.

    You know, I don't remember encountering Carle until I had my own baby. He was not a part of my childhood or my younger siblings'.

  2. Oooh, me too. We go once a year - it's pretty much in my sister's back yard.

    The kids just love seeing the picture book art "for real," and there are benches with bins of the books in each gallery... plan for your visit to take a while.

    Their activity room is spacious and messy like any artist's studio would be, and the gift shop is killer. Pack a picnic lunch, or take the 15 minute drive to all the fun pubs and bistros in Northampton.

  3. Also... Kids who are really in to Eric Carle or making books would enjoy his answers to FAQs and Newsletter found on the website. He responds at their level and is just so....nice!

    You know, today when I was at the school helping the Art teacher, she caught me off guard, asking, "Would you want to teach art?" and I quickly said, "Oh, no," but then she went on to say that she worked at two schools, plus teaches music and gives lessons, and it was all a bit much.... I wonder if something is coming together for me? Drat, I suppose it would involve classes full of kids, though, wouldn't it?

  4. I LIVE in Western MA and would love to meet you!


  5. Sounds like a road trip awaits me!

    De, that's great news about the possibility of being an art teacher. I think you'd have a lot of fun in that job.

  6. we went to the museum 2 years ago. it is delightful, you'll LOVE it.


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