Wow! We had such an amazing time at the Eric Carle pre-release book signing of The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse! The feeling at the museum was electric. We got to the museum a half hour before the museum opening (an hour and a half before the book signing) and there was already a line outside the museum. As suggested by a friend, I brought a picnic lunch for us to eat while we waited. I struck up with a nice, young family behind us in line who had driven an hour and a half to be at the book signing. They mentioned that Mo Willems will be at the museum next weekend for the installation of his first life-sized sculpture right in the museum courtyard. There will be a presentation about the sculpture followed by a book signing. One of our sons’ favorite books is Knuffle Bunny so you better believe I’m going back next weekend!
The museum staff was so friendly and efficient. As we were moving in the line for admission to the museum, they were asking people if you pre-ordered the book. I had pre-ordered books. I gave them my name and less than 30 seconds later, they brought a bag with all of my books over to me. We then moved over to the book signing line where I had a lovely conversation with 2 retired elementary teachers. They were buying several books as gifts for their grandkids, former students and to have on hand as a special gift. Everyone was abuzz about Eric Carle, favorite books, and who they were going to give their books to. About 20 minutes before the official book signing time, the museum staff informed us that Eric Carle was in the building. That certainly got everyone excited and looking around. Eric came out about 15 minutes early donning a Very Hungry Caterpillar baseball hat. My kids were peering around the crowd, the older one lifting the younger one up, to get a view of Eric Carle.
The line moved fairly quickly. Photographs were allowed as long as you didn’t use flash. And the museum staff asked us if we wanted them to use our camera to take a picture when we went up to the signing so we could all go up. When we got to go up, Eric Carle talked with the boys which I thought was so nice. You totally didn’t feel rushed at all. He asked them what their favorite book was. I told him that The Very Hungry Caterpillar was our guest book at our baby shower for our older son. My boys asked him if that was his first book. And he explained that his first book was Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See, but he said he didn’t write it; he illustrated it. And his second book was 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar was his third.
After the book signing, we checked out the art gallery. They had switched out all of the Eric Carle artwork since we were there last to all the artwork from The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse. They boys thought it was so cool to see the artwork from the book we just bought.
We then headed over to the art studio. And, thankfully, they actually wanted to do the art work this time! Today they were creating artwork using punctuation marks in unique ways.
It was such a magical day! If you ever have a chance to go to a book signing at the Eric Carle Museum for Picture Book Art, do it! I know I’ll be there again this Saturday. My mom’s going to be in town and I know she’s just going to love it. One of her best friends is a children’s book author, Virginia Kroll, so I think it will be an extra special experience for her.
Waiting for the Museum to Open
Checking Out the New Book