November 27, 2012

The Eric Carle Museum Honors the 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott Award

[Amherst, MA - November 26, 2012]  The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is proud to announce an exhibition and events in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Award. The greatly coveted Caldecott, named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, is awarded annually by the American Library Association to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

Through a special show and programs, the Museum plans to give an historical perspective on the award, make the full collection available for reading, and invite guests to predict the winners for 2013.
Specifics include:

Reading Library Exhibition
The Caldecott Medal:  75 Years of Distinguished Illustration, a special exhibition in the Reading Library, is being organized by former Book Links editor Barbara Elleman. The display of reproductions, on view from January 8, 2013 through the end of June, will give viewers a wide spectrum of the various illustrators, their techniques and mediums, and the stylistic changes that have occurred over the 75 years of the Medal’s existence. The exhibition, divided into five groupings, will:
  • Provide the history of the Medal, highlighting the first 1938 winner, and introducing the 2013 Medalist, which will be announced in January;
  • Showcase the variety of styles and media of five Medal winners who chose the theme of Snow;
  • Highlight husband and wife teams who worked side by side to produce award-winning words and texts;
  • Honor common folk tales transformed into “distinguished pieces of picture book art”;
  • Feature a group of “long-loved” Caldecott books from the past 75 years

The exhibition will also invite visitors to cast a vote for their favorite Caldecott winner.

The Caldecott Bookcase
A generous 2012 gift by Edgar and Rosalind Schilder, given in memory of their daughter Lori Schilder, enabled the Museum to create a Caldecott bookcase in The Museum’s Reading Library completing the Museum’s book collection to include a copy of each Caldecott Award-winning book. The new bookcase will hold the Caldecott medalists from 1938 on and invite visitors to read them, much in the same way Rosalind shared these beloved books at home with her daughter. 

Workshops and Classes
  • A 2-session workshop, “So You Want to Choose the 2013 Caldecott?” which began on October 21st and continues on December 9th will review criteria for the award, discuss possible winners, and ultimately cast a vote for the 2013 Caldecott winner.  The sessions’ and on-line work are being facilitated by Simmons College faculty members: Instructor Megan Lambert, who served on the 2011 Caldecott Committee taught the first session, and Professor Cathryn Mercier, who served on the 1994 and 2012 Caldecott Committees, will teach the second.
  • From Cover to Cover: A Critical Look at Selected Caldecott Winners and Their Cultural and Historical Influence will be offered at the Museum on November 8, 2012 and taught by Carle educator Emily Prabhaker. With a focus on the books that are often recognized as the “most distinguished” winners, participants will look closely at how these books have influenced the culture and history of children’s literature and have brought new perspectives to the field.  (Please note that both programs require registration.  Visit for more information.)
  • With the official announcement a little more than a month away, on December 15, The Carle will host The Best of the Best in 2012 with Susan Bloom. Each year since 2001 Bloom, Simmons College Professor Emeritus and reviewer for The Horn Book, has shared her favorite picture books of the year in anticipation of the Caldecott Award announcements.  With insightful and often funny explanations about what makes these books stand out from the rest, she has never failed to include the actual winner among her choices.  This event is free with Museum Admission.

The mission for The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. The only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.
Eric and Barbara Carle founded the Museum in November 2002. Eric Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 40,000-foot facility has served more than half a million visitors, including 30,000 schoolchildren. Its extensive resources include a collection of more than 10,000 picture book illustrations, three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call 413-658-1100 or visit the Museum’s website at