Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear

Our recent trip to see John, Melissa, and Anna provided the perfect opportunity for us to visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. As fans of children's and young adult books as well as their illustrations, we have wanted for several years to visit this homage to Carle's work and that of other illustrators. Now that Duncan is a fan, it seemed the right moment. I loved EVERYTHING about the museum, which is the most kid-friendly site I have visited since...well, since I've had a kid. Although Duncan was less interested in the art, it was all hung low on the wall where little people could view it easily. I loved seeing the Pat the Bunny exhibit, an original Pooh drawing, some illustrations from Peter Pan, and some VERY art deco fairies. The reading library featured an impressive collection of children's books that would make Michelle drool. We tried to take a break there and read Duncan a few stories, but he quickly discovered some fantastic toys, like a Maurice Sendak Wild Thing puppet. For Duncan the highlight of our visit was our time in the studio, where a museum volunteer presents a project that focuses on one aspect of art and provides the materials for kids to go wild. It was one time we could let Duncan experiment with an art project with no thought of planning, avoiding messes, or cleaning them up afterward. We each made a "touch collage," and Duncan chose to give his to Anna. As a Mom, I was particularly pleased with the cafe, which sold kid favorites, such as cheese sticks, yogurt, bagels, egg salad, and fruit salad. Each chocolate chip cookie had a noticeable hole, where the very hungry caterpillar had eaten through on his way to becoming a beautiful butterfly. Polar Bear, Polar Bear what do you hear? I hear children...that's what I hear.
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