Eric Carle, photo courtesy of Uneek Doll Designs

Eric Carle

Born in Syracuse, New York, Eric Carle (1929-2021) was one of the most popular US authors and illustrators of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He published more than 70 books in dozens of languages. According to his biography on “It is his concern for children, for their feelings and their inquisitiveness, for their creativity and their intellectual growth that, in addition to his beautiful artwork, makes the reading of his books such a stimulating and lasting experience.”

Carle retired to the Florida Keys, where many artists and writers have long made their home. For information about Florida literary landmarks, visit our Florida page here: (The Keys are part of Trail #2.)

The Museum

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art ( is a delightful stop in Amherst that will add whimsy to your day. It also has a very active Facebook page. Amherst is a mid-size town in central Massachusetts.

Classic favorites by Eric Carle include Brown Bear Brown Bear, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and The Very Quiet Cricket were just a few of our favorites. He is known for his accessible art and writing style and his ability to simplify complicated concepts so that they make perfect sense to beginning learners.

“Let’s put it this way: if you are a novelist, I think you start out with a 20 word idea, and you work at it and you wind up with a 200,000 word novel. We, picture-book people, or at least I, start out with 200,000 words and I reduce it to 20.” — Eric Carle

Books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar are excellent interactive read-alouds and gently introduce concepts like sequence (such as a caterpillar becoming a butterfly), nutrition (such as how vegetables help digestion), days of the week, and a wide range of colors.

Even if your family has no young children in tow, this non-profit museum is like a candy shop of treats for families of all ages.

This is the second stop on Massachusetts Author Adventures Trail Part 2.

Patricia Smart