Sunday, November 13, 2005

At the Carle


I'm back from my talk at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. It was my first visit there and the place is mightily impressive--three galleries, an inviting small library, a hands-on studio filled with paper and media and ideas for pictures, and a first-rate bookstore run by Andy Laties, who used to own the fabulous Children's Bookstore in Chicago. (Incidentally, Andy has published his bookselling memoir/manifesto, Rebel Bookseller, which I'm taking with me for my trip to New York tomorrow.) You can read Lolly Robinson's account of the museum's dreams, goals and activities here.

Above's a picture of my favorite place in the museum, the entrance hall with "wallpaper" (his term) by Eric Carle. I'm with Rosemary Agoglia, the museum's Curator of Education.


I think the talk went pretty well. While I had intended to give my How Thomas Locker Sold the Soul of the Picture Book harangue, instead I talked a bit about how we review picture books at the Horn Book and a bit more about my governing faith: if we proceeded as if we realized that children read the same way grownups do, children's books and the world would both be better off.

More Tuesday--I'm off in the morning to New York for the Times reception for the Best Illustrated winners. I'll report back.

4 comments:

Sarah said...

I'm curious; how DID Thomas Locker sell the soul of the Picture Book?

Andy Laties said...

Roger,

Life at the Eric Carle Museum is a floating reunion: every week I see someone I haven't seen for X-teen (or X-ty) years. It was great touching base with you again.

Thanks for the Rebel Bookseller plug. Since you love controversial material, you may be my ideal reader. (Check the most recent entry in my blog. Rebel Bookseller is for sale at the local Barnes & Noble, despite the national decision not to stock it. The local staff decided to bring it in as some sort of protest!)

Andy Laties
www.rebelbookseller.com
andy@picturebookart.org

Roger Sutton said...

I suppose I shouldn't blame Thomas Locker, really. The problem was with the people who thought his paintings, because they resembled paintings they had seen hanging on museum walls, somehow were "fine art" in a way other illustrations were not. Locker's paintings aren't to my taste (diplomatic or what?) but the real problem is the way they changed the public's perception of what a good picture book was. "Beautiful enough to hang on a wall" is NOT the measure of a good picture book!

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