|The Very Hungry Caterpillar|
|Violet coloring a caterpillar in the library.|
|Penelope coloring a horse in the library.|
|Violet and Daddy reading in the library.|
|Pen doing a very enthusiastic reading.|
|In the library.|
|Story time in the Eric Carle library.|
|Mama and Violet reading together.|
|Violet in the big caterpillar again.|
|Pen and Steve in the oh, so wonderful studio.|
|Making a three dimensional sculpture from found objects.|
|Violet at the toddler coloring table.|
|Violet in the toddler play corner of the studio.|
|Pen and Vi in the auditorium watching a movie of one of Jules Feiffer's books.|
|Back in the toddler corner.|
|Finishing her sculpture.|
|Mama and Pen deciding what to order in Chinatown.|
|Penelope trying a dumpling.|
|Violet trying a dumpling.|
|Violet using a chopstick.|
|Pen using chopsticks.|
|Happy girl! Any day that ends with a huge piece of vegan chocolate cake is a good day, indeed.|
Yesterday, after much anticipation, we made our big trip to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. We have been so excited to do this. All month we have been reading Eric Carle books, painting and creating pictures the way that he does, and researching and learning about Eric Carle. Penelope and I spent an afternoon at the computer watching videos of him working, and one of him reading the very hungry caterpillar. We listened to and read several interviews with him too. Penelope likes that he says there is no wrong color and that you don't have to stay in the lines. She loves his newest book, where none of the animals are the "right" colors. She adores his blue horse. And we also happily learned a bit about expressionist artists, mainly Franz Marc, whose blue horse painting inspired Eric Carle at a young age.
So, after all the fun of learning and doing all things Eric Carle we finally packed up the car for the couple hour drive to the museum. The drive out there is so beautiful, filled with rolling farmland, big old red barns, and lovely old farm houses. And there, in the middle of all the beautiful countryside we found the museum.
We loved the library, filled with wonderful books by many authors and artists, pictures to color, games, puzzles, and toys. The girls stayed for story time, and then we headed into the exhibits. It was amazing to see the original pieces Eric Carle made for his books. You can see each piece of painted paper that has been carefully cut out and glued to form his amazing illustrations. I could have spend a lot longer looking at them myself, but my little people were anxious to keep moving. We were happy to see that there was also a Jules Feiffer exhibit. I loved his fabulous line drawings. Penelope and I had learned, when we did our computer research, that Eric Carle's dog was named after the dog in the Phantom Tollbooth, illustrated by Jules Feiffer. It was very cool to see those illustrations, especially for me because I vividly remember studying them when I read the book when I was seven. They fascinated me.
After eating the lunch we brought in the cafe we went into the auditorium for a Jules Feiffer movie. It was the very funny "Bark George". Only about 6 minutes long, so Violet was able to sit for it. And then we headed to the wonderful, sunny studio. There were tons of tables set up with found objects, glue, and scissors. Pen and Steve worked side by side on their own sculptures while I sat in the toddler corner with Violet, playing quietly and happily. We saw one more short Jules Feiffer movie, this time it was "I Lost My Bear". Before we left we hit the gift shop. It was the best museum gift shop EVER! There were several Children's books I have been searching for since Pen was smaller than Vi. Steve bought them for me and he bought Penelope a little stuffed Opal, from the Toot and Puddle books by Holly Hobby. She was so happy! When Steve and Pen got back from story time this morning she had a pile of books by both Holly Hobby and Jules Feiffer, so maybe she has chosen some new author/illustrators for us to learn about.
We stayed until the museum was closing, and then we headed to Chinatown in Boston on the way home. We went to our favorite all vegan Thai place. The girls tried dumplings and wonton soup and bubble tea. It was a great way to end a wonderful day. And a nice way to end vacation time too, I guess. This afternoon Steve is off to get his books for the next semester of school, and will begin classes on Monday. I'm feeling a little sad to have him be gone so much again, but I'm also excited to pick up where we left off with our homeschooling. We took a break from our letter of the week theme at the beginning of December so we could focus on elving, decorating, baking, celebrating, etc. I had thought we'd start right back up at the new year, but with Steve here it didn't seem to be the right thing to do. We were doing so many other things. I don't feel that she hasn't been learning all this time, however. I think she has been doing tons of learning, creating, and growing. Just with a different theme.