A few weeks ago, during my New England vacation, Jeff and I took a detour to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, where Eric Carle was doing a book signing. Thank goodness I have a husband that "gets" what this experience means to me and actually insisted we go. When it comes to children's book heroes, Eric Carle is "it" for me. And he was exactly what I expected in person—kind, humble, and so willing to share. And what a warm smile! I feel so lucky I had the chance to meet him and to visit his museum (which was wonderful, by the way).
Standing in line at the museum, waiting for my turn, made me realize how many lives all over the world have been touched and made better by Eric Carle's books. All those people that day were there for some reason—to shake his hand, to celebrate his books, to say thank you. His books are woven with universal messages of belonging and perseverance and hope, but I think the story of his own life is perhaps the best example of what each of us are capable of. We are all very hungry little caterpillars, awkwardly waiting to become, aren't we? Thanks to all those moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, teachers, kids, friends and mentors that encourage our hungry appetites for learning, recognize our talents, and inspire us to grow into something beautiful. And thanks Mr. Carle!