The publishing world’s most impactful individuals and organizations gathered to honor four leaders for their roles in children’s literature on September 27, 2018 at an annual gala and art auction hosted by The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Under the soaring granite arches and Catalan vaulted tile ceilings of New York City’s, Guastavino’s, talent was revered with the 13th annual Carle Honors, and 10th annual Carle Honors Art Auction. Spirits high, champagne flowed as the industry paid homage to a time-honored art and literary form.
Eric Carle, the prolific author, illustrator and co-founder of the non-profit organization based in Amherst, MA, kicked off the presentation. The 89 year-old Mr. Carle also celebrated the 50thanniversary printing of his all-time classic picture book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The iconic book, handed down from generation to generation, has been reprinted in 62 languages and sells somewhere in the world every 30 seconds. Sharing across borders and oceans, picture books reach children everywhere.
Mr. Carle, who co-founded the Museum with his late wife Barbara, showed photos of the newest addition to The Eric Carle Museum, Bobbie’s Meadow. The new multi-use space located in the Museum’s beloved apple orchard is a tribute to Barbara (“Bobbie”) Carle. Its official opening, this past June marked an exciting new era for The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.
After a live musical performance by the Funkrust Brass Band – an 18-piece brass band from Brooklyn – Andrea Davis Pinkney, the Award-winning author, publisher and editor, did a dazzling introduction in the style of a children’s book to announce the awards. And the 2018 Carle Honors went to:
- BRIDGE: Elena Pasoli represented The Bologna Children’s Book Fair, a cultural book show and international rights business forum.
- ANGEL: The Sendak Fellowship & Workshop, fostering young writers and illustrators through artist residencies, was represented by Lynn Caponera and Dona Ann McAdams.
- MENTOR: Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, influential children’s literary scholar and author, champions diversity in children’s books.
- ARTIST: Paul O. Zelinsky, the Caldecott medalist and critically acclaimed artist whose works include Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin received this coveted award.
“Reading is a pre-requisite for a better life,” said Mr. Zelinsky whose acceptance speech included a slide show of the history of his art work, beginning when he was a mere toddler. “Picture books, as an art form, are a symbol of a better future that all children deserve.”
The adoring audience cheered the winners as the Funkrust Brass Band returned to play. Then, like very hungry caterpillars, everyone went downstairs to the banquet hall for a sumptuous feast. The merriment continued as the auction winners were announced. The most successful fundraiser to date, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art garnered the much-needed support to ensure the continuation of the Museum’s mission – to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books.
The Museum gave its guests wings at the ultimate picture book house party. In turn, the books, like butterflies, will give each and every child an opportunity to fly.
To learn more about The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, please call (413) 559-6300 or visit https://www.carlemuseum.org.