The Very Hungry Caterpillar story is about hope. You, like the little caterpillar, will grow up, unfold your wings and fly off into the future.”
Colorful adventures in literacy and STEAM learning await in the special exhibition, “Very Eric Carle: A Very Hungry, Quiet, Lonely, Clumsy, Busy Exhibit,” making its Southeastern United States debut at the Upcountry History Museum, Greenville, SC.
At this play-and-learn exhibit, co-organized by The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, Massachusetts, and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, visitors step into the pages of author and illustrator Eric Carle’s colorful picture books and experience them as artist and reader, while discovering and playing with five special insects from his well-known children’s books.
Carle’s classic “Very” book series, is reimagined in the 2,500 square foot exhibition. Utilizing Carle’s hand-painted tissue paper collage technique, the exhibit presents the five “Very” special insects who invite visitors to join them on their journeys of discovery.
Through interactive experiences, visitors become the “tiny and very hungry Caterpillar,” following along his iconic path. They also weave a web with the “Very Busy Spider;” find their light with the “Very Lonely Firefly;” make the “Very Clumsy Click Beetle” flip and jump; and compose a night symphony with the “Very Quiet Cricket.”
In “The Studio,” a flexible workspace, visitors are connected to the artist and his playful approach of creating illustrated book art through multiple hands-on activities. Children create their own collages using many of Eric Carle’s materials and techniques.
In the “Reading Zone” children and their caregivers explore visual literacy and reading through words, pictures and video. Visitors are invited to listen to Eric Carle read his stories and talk about his process or read their own favorite Eric Carle story with a friend
Each of the “Very” stories are a testament to Eric Carle’s love of nature, his respect for the emotional lives of children, and his recurring themes of friendship, creativity, and the power of imagination.
The creator of more than seventy books, Eric Carle (1929-2021) combined winsome stories and lively collages that appeal to young readers and adults alike. While Carle’s stories are charming, they’re layered with information too. As children read his books about animals, families, nature, and fables, they also learn their colors, numbers, and letters. Eric Carle focused on making learning accessible and fun – and in the process, he invited children to fall in love with books and reading.