Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Massachusetts in July

It was a busy and exciting time in western Massachusetts where we spent the past 10 days visiting with friends and making my annual appearance at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for a book signing. More than 400 people came from all over the U.S. and the world including visitors from Kenya, Japan, Costa Rica, Kansas, Florida, France and Korea. It was a great day saying hello and signing books.

Bobbie and I were also delighted to be at the Museum the night before the signing event, to remember Leo Lionni and to celebrate the unveiling of his beautiful sculpture which is now on view in the Museum's great hall. You must come and see it!

Photo credit: Kristin Angel

Friday, July 8, 2011


Do You Want to Be My Friend? which was published forty years ago in 1971 is my favorite book. It has only eight words. But it's not a simple book. It's a guessing game: what animal is attached to each tail? And a mystery: why is there a green border on the bottom of every page? And it is a story about friendship. Friendship is very important to children, adults sometimes forget that.

When I was six years old my parents and I moved from Syracuse NY, where I was born, to Germany. Almost daily, I would ask them "When are we going home?"

Soon after our move to Germany, I received a letter from my friend Carlton Mayer in Syracuse. "Dear Eric," he wrote. "I would licke to see you so bad wen are you koming back again?" Twenty years later, I arrived at his doorstep and he recognized me. "You're Eric!" he said. I still have his precious letter and in my heart Do You Want to Be My Friend? is for Carlton.