The Eric Carle Museum last Thursday handed out its 2012 honors to illustrator Lane Smith, Kent Brown, co-founder of Boyds Mills Press, Frances Foster, a longtime editor with an imprint at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and Christopher Cerf, co-creator of the PBS program Between the Lions.
Now in its seventh year, the event supports the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, and celebrates individuals whose creative vision and dedication inspire those who value picture books and their role in arts education and literacy.
About 250 attendees, including the literati of children’s literature turned out for the event at New York City’s Guastavino’s restaurant, including Mo Willems, Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer, David Ezra Stein, and Paul Zelinsky. Singer Natalie Merchant and Barbara McClintock were also on hand to introduce Foster, who edited the November 2012 picture book adaptation of Merchant’s 2010 album, Leave Your Sleep.
Chrissie Devinney, an elementary school librarian at Algonkian Elementary School in Sterling, VA, was one of the six librarians and teachers selected to attend the event for free.
This year’s auction, a fundraising event for the museum, included 16 pieces of art from illustrators such as Willems, Carle, Kadir Nelson and Chris Van Allsburg and raised $40,000 Judy Freeman, a children literature consultant, won her bid for a watercolor by Peter Sis.
Check out photos of the gala by Johnny Wolf, courtesy of the Eric Carle Museum.