Article Type Making Art Together Making Art Together Categories At Home Art Studio Bookmaking Drawing

Fold, Write, Draw

Ryan Murray
Ryan Murray from Guest Services at The Carle has been noticing guests create in the galleries this summer and wrote a blog post to share with us. Read more to see what has been happening in the galleries!
An accordion book filled with words and hand-drawn images sits in front of prompt cards and the word "WRITE."
A book goes through many stages before it is published. As Eric Carle thinks through an idea for a book, he works on a rough draft - or “dummy book” - using sheets of paper and simple drawing tools.
A drawing by Eric Carle where a child bends down to pick a click beetle off of the ground to put in a jar.

This summer at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, guests of all ages have an opportunity to recreate a part of that process. In the exhibit Eric Carle Makes A Book, we set up a table where guests folded simple sheets of paper many different ways and used colored pencils to create their own stories, as part of an ongoing effort to make our galleries more interactive and inclusive.

Some used the mix-and-match writing prompts that were set up, while others drew from their own imagination and experiences. The result was a very diverse and colorful pile of accordion-shaped stories, proving that books can take any form or shape!

A pile of accordion books with drawings and stories written in them.
The simplicity of the project also allowed for some interesting questions: In what order should the story be read – left to right? Or up to down? If I want to tell a story in a certain number of parts, how many times should the paper be folded? 
An alternate image for Eric Carle's book "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly Said the Sloth" with a nighttime scene with bats, moths, and stars in the sky.
When Eric Carle makes his books, some of the pages on the sheet have to be upside down and backwards, but once they are folded and cut, they appear in the right order.
A drawing by Eric Carle with the moon smiling from behind cattails and a mother duck watches over its chicks and one little rubber duck.
The simplicity of the project reflects how Eric Carle’s bookmaking process begins. In the galleries you could see how his pencil drawings evolved into the tissue-paper characters we know and love.
An adult and child work together to create drawings and words inside an accordion-fold book.

All it takes is a pencil and a paper, making this an activity that can be recreated anywhere at any time!


Picture of Ryan Murray

Ryan Murray

Ryan was an Art Studio Coordinator and Guest Services staff member at The Eric Carle Museum from 2016 to 2023, and is a local artist.
Explore Further
Making Art Together
Explore accordion-fold bookmaking with children.
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Explore how the Art Studio reuses papers in collage projects.
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Explore how to make one of our most frequently used book forms.
Making Art Together
Read about the creative gallery interactives at The Carle.