Alphabet Soup: How Picture Books Are Made, From A to Z

January 13 - June 2, 2024
East Gallery
This exhibition mines The Carle’s permanent collection to uncover the processes that bring picture books to life. Each letter of the alphabet introduces a key concept in picture-book making, from the materials artists use, to changes in printing technology, and even the physical parts of books themselves! Bringing words, images, and stories together, Alphabet Soup shows that every decision matters—and every reader can find (or make!) a place for themselves between the pages of a picture book.  

What to Expect

Guests can view eighty unique pieces from the Museum’s holdings, including preliminary materials such as sketches, storyboards, and printing blocks. They can take inspiration from 100 years of illustration history, viewing original artwork dating from the Golden Age to today’s born-digital art. They are invited to make their own miniature books to contribute to the exhibition’s community zine library. 

Illustration of boy flying in blanket.
Jerry Pinkney, Illustration for Albidaro and the Mischievous Dream by Julius Lester. Gift of the artist. © 2000 Jerry Pinkney.
Illustration of sunny sky.
O is for Orientation: Ashley Bryan, Illustration for My America by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. Gift of the artist. © 2007 Ashley Bryan.