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Simmons College and The Carle Announce January Graduate Courses

Writing for Children I, taught by Peter Francois Littell, investigates the process of writing fiction for children through written assignments and class discussion. The class also examines different narrative forms and techniques and the elements and development of a story.

Criticism of Children’s Literature, taught by Megan Lambert, develops the individual critical voices of students and acquaints them with the literary canon and a variety of literacy perspectives through exposure to many influential schools of literacy criticism. 

The Whole Book Approach to Picture Book Art and Design, taught by Megan Lambert, explores a storytime model developed by Lambert in association with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The technique is grounded in critical engagement with the picture book as a visual art form. Students will engage with the design and production elements of a broad range of contemporary picture books, employing Structuralist, Reader Response, and other approaches to examining how words, pictures and design impact readers’ engagement with primary texts.

Children’s Book Publishing, taught by Victoria J. Smith, surveys the history of children’s book publishing in the United States and then focuses on the stages of the contemporary children’s book publishing process—editing, art direction and design, and marketing.

Those interested in the program are encouraged to attend an information session on December 8th at 12:30 pm at The Carle. Visit www.simmons.edu/gradstudies/visit/events/ to register. A full description of each course is available online in the Simmons Graduate Course Catalog at www.simmons.edu. Classes may be subject to cancellation depending on enrollment.

“Part of what makes this so special is that both The Carle and Simmons understand the importance of children’s books,” says Cathryn Mercier, Director of the CSCL. “Those enrolled in the program include students with a wide range of life experiences—teachers, librarians, and writers, along with those who have no professional experience in the field but a great passion for the topic.”

The satellite program, begun in the fall of 2008, expanded in the last year to include four different tracks for students: an M.F.A. in Children’s Writing, an M.A. in Children’s Literature, a dual M.F.A. in Writing for Children/M.A. in Children’s Literature degree, and a dual M.A in Children’s Literature/M.S. in Library Science in collaboration with the Library Science program at Mount Holyoke in South Hadley. This partnership builds upon The Center for the Study of Children’s Literature (CSCL) at Simmons College, which opened in 1977 with funding from The National Endowment for the Humanities.

About The Center for the Study of Children’s Literature (CSCL)

The Center for the Study of Children’s Literature (CSCL) at Simmons College administers the nation’s first Master of Arts in Children’s Literature as well as a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Writing for Children. The CSCL provides a rigorous, disciplined study of children’s books for those who are — or who intend to be — involved in teaching, library services, publishing, writing, or related fields. To develop a critical vocabulary essential for appraising text and illustration, students apply a high level of scholarly analysis to children’s literature ranging from folklore and mythology to contemporary realistic fiction and nonfiction. With an emphasis on historical and critical analysis – including feminist, ideological, and multicultural perspectives – our interdisciplinary curriculum draws upon art, history, education, sociology, psychology and media studies. 

About The Museum 

The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. The only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.

Eric and Barbara Carle founded the Museum in November 2002. Eric Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 40,000-square foot facility has served more than half a million visitors, including 30,000 schoolchildren. Its extensive resources include a collection of more than 10,000 picture book illustrations, three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call 413-658-1100 or visit the Museum’s website at www.carlemuseum.org.

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