The National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature displays original art created for children's books -- but also includes an excellent children's bookshop featuring many of the noted authors and illustrators (Anita Lobel, Frank Marcellino, Ed Young) and even paper artists. I'd never seen such an extensive collection of "pop-up" books, nor such elaborate ones!
I thoroughly enjoyed the traveling exhibit, and did more Christmas shopping than was probably good for me since I'd ultimately need to schlep all my purchases back on a plane. But since I had not encountered many of the illustrators elsewhere, and particularly since signed copies of the books were available, I felt exceptionally fortunate to have stumbled onto this find in the middle of Texas.
Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Free admission.
I LOVE children's book so I was so excited to come here on my last trip to visit my family. We took a day off to go to Downtown and the family went shopping while I toured the museums.
I want to be clear that this is not a bad review, I was just a bit mislead....
The actual museum is very lovely. It's spacious, bright, quiet, and well taken care of. The building is beautiful and the welcome is impressive. As you enter the glass doors you see pictures of very esteemed children's illustrators. When I saw pictures of Kevin Henkes and David Shannon I started to get VERY excited!
Then...I found out how this place realllly works. They have exhibits for a few months at a time. During those exhibits they showcase the illustrators works. And, the only works available to see are...that illustrator. It's not like a regular museum that has permanent work. I was a bit disappointed I'm not going to lie. However, that was just my assumption and you know how that goes... :x
However, I must say the staff were very friendly. There were some kids doing art projects in a side room but everything was still pretty quiet. All the illustrations that were on display had a stand with the book that it was found in available to read and look at. Some of them were regular copies and some were actually from the public library that they rented. (How cool is that?)
When I finished looking at the illustrations I headed to the gift shop where I found books on sale from past exhibits. They had a great selection, although most were hardback, and therefore more expensive.
Overall, I think it is a great presentation. Any illustrator should be so blessed to be on exhibition here.
Helpful Information from their Website:
To the local community, the NCCIL offers:
opportunities to meet visiting artists during exhibition opening events
FREE family art activities every Saturday from 1-4PM
docent-led school tours to elementary classrooms
annual summer art camps for ages 5-11
books signed by exhibiting artists
Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Please check our exhibition schedule before planning your trip.
Admission is FREE, including ArtWalk and Saturday Family Art Activities!
The is a museum hosting alternating displays of the finest illustrations from children's books (like my personal favorite Dr. Seuss). They send exhibits around the country and the museum sponsors a number of family activities and free art activities for the children. Hours are 10 AM to 4 PM Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is Free.