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Very Eric Carle

A Very Hungry, Quiet, Lonely, Clumsy, Busy Exhibit

Very Eric Carle: A Very Hungry, Quiet, Lonely, Clumsy, Busy Exhibit


Now Opening May 27  –September 5, 2022 at Port Discovery Children's Museum

Dive into the pages of some of your favorite childhood books in the Very Eric Carle exhibit, which immerses visitors in activities inspired by five of Eric Carle’s classic books: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Quiet Cricket, The Very Lonely Firefly, The Very Clumsy Click Beetle and The Very Busy Spider. While exploring hands-on activities and interactive displays, visitors discover the books' themes of hope, hard work, persistence and friendship.

Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll see, do and learn in this colorful exhibit:

Very Hungry

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar is about hope.  You, like the little caterpillar, will grow up, unfold your wings, and fly off into the future.” ~ Eric Carle


Very Hungry Caterpillar Journey

Be the caterpillar as you follow his path, eating foods on your journey toward becoming a butterfly. When you have reached the end, you are now ready to spread your wings and experience the beauty of the world around you.

Very Hungry Caterpillar Butterfly Shadow Theater

Create your very own beautiful butterfly using light and color through shadow play. Manipulate pieces of translucent materials to transform the butterfly wings with beautiful colors and shapes.

Very Busy

Girls playing in the Very Eric Carle Exhibit

“The Very Busy Spider is about work. We need to work and finish our tasks despite our many distractions.” ~ Eric Carle

Very Busy Spider Weaving Wall

Spin your own web on a large weaving wall. Make your web as big or as small as you would like, experimenting with a variety of stringy materials. Don’t let anything distract you as you work to finish your web masterpiece—maybe you’ll even catch a fly.

Very Clumsy

Kids walking through fake grass

“The Very Clumsy Click Beetle is about persistence. Each of us faces some obstacles in life, but we need to try and try again until we overcome the challenges.”   ~ Eric Carle

Very Clumsy Click Beetle Playscape

Test your balance as you rummage across a pile of pebbles, crawl through tall blades of grass, step from stepping stone to stepping stone and walk across the stem of a poppy flower in this unique and playful landscape. You can challenge yourself to master new skills, and persevere like The Very Clumsy Click Beetle

Very Clumsy Click Beetle Piano

Practice makes perfect when you try to make the click beetle flip on the wooden keys and land right side up. Listen for the clicking sound as you watch the hand-made beetle flip and fly across the undulating instrument.

Very Lonely

Kid looking at an interactive video in the Very Eric Carle exhibit

“The Very Lonely Firefly is about belonging.  We all want to belong to a group, a family,  our  own fellow creatures.” ~ Eric Carle

Very Lonely Firefly Find Your Light Interactive Video

Everyone wants to find a friend, just like The Very Lonely Firefly. Move your hands and body to lure a firefly toward your light. Work with others to attract multiple fireflies and try to form a group  of the beautiful lit insects.

Very Quiet

Girl touches fake cricket in the Very Eric Carle exhibit

“The Very Quiet Cricket is about love. Crickets and people alike go in search of a suitable mate.” ~ Eric Carle

Very Quiet Cricket Night Symphony

Touch The Very Quiet Cricket and his friends in this interactive relief mural to trigger a sound and create a one of a kind musical composition. The various insect sounds harmonize together to make a unique symphony comprised of rhythms and sounds found in nature.

Other Fun Activities

3D Character Puzzle

Bring the characters off the page and build them in three dimensions. Assemble the parts of each of the five title characters to create large scale versions of the insects or create a new, mixed-up insect from your imagination.

The Studio

The Studio is a flexible work space that provides room for collaborative art projects, as well as individual collage making. Be inspired by Eric Carle and his imaginative vision of the natural world. Through hands-on exploration of materials and techniques, the Studio connects visitors to the artist and his playful approach of creating illustrated book art. A display of his original hand-painted papers gives visitors an up close view of his process.

Video and Reading Zones

Explore visual literacy and reading through words, pictures and video. Listen to Eric Carle read his stories and talk about his process, or read your own favorite Eric Carle story  to a friend.


The Gallery consists of 24 giclees that depict images from The Very Series, and the artistic evolution of those characters.

Photo Op

Capture your very own Very Eric Carle memory at the Very You photo op wall. Choose a card printed with a ‘Very’ character or put on a pair of butterfly wings to strike a pose for the camera. With Eric Carle’s beautiful blue paper as a backdrop, use your own camera or phones, or plan a formal program around this interactive experience.


Port Discovery is proud to celebrate the work of Eric Carle and welcome children and families to explore the limited time Very Eric Carle Exhibit.

Very Eric Carle: A Very Hungry, Quiet, Lonely, Busy Exhibit was co-organized by Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. TM & © 2022 Penguin Random House LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Locally sponsored by: M&T Bank. Media Sponsor: Maryland Public Television.

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