With great anticipation, guests at the Western Pocono Community Library, waited for the unveiling of an original artwork. You could say they were "hungry" for a look. So was the curious stuffed green caterpillar on top of the covered piece.

With the help of her daughter, Karen Pinter and granddaughter, Julia Pinter, 4, Carol Kern, WPCL library director, proudly unveiled a beautiful and colorful collage of the library's initials-WPCL, created by Eric Carle, famed children's author and illustrator of 70 story books with millions of copies sold throughout the world. Included in the artwork is his most beloved creature, from his book "The Hungry Caterpillar."

Visitors to the library won't be able to miss it. It is placed prominently on the wall behind the check-out counter.

Kern and her husband, Peter, attended the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art benefit dinner to honor Carle and celebrate his 80th birthday, in New York City last September. All proceeds from the benefit go to the museum located in Amherst, Massachusetts, which Carle and his friends created in 2002 to inspire in children and their families an appreciation and understanding of the art of the picture book. Thousands of families regularly visit "The Carle" while traveling through New England that include original works by Chris Van Allsburg ("The Polar Express"), Maurice Sendak ("Where the Wild Things Are"), and many others.

The Kerns purchased a raffle ticket at the dinner and won first prize, which was an original work of art by Eric Carle to be created especially for the winner.

"It was an exciting moment and a great evening. We met and talked with Mr. Carle and Chris Van Allsburg," said Kern.

Kern thought it would be wonderful to have him create something for the library.

"We emailed each other back and forth several times to communicate with each other on its design. He came up with this colorful creative artwork of our initials, made with tissue paper," said Kern.

The museum framed the 15" by 28" artwork for the library.

Kern received it around New Year's but it was decided to unveil it at a dedication ceremony on Eric Carle's 81st birthday, June 25. After the unveiling, guests at the library were treated to refreshments and a birthday cake, decorated with a Hungry Caterpillar.

Jacqueline Mock of Kunkletown admired the original piece of art.

"It's cheerful and colorful. I haven't read 'The Hungry Caterpillar' yet, but I will now," she said.

Kern and her husband have been attending the Carle Museum benefit for the last few years and are looking forward to attending this year's event in September where the artist to be honored will be David Macaulay, author and illustrator of award winning books such as "Cathedral," "Black and White" and "The Way Things Work." His books tell the how and why of things in an accessible and entertaining way. His humor and uncanny ability to explain complicated systems and machines has earned him fans of all ages. Including the Kerns.

Drop in to see the Carle artwork or to pick out books for some summer reading. The library's hours are: Monday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sunday.

Closed Major Holidays

You're also invited to join the library's summer reading program, open to all age groups, which is currently running and will continue through Aug. 20. The summer reading program, "Make a Splash" will be held for infants through second grade, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Wednesdays, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Thursdays, 1 p.m. and 6: 30 p.m.

Third to sixth grade students will meet Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m., Wednesdays 1 p.m. and Thursdays, 6:30 p.m. There is an adult program, time to be announced.

Every time a book is read, sign your name on a slip of paper to be added to a paper chain. When the chain reaches the 5,000 book mark, the library will adopt a sea lion in that child's name.

The project is an incentive for children to read.

You can contact the library at 570-992-7934, which is located on Pilgrim's Way off Rt. 115 in Brodheadsville.