Although early birds are famously successful in their targeting of worms, crafty bookworms spend their mornings safely tucked inside libraries analyzing the imagery and metaphor of Ulysses. Protect your child from hungry nest-dwellers with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of children's books at the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature bookstore on Cedar Street. The NCCIL celebrates the art of children's literature with unique exhibits and a permanent collection of more than 25 works. The organization’s bookstore allows pint-sized perusers to conquer their paper-cut phobias by browsing hundreds of youth-oriented books, from Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ($15.99) to the Caldecott Medal–winning Arrow to the Sun ($16.99). Admission to the NCCIL museum is always free.
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National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature
The National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature showcases the images that fuel children's imaginations. Touring exhibitions focus on individual artists such as Guardians of Childhood creator William Joyce, or on more general themes such as the graphic novel. Each exhibition kicks off with artist talks and book signings, so families can meet with the illustrators behind their favorite books. The NCCIL's permanent collection includes 25 original illustrations hung throughout the museum space, which complement the hundreds of children's books—including many Caldecott Award–winners—available for sale in the onsite bookstore. The space also hosts hands-on events, including a family art activity every Saturday and summer art camps that encourage children to draw, design, and paint.