Innovative Museum Program Inspires Award-Winning Children’s Book

. March 11, 2014

Jackson, Wyoming – Math can be fun, and the Jackson Hole-based National Museum of Wildlife Art has the enthusiastic letters from local teachers and school kids to prove it. As part of its hands-on educational program that works extensively with local schools, the museum developed an innovative “math in art” program that helps children learn mathematical concepts through enjoying its accessible wildlife-focused art collection. Award-winning Jackson Hole author Lynn Estes Friess, a close friend of the museum, heard about the program in action and was inspired to write the most recent book in her “Carl” picture book series.

Jackson author Lynn Friess’s \"Carl Discovers Math in Art\" received Mom’s Choice Award

Jackson author Lynn Friess’s \”Carl Discovers Math in Art\” received Mom’s Choice Award

“The museum isn’t tooting its horn enough about its impressive educational outreach to the community,” says Friess, who wrote Carl Discovers Math in Art (Mariposa Ranch Press, 2013) as the fourth and final title in her series about Carl, an inquisitive chipmunk who lives at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. “I had the opportunity to read a lot of the letters the museum received from the children and teachers, and they were heartwarming about how it helped the children understand math better.”

“I love the Carl series,” says Jane Lavino, the museum’s Sugden Family Curator of Education & Exhibits. “In our program, we have young children look for repetition of shapes and patterns in the art, while older students work with proportions and ratios to draw birds and mammals. Lynn did a fabulous job of incorporating those learning concepts in a picture book that’s so much fun for kids to read.”

As did the first three books in the series, Carl Discovers Math in Art recently won Friess honors from the family-friendly Mom’s Choice Awards. Written by Friess and illustrated by noted landscape and wildlife artist John Potter, Carl Discovers Math in Art received the Silver medal in the category “Children’s Picture Books (Suitable for Ages Birth to 9).”

“It is amazing to receive four Silver medals from Mom’s Choice. They are very careful with their medals – and it is an honor to receive these awards for all of the Carl books,” says Friess, who is also a grandmother of 13. “Parents, caregivers and teachers can count on good values and behavior being taught in all of the Mom’s Choice award-winning books.” For more information on the Mom’s Choice Awards® and this year’s honorees, visit

The other three titles in Friess’s picture book series are Carl Discovers Wildlife Art, Carl and the Mysterious Nibbler and Carl and the Shadow Hill Gang, with proceeds from all of the Carl books going to help sponsor programs, exhibits and operating support for the museum.

Carl Discovers Math in Art is Friess’s fifth book for kids. She also won a Mom’s Choice Award in 2011 for her first picture book, Western Lullaby, which won a 2011 Gold Independent Publisher Book Award (“IPPY”) as well. Friess’s children’s books are available for sale through the Museum Shop at the National Museum of Wildlife Art and online via

A member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and the Museums West consortium and accredited by the American Association of Museums, the museum, officially designated the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States by an act of Congress in 2008, provides an exciting calendar of exhibitions from its permanent collection and changing exhibitions from around the globe. A complete schedule of exhibitions and events is available online at The museum is also active on Facebook and on Twitter at @WildlifeArtJH.

Category: Museum News

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