Thursday, April 24, 2014

On the left is a snapshot from 1933, showing a boy and girl hugging on a sunny day in Syracuse; on the right, a tissue paper collage based on that photo. The collage was done by the children's book author Eric Carle, who also happens to have been the boy in the original photo.

Carle, who's now in his 80s, was three years old when the photo was taken. Last November he told USA Today that he couldn't recall her name — only that she had been his friend and was the daughter of Italian immigrants. He said he had frequently looked at the photo over the years and wondered what had happened to her, so he created the collage based on the photo and used it as the cover illustration for his latest children's book, Friends.

That USA Today article from last November caught the attention of Syracuse Post-Standard writer Sean Kirst, who decided to see if he could track down the little girl in the photo. And now, thanks to some persistent research and a few lucky breaks, he's succeeded. (You can get more info on how he connected the dots here.) Not only has the little girl been identified, but she's still alive. She and Carle spoke on the phone last Sunday, and there's talk of a face-to-face meeting. Great stuff.

(My thanks to reader Anne McNelis for letting me know about this one.)

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