Chances are either you, your children, or both grew up reading Dr. Seuss. Green Eggs and Ham taught you not to be afraid of new things. You and the holiday-hating Grinch both learned that Christmas is about more than the presents. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! helped you embrace a new chapter of your life.
Now, the world’s first museum dedicated to the iconic children’s book author is introducing a new generation to the wonders of Dr. Seuss.
The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss is located in the author’s hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts. Though located in a stately municipal building, the museum immediately gives off a Seuss-like vibe with the massive blue-and-red archway in front of the entrance.
The archway has the name of the museum written on it in the iconic Seuss font, and two whimsical black, white, and pink flowers poke out of the top. Walking through it, you immediately know you’ve entered Seussland. The first floor brings famous scenes from Seuss’s books to life in a whole new, interactive way. Children are first greeted by a large, posable statue of the Cat in the Hat.
In a tunnel modelled after the train scene in Green Eggs and Ham, young readers can play interactive word-games. Visitors can even put together stories of their own with rhyming “story blocks.” The “Young Ted in Springfield” exhibit dives into the life of young Seuss (whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel).
It shows how his upbringing and surroundings helped him become one of the world’s bestselling authors. For example, in a replica of Geisel’s childhood bedroom, where he used to doodle on the walls, visitors can decorate a touchscreen “wall.”
The second floor focuses more on the man himself, displaying real-life artifacts and works. The collection, much of which was donated by Geisel’s stepdaughter Leagrey Diamond, includes never-before-displayed art and notes by Geisel. A highlight is his collection of 117 whimsical bowties. Diamond is certain that her stepfather, who passed away in 1991, would love the museum.
“To know that he’s going to be here permanently…[and] that people who want to know more are going to make this trip here to see him, it’s perfect,” she said.
Kay Simpson, the Springfield Museums president, says, “This museum is about visitors encountering the creatures that sprang out from Ted Geisel’s imagination…that got kids excited about reading.”
It looks like, with the help of this new museum, Dr. Seuss will continue to make reading fun for children for years to come.