Growing up, I didn’t own a lot of books. My parents heavily relied on the local public library for reading, and then, I didn’t know the difference between owning or borrowing a book. All I knew was that I loved reading, loved books in all forms, and loved stories. Given that I didn’t own many children’s books, I never had a deep attachment to any one book or story. When I hear about people in my age range still having fond memories of reading Goodnight, Moon, Dr. Seuss books, or The Very Hungry Caterpillar over and over, I can’t really relate to it.
There are some children’s books, though, that have been around for what feels like forever that people as adults are still attached to and obsessed with. Dr. Seuss’s books are some of them. Dr. Seuss’s real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, and he was responsible for writing and illustrating endless children’s books, including the classic The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Green Eggs and Ham. During World War II, Dr. Seuss also took a break from children’s books to focus on political cartoons for a number of publications. Since Theodor Seuss Geisel was born and raised in Springfield, this is also where the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss the museum is, so we thought it would be fun to take Kaia here. The ironic part about taking her to the Dr. Seuss museum is that to my knowledge, she has never read any Dr. Seuss book (unless the ex-nanny read one to her at the library and didn’t tell me).
When at museums like this one or the Charles Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California, the parts of the exhibits that I find the most interesting are the ones that talk about the personal lives of the artist. I loved the part of the exhibit where Geisel’s nephew (also named Theodor without an “e” at the end”) donated to the museum the endless cards and letters that Geisel had sent him over the years, each with a cute little message, (it’s hinted there was also cash/check included in many as a gift), and a fun illustration in the same style as his famous children’s books. What a treat it would be to receive something handmade and illustrated like that for every birthday or Christmas!
The Dr. Seuss museum isn’t a traditional “exhibits” type museum, though, as it was made and designed for kids to interact. Kaia especially loved the turtle shell area and (predictably) the bakery where she could “cook.” I was really impressed with how colorful and elaborate the entire place was. If Kaia were just a little older, she could have enjoyed more of it, as there were some interactive parts that had arts and crafts and other fun activities.
It was a fun visit both indoors with the museum and outdoors with the Dr. Seuss sculpture garden. Though it definitely came at a steep price: $25 per adult! At least Kaia was free!