A $7 million museum dedicated to celebrated children’s author Ted Geisel – better known as Dr Seuss – is to open on June 3.
The permanent, bilingual exhibition is located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the American city in which Geisel grew up. As they enjoy popular Seuss stories, children and their families will be encouraged to discover the joy in reading and nurture their literacy skills. Over 3,200-square-feet, visitors will be able to explore new sounds and vocabulary, play rhyming games and invent stories.
By stepping through the front door of exhibition at Springfield Museums, visitors enter Young Ted in Springfield. The space is comprised of five large interactive areas:
• A replica of Ted’s childhood home, 74 Fairfield Street. Including a touchscreen where guests can “draw” on the bedroom walls as Ted famously did as a child.
• The Seuss Bakery. Children can role-play in a bakery similar to the one that Ted’s grandparents ran on Howard Street.
• McElligot’s Pool. Here children can play a digital fishing game surrounded by the multi-colored fish from Ted’s famous book.
• The Moose Juice and Goose Juice Brewery (coming soon). Ted’s family co-owned a brewery called Kalmbach and Geisel until prohibition. In this area, children have an opportunity to play with light, sound, gears and gadgets as they explore a whimsical factory-like setting as the Moose Juice and Goose Juice from Dr Seuss’s Sleep Book is bottled before their eyes.
• Forest Park Zoo, If I Ran the Zoo. Fantastical characters from the factious McGrew Zoo will peek out the windows and inhabit this play area.
In addition, the first floor will also host a gallery called Readingville. Here the focus shifts to a celebration of Dr. Seuss’s best-loved stories, together with rhyming, alphabet, and story games. Here’s what to expect:
• The ABC Wall is an interactive larger-than-life version of Seuss’s ABC . As children touch the letters, they hear its phonetic sound and the artwork from the book appears on the wall.
• Green Eggs and Ham WordPlay. Game stations based on rhyming vocabulary. The youngest visitors rhyme pictures of objects, while older children rhyme written words. More advanced readers can play a rhyme racing game.
• Wump of Gump. In front of a One fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish mural sits a seven-humped creature belonging to Mr. Gump.
• The Lorax. Behind tall Truffula Trees, visitors enter the Island of Sala-ma-Sond and find a tall, sculpted stack of turtles.
• Horton’s Whoville Band. Next to Horton and his friends the Wickersham Brothers, Vlad Vlad-i-koff and the kangaroos, fanciful instruments line the wall for children to play.
• Cat in the Hat. The arms, legs and tail of Seuss’ famous cat character can be arranged in different poses. Children will also be challenged to see how high they can stack up soft sculptural books, plates and cakes.
• Story Block Station Visitors can use this set of loose story blocks to assemble a simple Seuss-like narrative.
The second floor of the museum is filled with personal memorabilia belonging to Theodor Seuss (‘Ted’) Geisel, including original oil paintings, zany hats and bow-ties, and furniture from his sitting room.
Admission to The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss at Springfield Museums is priced $13 for children aged 3 and over. Adults under 60 are $25.
Images courtesy Springfield Museums