A new museum dedicated to beloved children's author Dr. Seuss opened in his hometown of Springfield, Mass. (Steven Senne/AP) Leagrey Dimond, stepdaughter of Theodor Seuss Geisel, stands among objects and memorabilia at The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. Among the statues that visitors will get to interact with and climb are Sam I Am, the Lorax, Horton of Horton Hears a Who and of course, the Cat in the Hat.
With features like Lego tables, electronic doodle boards, letter-tracing tables, and books for reading aloud, the museum takes seriously the task of encouraging kids to follow in Geisel's footsteps in addition to admiring his works. "And to know that he's going to be here permanently, safe, protected, that people who want to know more are going to make this trip here to see him, it's flawless".
The grand opening thoroughly impressed the residents of Springfield, fans of Dr. Seuss and his family. The museum has said that they will not be exhibiting the author's political illustrations and propaganda from World War II, much of which was considered to feature racist elements and stereotyped the Japanese. In 2002, the city celebrated the opening of the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, which features five bronze sculptures of some of the author's most famous characters, including Horton, Yertle and the Cat in the Hat. Up on the second floor, visitors can see artifacts from Geisel's home and studio in La Jolla, California, including his extensive collection of bow ties.
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"If there is criticism of Ted, it has its place", she said.
The museum is expected to draw about 100,000 visitors annually and along with a $1 billion casino scheduled to open in 2018, is part of the Springfield's economic renaissance, Mayor Domenic Sarno said.
"When each person came they'd say, 'Where's the Dr. Seuss Museum?' and we weren't able to say there was a Dr. Seuss Museum".