From the squiggly, pink handrails outside the entrance to the front hall decorated with scenes from "And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street"—a real street just blocks away—the new Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum says, "You're off to great places!" Walking into the museum that opened to the public Saturday in the author and illustrator's hometown of Springfield, Mass., is like walking into one of his beloved children's books. The museum dedicated to Theodor Geisel—who under the pen name Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated dozens of rhyming children's books, including "The Cat in the Hat" and "Green Eggs and Ham"—features interactive exhibits and never-before-displayed artwork, as well as explains how his childhood experiences in Springfield shaped his work, the AP reports.
Kids are definitely the focus of the first floor of the museum, with games and climbable statues, while the museum's second floor has a more intimate feeling, with the actual furnishings and assorted knickknacks from Geisel's studio in the La Jolla, Calif., home where he lived until his death in 1991 at age 87. Even his collection of 117 bowties is on display. Some are wondering why Geisel's early advertising and WWII-era work, which often stereotyped the Japanese, isn't on display. "They don't acknowledge the full picture of him," says Katie Ishizuka, director of the Conscious Kid Library. But Kay Simpson, president of the Springfield Museums complex, says those works aren't promoted because the museum is aimed primarily at kids. The museum is expected to draw about 100,000 visitors annually. "He would absolutely be at ease here," says one of Geisel's stepdaughters.