Growing up, my favorite place to visit was the village library. I remember the first library card I owned, allowing me to check out stacks of books bigger than my arms could hold. Among those, I often had one or two by Dr. Seuss, snagged from expansive shelves in the children’s room. I borrowed And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street and The Lorax so many times that entire library check out cards had my name on one side. (Yes, they used to write your name on a card before the digital age.) So, you can imagine when I learned of the Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden, I simply had to make the pilgrimage.
The garden is tucked away in the quadrangle of the Springfield Museums, in the heart of Springfield, MA: Dr. Seuss’s birthplace. Seconds after stepping through the courtyard arch, I spotted the Lorax and ran up to him with all the fervor of a six-year-old meeting the actual Seuss character.
A short walk through the courtyard landed us at a giant book: Oh, the Places You’ll Go! I ran my fingers over the printed page cast in bronze, touching Dr. Seuss’s words, evoking memories of childhood and long nights spent hidden under a blanket with flashlights and books.
I wished I had a book to read in the storyteller chair, or time to sit and scribble some notes. Encouraging fact for writer-types: Dr. Seuss’s first book was rejected 27 times before being picked up by a publisher. Can you imagine a world without The Grinch, Horton the Elephant, or The Cat in the Hat? The characters are embedded in our culture today, but it took a bit of convincing to land them in print.
Further down the path, more of Dr. Seuss’s characters come to life, and a sculpture of the writer/illustrator at his desk overlooks the park.
Behind The Cat in the Hat, we found Horton and his Whos, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Sam I Am, and Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose.
There’s also a Yertle-the-Turtle Sculpture, which we didn’t spot during our visit. (Of course, this means we must return.) You can learn more about Dr. Seuss here. On our return trip, we plan to visit the surrounding museums. We didn’t have time, as we were on our way to Connecticut during this trip, but we had an amazing afternoon hanging out with these beloved characters.