The Father of Children's Stories Comes to Chicago
BY GINNY VAN ALYEA
I've been reading a lot of children's books to my own child lately, and since she's too young to follow the stories - she's mostly interested in chewing on the board book pages, I get to choose all the books we read. I'm taking advantage of the chance to revisit my own tried and true favorites from childhood: Dr. Seuss's quirky tales and eccentric characters are certainly at the top of my list. Seuss helped to form my imagination and encourage curiosity, and it's been great fun to delve back into his familiar stories these past few months. So, I thought it was quite timely when I read recently that a pop-up-gallery of Seuss art work is opening at Water Tower Place just in time for Father's Day.
To celebrate the opening an event-filled weekend of fun and festivities will take place on Saturday, June 14 from 10am-9pm and Sunday, June 15 (Father's Day - don't forget!) from 11am-6 pm. The Grand Opening event will happen on Saturday, June 14 from 11am–3pm. The gallery is the first of its kind to dedicate an entire space to The Art of Dr. Seuss, and the sales will go beyond delighting children and their parents, since a portion of every sale made from June 14-29 will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s Hospital.
The works on view are, appropriately, ones that were inspired by Dr. Seuss's own father (who shared Seuss's real name, Theodor Robert Geisel.) Seuss described in a writing from the early 1980s that he loved to draw when he was a young boy. Since his father ran a zoo in Springfield, MA he never lacked up-close-and-personal inspirations in the animals under his father's care. Seuss's father used his own know-how to improve the zoo and its facilities for the sake of the visitors who came to love it so much, and he thoughtfully saved shed animal horns and other unusual artifacts that he knew would foster his own son's creativity.
The prolific Dr. Seuss wrote more than 40 children's books, in addition to his many other editorial and creative endeavors. A great deal of personal and historical information about Suess will be available at the pop-up gallery. If you cannot make it to Water Tower Place, take this occasion of the opening as a chance to bring out your own favorite Suess tale and read it aloud to a little boy or girl or even just to your own inner child.
Happy Father's Day!
The Art of Dr. Seuss
Water Tower Place: 835 Michigan Ave., Chicago (60611)
Gallery hours: Sa June 14, 10–9; Su, June 15 11–6