Thursday, September 29, 2016

Bookworm Gardens

While on vacation this month, we visited Bookworm Gardens in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  We'd never been there before, and I found it utterly enchanting.  So I'm going to share a few photos of it with you.  As well as this map, so you get an idea of what it's like:

(Click on image to make it bigger.)

Basically, they have different areas dedicated to different kinds of children's books, with structures and flowers and hands-on activities that relate to them.  I didn't take photos of nearly all of them, but here are some I captured.

This is "Jack and the Beanstalk," and in the background is the "Hansel and Gretel Learning Cottage" where you could buy souvenirs and lots of books.


Houses for each of the "Three Little Pigs" (and Cowboy inside one to demonstrate scale).


Winnie-the-Pooh's house, where he lives under the name of Sanders, as per A. A. Milne.


You can go in a lot of the structures, and some of them have stuff to do inside.  Pooh's house has stuffed animals and a bit of furniture.


The Little House in the Big Woods display has stools, kitchen sundries, and other things you can load into the wagon.


This is for a book I've never read, A Playhouse for Monster by Virginia Mueller, but it's so cute, I had to include a photo.  (That's my friend ED in the foreground, wearing the cape.  Because she's cool like that.)


The Magic School Bus!!!  You could go inside, raise and lower windows, open and close doors, and pretend to drive.


Pagoda from Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr:


Display for The Tin Forest by Helen Ward:


Some books just had a little statue or small display, like this tiny duck for one of my favorite books, The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Weise:


Scattered throughout are these pillars with a little metal door marked "books."  When you opened them, you would find laminated copies of books brought to life nearby, or of selections from the books if they were too long to include all of.  That way, if you weren't familiar with some of the books and wanted to read them, you could!


There are a LOT more displays at Bookworm Gardens, but this at least gives you a taste of what it's like.  If you're ever in eastern Wisconsin, and you love children's books (or have some kids along), definitely check this place out!  It's free (with a request for a free-will donation), and you can spend a couple of hours there without getting bored.

Also, they have a Little Free Library :-)  We saw three of these on our vacation, and I find them enchanting!  I donated books to two of them, and Cowboy took one book.  I kind of want one of these in my neighborhood, don't you?


22 comments:

  1. I love this!! I'd totally visit were it just a bit closer home. What a fabulous idea! Also I'm a big fan of little free libraries, I've just never had the privilege of seeing one in person. Perhaps I should create my own? Hmmm... :)

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    1. Kara, I know! I wish we lived in WI again so we could go there every once in a while.

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  2. How cool is this! I absolutely LOVE it, why isn't it anywhere near where I live! I especially love the Little House in the Big Woods display. As a kid I was weirdly fascinated with covered wagons. Lmao.

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    1. Stefanie, I know, it's very cool! There should be one of these in every state, huh?

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  3. This is wonderful. I have never heard of it but I approve of anything that encourages reading in children. And I second the comment about being weirdly fascinated with covered wagons as a child.

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    1. Jennifer, I know! It's just so cool. And yeah, covered wagons are great -- I made one for my miniature cowboys when I was a kid. And I used to tie my red wagon behind my tricycle and pretend I was going west.

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  4. That is incredible! I LOVE IT. Whoever thought of this was clearly a genius... That's it. I am determined to go there someday. :D

    Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Fawnabelle, I agree. Genius idea. I hope you can get there one day!

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  5. May I just say, WWWWWHHHHHHAAAAAAAATTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????? That is awesome!!!!!!!!!! Now I want to go!!!!!

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    1. MovieCritic, I know, right? Just too cool.

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  6. Wait, THIS EXISTS?!!! Ultimate LITERARY CHILD'S DREAM. (And adult, haha.) Love this! How cool is it, I mean... :-)

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    1. Naomi -- yassssssss. So full of shiny awesome.

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  7. Oh my word, this is AMAZING. I NEED TO VISIT THIS PLACE.

    Just...no words right now.

    I especially love Pooh's house, the Jack and the Beanstalk one, and the house from A Playhouse for Monster. But they're all so cute!!! I love children's books so I NEED to visit this one day!

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

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    1. Mary Horton -- it is a great place! I hope you could get there.

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  8. How adorable!!! Thank you for sharing pictures. I love the Little House, naturally, but I think my favorite is the pagoda. (The architect in me is squealing.)

    Hey, too bad they didn't have a little Hobbit hole. That would have been the best!

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    1. Ruth, I loved the pagoda too! Inside, they had a Japanese tea set up, with instructions how to have a proper Japanese tea party, etc.

      A Hobbit hole would have been genius! Even just the door and windows, without making it so you could go inside.

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    2. Have you seen the Hobbit chicken coops with the cute green circular door? My kids want chickens just to have a Hobbit chicken coop. They're so adorable - the chicken coops.

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    3. Nope, but those sound like the cutest chicken coops ever!

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  9. This is so cute! I would love to go there some day because all of those were basically my favorite books as a wee lass. Especially the Magic School Bus. :)

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    1. Evangaline, yes! I wasn't into the Magic School Bus books, but my kids are very fond of them.

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  10. I've shared with my daughter - she's excited about taking the grands there. Enjoyed your review and photos!

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    1. Sue, that's so cool! I hope they love it :-) I bet it is amazing in springtime when there are more flowers blooming!

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