Take a day trip to find the quirky storybook sculptures that ignite the imagination in downtown Abilene – the Storybook Capital

When I found out that Abilene, Texas was the Storybook Capital of Texas and there were 18 sculptures (and counting) of classic storybook characters scattered around the downtown cultural district I knew I had to find them all! I couldn’t wait to see the six iconic Dr. Seuss sculptures as well as sights like the iconic Grace Museum the T&P Depot, the Center for Contemporary Arts and more.

About The Storybook Capital of Texas

The project was set in motion in 1996 when the mayor of Abilene was asked to read the William Joyce book “Santa Calls” to a group of school children. The book was set in Abilene, TX and it was loved so much that Mr. Joyce was asked to come for a visit. Over the next year, the National Center For Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) was born along with the sculpture from “Santa Calls” titled “Childhood’s Great Adventure” in Everman Park with the blessing of Mr. Joyce. Soon more sculptures began to pop up around the downtown area and over the years and the first Children’s Art & Literacy Festival (C.A.L.F) was born.

Childhood’s Great Adventure - Storybook Capital

A few years later, a gentle green dinosaur named Dino Bob was created by Texas artist Bob “Daddy-O” Wade. He peers compassionately down from his perch on Cedar Street.

Dino Bob in Abilene Texas                                                               Clothing in the picture from Stitch Fix – Find our more here.

Everman Park is also home to the “Man in the Moon” as well as six bronze Dr. Seuss characters. Abilene is one of the few places that permanently show all six characters.

Your family will have a blast finding The Cat in the Hat, the Lorax, the Grinch, Horton the elephant, Yertle the Turtle, and Sam-I-Am from Green Eggs and Ham. The statues are mounted low to the ground so that kids can touch them and take pictures with them.

You can also see the following characters come to life from the Author and Illustrator William Joyce:

The E. Aster Bunnyman (Easter Bunny) - Storybook Characters Abilene, TXThe E. Aster Bunnyman from the book “E. Aster
Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core!”
Nicholas St. North - Storybook Capital Abilene TexasNicholas St. North from the book “Nicholas St.
North and the Battle of the Nightmare King,”

 

Jack Frost - Storybook Capital of Texas Jack Frost from the book “The Guardians of Childhood,”
Sanderson Mansnoozie (The Sandman) - Abilene, TXSanderson Mansnoozie (The Sandman) from the book
“The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie”

 

Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy ArmiesToothiana (The Tooth Fairy) from the book
“Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies”
Man in the Moon - Storybook Capital Abilene Texas
Man in the Moon from the book
“The Man in the Moon”

And sculptures from other authors and illustrators including:

Duck on a Bike - Storybook CharactersDuck on a Bike from “Duck on a Bike” by
Author/Illustrator David Shannon
Good Night Dinosaur - Abilene Storybook CharactersGood Night Dinosaur from “How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?”
by Author Jane Yolen and Illustrator Mark Teague

 

David Gets in Trouble - Storybook Capital Abilene TexasNo, David! And Fergus from the book
“David Gets in Trouble” by Author/Illustrator David Shannon

It’s no wonder that in 2015, the 84th Legislature of the State of Texas designated Abilene as the official Storybook Capital of Texas. Its efforts to celebrate literary works for children have become an iconic part of the community and highlight the beautiful buildings in downtown Abilene. The parks and walkways are pristine, and your family will have a magical time igniting your imagination as you stroll through the streets.

How to See the Sculptures

Park at the T&P Depot at 1101 N. First St and ask for a map. Guides can also be found here.

Other Things to Do in Abilene, Texas

Make a day of enjoying all that Abilene has to offer by visiting the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, the free gallery displays over 150 pieces of original art from children’s books.

You can also visit the Frontier Texas Museum – one of our most loved museums in Texas – where you can learn about lawmen, outlaws, Indians and through realistic holographic videos and the Experience Theater.

Don’t miss the Buffalo Gap Historic Village where you can time hop to 1883 and wander the buildings of the frontier days. Once you are done, you don’t want miss having a fantastic steak dinner at Perini Ranch Steakhouse.

If you’re visiting in June, don’t miss the annual Children’s Art & Literacy Festival where 4,000+ people come to participate in a themed parade, workshops, costume contests and more. In September, the town hosts the West Texas Book Festival a week-long celebration of authors & books.

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Storybook Capital of Texas see Dr. Seuss caracters and more in Abilene, Texas
Abilene, Texas - Storybook Capital of Texas - See the Dr. Seuss Charaters as well as many more! Family Fun activity.