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New Kansas City museum, The Rabbit Hole, transports visitors into world of children's books

Lauren Rentschler takes turns reading “The Funny Thing” by Wanda Gág with her seven-year-old son Henry Rentschler at The Rabbit hOle’s opening day.
Julie Denesha
/
KCUR 89.3
Lauren Rentschler takes turns reading “The Funny Thing” by Wanda Gág with her seven-year-old son Henry Rentschler at The Rabbit hOle’s opening day.

The Rabbit Hole, which opened on March 12 in North Kansas City’s Iron District, is the first museum in the country to bring a century of children’s literature to life. The immersive venue transports visitors of all ages into the worlds of “Goodnight Moon,” “Last Stop on Market Street” and so much more.

Kansas City has a new destination museum. The Rabbit Hole in North Kansas City immerses kids — and adults —in the world of children’s literature through life-sized, interactive exhibits of classic books like "Goodnight Moon" and "Last Stop on Market Street."

Co-founders Deb Pettid and Pete Cowdin, who owned the Reading Reptile bookstore in Brookside for more than three decades, have spent the last six years bringing to life their vision for The Rabbit Hole.

"When they thought up this vision — I just — it's jaw dropping," acclaimed children's book author Jon Scieszka told KCUR's Up To Date Monday.

Scieszka, who wrote "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales," as well as many other off-beat '90s books, is on The Rabbit Hole's leadership team.

"There's nothing like this," says Scieszka. It's world-changing, in the publishing world, too."

  • Jon Scieszka, author and the country’s first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
  • Emily Hane, development and grants manager for The Rabbit Hole
  • Grant Kelso, fabricator for The Rabbit Hole
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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Claudia Brancart is an Up To Date producer for KCUR 89.3. She graduated from Pitzer College in Los Angeles where she majored in World Literature and Studio Art. You can reach her at claudiab@kcur.org.
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