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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Children’s Literature Statues of the U.S.: A Call for Entries

At the recent ALA Conference I happened to run into good old Mac Barnett. We were chatting when it suddenly occurred to me that I’d never before mentioned to him a funny little fact I’d discovered a year or two ago. You see, every couple of years I like to update my Complete Listing of All Public Children’s Literature Statues in the United States. The rules of inclusion are simple. The statues must be located somewhere that is open to the public. The statues must be in the United States. The statues must be of children’s literary characters. Statues of authors may warrant a mention only if they are included with their characters (think Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park with his duckling).

Well, the last time I updated the list (two years ago) I ran across Bookworm Gardens in Sheboygan, WI. It’s where you’ll find the Harry the Dirty Dog statue that you can actually clean yourself with a scrub brush. Take a gander at its accompanying booklist, however, and you’ll see that a lot of listings have some sort of children’s book connection including Sam and Dave Dig a Hole. But what is it? A statue? A hole? No idea. I mentioned it to Mac and this was the first he’d heard of it. So if any readers have ever visited this place, please let us know what you find out.

I might have let it lie right there, but then SLJ published an article yesterday that discusses the fact that Mo Willem’s Knuffle Bunny has its first statue. Located at the Park Slope Library Storytelling Garden at the Brooklyn (NY) Public Library branch, the statue was created by Chad Rimer, though Mo designed it himself. And while Mo has created statues before (the red elephant at the Eric Carle Museum comes to mind) this is the first that’s ever been made of one of his characters.

And so the time has come, dear readers, to update the Complete Listing once again. There are still a couple in the comments of that post that I need to add. In any case, if you happen to know of an obscure one that I could be missing, lay it on me and I’ll add it to the upcoming updated post.

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About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.

Comments

  1. Sharon Lawler says:

    Hi Betsy,

    I didn’t notice a reference to Andre the Famous Harbor Seal. He has a statue in Rockport, Maine.

  2. Elisabeth says:
  3. Robin Smith says:

    When Hurricane Ike hit Galveston Island in 2008 many trees were killed by the storm surge. Sculptures were carved from the tree trunks. One of them is Tin Man and Toto from Wizard of Oz. https://www.galveston.com/tinman/

  4. There’s a storybook theme park in Oakland, California (remember the ALSC conference in 2014?) with several statues!

  5. Specifically, there are characters from Alice in Wonderland (as well as a merry go round with characters from Alice to ride on), Snow White, Owl and the Pussycat, Humpty Dumpty and more.

  6. Jan Pardy says:

    Balto in NYC Central Park.

    • You know, I’ve thought about old Balto over the years. Trouble is, he was a real dog and not one based on a book. And the only truly great Balto book I ever saw was the one by Meghan McCarthy. But it’s an interesting idea.

  7. Kristina Krengel says:

    There are 6 Dr. Seuss status outside the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. (FW, TX)