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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

The Complete Listing of All Public Children’s Literature Statues in the United States (2019 Edition)

Having started this list in 2013, and subsequently updated it in 2017, today I give you the full monty. Readers have been very good about suggesting titles and I haven’t added every last one of them yet, but don’t stop! If you don’t see one of of your favorites here, please let me know in the comments and I’ll update continuously. Remember, the statue must be of a character from a book. Real life figures that just happened to be connected to books in some way don’t quite count. Extra points if you can list the location and the name of the sculptor.

And now, for your reading pleasure, the list:

Alphabetical by Book Title / Nursery Rhyme

Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Location: Central Park, New York City, NY
Sculptor: José de Creeft

We all know this classic Alice statue that kids somehow manage to climb all over without killing themselves in the process (a miracle in and of itself). Originally constructed in 1959, the face of this particular Alice was modeled after de Creeft’s then-8-year-old daughter, Donna Marie.  What isn’t as widely known is the fact that this is not the only place you can see this famous face.

Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Location: DiMenna Children’s History Museum, New York Historical Society
Sculptor: José de Creeft

Also created in 1959, this plaster is a patinated full size unique cast of the head of Jose de Creeft’s monumental bronze, Alice in Wonderland (the one in Central Park). She is located in the children’s library portion of the DiMenna Children’s History Museum within the New York Historical Society and is, understandably, quite large.  There is also, apparently, a doormouse in a drawer in the same library.  Thank you, Alice Stevenson, for the info.  And lest we ignore the forgotten Alice in Central Park . . .

Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Location: James Michael Levin Playground, Central Park, New York City, NY
Sculptor: Frederick George Richard Roth

Completed in 1936, this is actually my favorite statue in Central Park. It has a monkey spitting water at you.  What more do you need?

Book: Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland
Location: Los Angeles Public Library’s Central Library, Los Angeles, CA
Sculptor: Lee Lawrie

This site has a lot of information about the design of this beautiful building. Here’s what they had to say about Alice and friends:

“For the Children’s Department entrance and patio, Lawrie contrived a body of sculpture quite different in spirit from the rest of his work for Goodhue’s library. Inventive and playful, it suggests the heady joy of a child’s imagination connecting to the world of books . . . But the real treat of the courtyard are the carved panels of scenes from classics of children’s literature. Conceived and executed with great skill and wit, they mimic black and white children’s book illustrations. The panels are deeply chiseled, yet have flat surfaces so they present an elegant combination of two and three dimensional effects, and the abstracted, caricature-like shapes embody a surprising amount of movement.”

Many thanks to Mara Alpert for the link.

Book: Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland
Location: Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Fort Bragg, CA
Sculptor: Keena Good

Inspired by the coast to fill at least a part of it with Alice in Wonderland characters, metal artist Keena Good began a Kickstarter campaign to bring her vision to life. She succeeded magnificently and you can read about her process here. The sculptures were installed in April of 2013. Finding images of the sculptures proved to be somewhat difficult. You can see some better shots in the previous link.  Thanks to Deborah Alterman for the tip!

Book: Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland
Location: Children’s Library of the Central Library, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Sculptor: Florence Thomas

Upon graduating college I picked up and drove clear across the country to Portland, OR to start a new life. My first day in town a friend and I, without a place to stay or much money in our pockets, went directly to this library and this children’s room. I didn’t notice Alice at the time but I like to think she found us amusing. Many thanks to Kate Carter for the tip

Book: Alice’s Through the Looking Glass
Location: The White Marsh branch of the Baltimore County Public Library, MD
Sculptor: William F. Duffy

Isn’t it gorgeous? We don’t have many red statues on this list, and the rough feel of the piece is perfect.  As you can see the statue was originally created in 1983.  You can read the artist’s thoughts on their creation here.  Big time thanks to Paula Wiley for some of the images.

Book: Amelia Bedelia
Location: Harvin Clarendon County Library, Manning, South Carolina
Sculptor: James Peter Chaconas

This little bronze has been in the possession of the Harvin Clarendon County Library since around 1999, it would seem. It was the artist’s first work with bronze, and he did a stand up and cheer job. The little cat makes for a nice touch. Thanks to Charlotte Johnston for the tip and info.

Book: The Bears of Blue River
Location: Shelbyville, IN

Not all children’s literary statues are of books you’ve heard of. I confess that until I ran across this image of the character Brent Balser holding aloft two bear cubs from Charles Major’s The Bears of Blue River, the book was unknown to me. What cannot be in doubt, however, is how friggin’ cool the image is. There’s even an annual Bears of Blue River Festival. Boo-yah, Shelbyville! Thanks to BHT for the link.  And speaking of bears . . .

Book: Blueberries for Sal
Location: Boothbay Harbor, ME
Sculptor: Nancy Schön

Remember the name “Nancy Schön” because it’s going to come up more than once here.  In 2008 she was commissioned by the Board of Directors of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens to make a sculpture of Little Bear from the book Blueberries for Sal by the author Robert McCloskey.  The result is this cute little feller who is surrounded by actual honest-to-goodness blueberry bushes.  You can read more about it and see Ms. Schön’s process here.

Title: The Bremen Town Musicians
Location: Morgan County Public Library, Madison, GA
Sculptor: Elbert Weinberg

Created originally for the Lenox Square Shopping Center (see some of the Uncle Remus statues below for others created for this open air mall), this beauty was apparently moved from the mall to the library as recently as 2012.  Love the look.  You can read a plaque with more information in this blog post.

Title: The Bremen Town Musicians
Location: The Lynden Sculpture Garden, Milwaukee, WI
Sculptor: Gerhardt Marcks

A little more representational than its Georgian equivalent, this statue was originally constructed in 1951. And lest you think this is the only children’s literary statue of Milwaukee, be sure you check out Gertie the Duck as well.  Thanks to JoAnn Early Macken for the tip!

Book: Brighty of the Grand Canyon
Location: Grand Canyon Lodge sun room, North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Sculptor: Peter Jepson

Though his book was penned by the same woman behind such classics as Misty of Chincoteague, and his adventures turned into a Disney film, not many folks remember old Brighty these days. That’s part of what I love about statuary. Long after the books have faded, something of them remains. In this case, a little burro bronze located at the Grand Canyon Lodge not too far from where Brighty’s story took place. You can learn more about him here if you’ve a hankering. Thanks to Pam for the heads up.

Book: Can You See What I See? by Walter Wick
Location: Abilene Chamber of Commerce building, Abilene, TX


Part of the Storybook Sculpture Project of the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, this bronze sculpture is of the character of “Seymour” in the Walter Wick book mentioned here. I was once asked if the Abilene Storybook Sculpture Project is largest outdoor storybook sculpture collection in America and I don’t have an answer. What I can say is that they have quite a lot of titles. You’ll see the name “Abilene” pop up a lot here today.

Book: The Cat in the Hat
Location: The Nichols Library, Naperville, IL
Sculptor: Leo Rijn

With the increased look at Dr. Seuss and the Cat’s place in the history of children’s books and racism (See: Was the Cat in the Hat Black? by Phil Nel), no longer is this statue quite the innocuous figure it once was. Standing at a whopping eight feet tall, this is one of the rare Cat in the Hats to stand on his own two feet without his creator’s statue anywhere nearby.  Get more information (as well as an audio tour of the statue) here.  See the cat yarn bombed here.  Thanks to Mr. Schu and Andrea Beaty for the suggestion.

Book: The Cat in the Hat
Location: The Storybook Garden, The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, TX
Sculptor: Leo Rijn

Now this Cat does indeed share quite a few similarities with the Cat in Naperville, it’s true.  From what I can tell this Cat is significantly smaller, coming in at roughly the size of a small child.  Still, it really feels like there should be some kind of connection.

Book: The Cat in the Hat
Location: The Geisel Library, University of California, San Diego, CA

As I mentioned before, I’ll include the creator if the statue features a character as well. Check and check.  Thanks to Lauren for the tip.

Book: The Cat in the Hat
Location: Cohen Children’s Hospital, North Shore, Long Island, NY

Tina wins for finding what may well be the most unknown Seuss sculptures to date. Indeed, if she hadn’t sent me a picture herself I might not have believed it. I’ll let her explain: “At the entrance of the Cohen Children’s Hospital at North Shore Long Island Jewish in Lake Success (just over the Queens border in Nassau County) are two wonderful bronze statues of the Cat in the Hat, and Sally and Nick riding their bicycle.” You can see them in the background in the first picture and too too close in the second. If anyone can send me something a little more clear, I’d be grateful. This one’s pretty obscure.  Thanks to Tina for the tip!

Book: Charlotte’s Web
Location: Wellesley Free Library, Wellesley, MA
Sculptor: Rion Microys

I never said the statues had to be made out of a particular substance, did I? So by that logic papier maché is a-okay. Here, Charlotte and Wilbur reside in a children’s room alongside Templeton the rat (he’s in there somewhere). For more information you can go here. Thanks to Jill Hilycord for the link!

Book: David Gets in Trouble
Location: Abilene, TX
Sculptor: Steve Neves

An interesting choice of David book! I would have thought the first one would have been a more obvious place to begin, but I have to admit that by using this book you can work in, not only David, but Fergus as well. Clever clever.

Book: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Location: An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA
Sculptor: Allyson Vought

If you’re Jeff Kinney, you can make your own independent bookstore if you like. And what the heck? Why not throw in a statue or two while you’re at it? Greg clocks in at a reported 500 pounds. Guess that’ll stop anyone who thinks they can just walk out the door with it. Oddly, the only photos I could find of it online were of Greg dressed up in beach gear. Thanks to Norm Feuti for the tip!

Book: Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures With the Family Lazardo
Location: The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, TX
Sculptor: Bob ”Daddy-O” Wade

From 2001 to about 2007 or so, Bob lived on the roof of The Grace Museum’s garage. Originally the sculpture was commissioned for the 20th annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, and the council’s Outdoor Sculpture Committee received permission from The Grace to put Dinosaur Bob on its garage. From what I’ve been able to piece together, Bob was challenged by someone in town and the city told The Grace to remove Bob.  Eventually he was saved and refurbished and given to the NCCIL where he lives today. Here’s an article about Bob and his controversy.  A brochure from 2013 shows where he eventually landed.  Thanks to Sidney Levesque for the tip and Morgan Mogler for the image!

Book: The Dinosaur Who Lived in My Backyard
Location: Stagecoach Park, Evergreen, CO
Sculptor: Greg Wasil

Based on a book by B.G. Hennessey, I always assumed that Bob here was based on Bill Joyce’s Dinosaur Bob. Not the case!  Check out more info on Bob here.

Book: The Duck On a Bike
Location: Abilene, TX
Sculptor: Steve Neves

And back we return to Abilene. This little fella was new to me. Look at how beautifully Neves captured his smile! I had no idea he even existed. Whatta treat!

Book: The Enormous Egg
Location: The National Zoo, Washington D.C.

Do we count statues that were named for children’s books after the fact? We do when it’s a book like Oliver Butterworth’s classic. Plus I like having the three dinosaur statues here together. As it happens the name makes a lot of sense if you’ve read the book. In it a boy raises a dinosaur but when it becomes too large, “the boy brings him to the ‘National Museum’ in Washington, D.C. He remains there until he is eventually transferred to the National Zoo’s Elephant House because there is a law against stabling large animals in District.” Apt, no? You can learn more about the dino here. Thanks to L. Quirk for the link.

Books: Everything by Dr. Seuss
Location: The Dr. Seuss National Memorial at The Quadrangle in Springfield, MA

Can you believe that this is just a small sample of the statues you’ll find in this remarkable place?  To learn more about it, go here.

Book: Gentle Ben
Location: Walt Morey Park, Wilsonville, OR

This eight foot tall, 500-pound statue commemorates the hero of Walter Morey’s beloved book. Apparently Morey lived in town and his family donated the land for the park. In spite of his size and weight he was stolen and recovered back in 2012. Curiously, I could find no information on the sculptor or the year the statue was created. Thanks to Jen Maurer for the link.

Book: Gertie the Duck
Location: Milwaukee Riverwalk, Wisconsin Avenue Bridge, Milwaukee, WI
Sculptor: Gwendolyn Gillen

Ill-remembered today, this 1959 classic by Nicholas P. Georgiady and Louis G. Romano was based on a true story about a mother duck that nested on a wood piling under the Wisconsin Avenue Bridge. Today that same bridge sports statues of that little duck and her offspring as a reminder. There are five statues of Gertie and her chicks (which were named Black Bill, Dee Dee, Freddie, Millie, Pee Wee, and Rosie) along the Riverwalk.  There’s also a bronze statue of the Fonz known as The Bronz Fonz not too far away, but that’s neither here nor there. You can find more info on Gertie here.  Thanks to JoAnn Early Macken for the tip!

Book: Goodnight Moon
Location: Grenville, South Carolina
Sculptor: Jim Ryan and Zan Wells

One of the rare cases where sculptures have been made of a near forgotten character in a classic work of literature. As the story goes, there are a total of nine images of mice in Goodnight Moon. So for his senior project, Jim Ryan decided to make these mice and place them around the city’s Main Street. Technically there is a mouse in the book, and who’s to say it’s the same one in every picture? More info can be found here. Thanks to Jill Hilycord for the note.

Book: Green Eggs and Ham
Location: 95th Street Library, Naperville, IL
Sculptor: Leo Rijn

Naperville again. You’ve got to credit the people there. They like their Seuss. Mind you, I can never look at Sam-I-Am without wondering what the name of his top-hatted picky eating best friend was. A mystery for the ages, that one. Don’t be deceive by the photo of Sam, by the way. This little feller stands at a good nine feet tall! More information can be found here.

Book: Green Eggs and Ham
Location: The Storybook Garden, The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, TX
Sculptor: Leo Rijn

Same sculptor, different location.  As you can see the stick holding the food items is much shorter in this version than the one in Naperville.  Otherwise they’re mighty close.  Thanks to Sidney Levesque for the tip.

Book: The Guardians of Childhood series by William Joyce
Location: Various locations in Abilene, TX
Sculptor: Steve Neves


Give Bill Joyce this. Not only did he make a series, but somehow they all ended up as bronze statues in Abilene Texas. There you will find E. Aster Bunnyman, Santa Claus, Toothiana, and Jack Frost. Not sure if there are others, but these folks are scattered about town. This may make Abilene the most statue-friendly city in today’s post if we take into consideration size and the number of statues it contains.

Book: Harry the Dirty Dog
Location: Bookworm Gardens, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Now here’s a location I can truly get behind! Apparently the Bookworm Gardens pride themselves on providing a, “garden based completely on children’s literature—over 60 different books are represented, selected by reading specialists, librarians, teachers, and kids.” Best of all, you get to actually wash Harry. See the location and all its cool ideas here. And thanks to JoAnn Early Macken for the tip!

Book: Honk the Moose
Location: Pavilion Park, Biwabik, MN

If the original book isn’t ringing any bells it’s a shame. This was a 1936 Newbery Honor book written by Phil Strong and illustrated by the legendary Kurt Weise. It’s always interesting to me when statues are made of books that were, themselves, based on true stories. In this case, the tale is about a moose that holed up in a stable with some horses when the weather was particularly grim. There’s a great MPR piece on it. The statue itself is made of fiberglass. No idea who made it but I believe its plaque suggests that it was created in 2000.  Thanks to Tina Larson and Laurie Johnson for the tip.

Book: Horton Hears a Who
Location: The Storybook Garden, The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, TX
Sculptor: Leo Rijn

A beautiful bronze sculpture of Horton is available for viewing in Abilene.  A lovely little feller from tip to toenails.  Thanks to Sidney Levesque for the tip and Morgan Mogler for the image.

Book: How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight
Location: Abilene, TX
Sculptor: Steve Neves

Once again it’s Abilene, TX, stealing the show. Steve Neves appears to be their go-to guy for all things sculpture-y. Thanks to Sarah G. for the tip!

Book: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Location: Naper Boulevard Library, Naperville, IL
Sculptor: Leo Rijn

And we’re back in Naperville once more! You may recall that one of the Cats in the Hats was located outside the Nichols Library and Green Eggs and Ham outside the 95th Street branch. Artist Leo Rijn is back again as well with a Seuss character, and a holiday themed one at that.  Go here for more information.  Thanks to Crystal Brunelle for the tip!

Book: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Location: The Storybook Garden, The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, TX
Sculptor: Leo Rijn

And like a ping-pong ball we shoot back to Abilene.  I just love how his feet have sunk into the “snow”. Thanks to Sidney Levesque for the tip and Morgan Mogler for the image.

Title: Humpty Dumpty
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Sculptor: Kimberly Fiebiger

Prior to this post I was unaware that Colorado Springs had such an enticing outdoor art presence (for a good time try Googling “Octo-Maid, Metal Mermaid”). The story behind the Dumpties is that artist Kimberly Fiebiger created the first one about 17 years ago as part of an annual “Art on the Streets” program. Local businesses saw it, liked it, and got her to do more. It’s mighty difficult to get an accurate count of them all, so here are the ones that appear to be stationed around various parts of Colorado Springs. Many thanks to Elisabeth for the tip!

Title: Humpty Dumpty
Location: Outside the Esquire Loung, Champaign, IL

Apparently once you go down the Humpty Dumpty rabbit hole (no pun intended) you’re pretty doomed. There are a lot of them out there, but few are so simultaneously loved AND loathed as Humpty here. Its creator is sculptor Kimber Fiebiger, and apparently he has duplicates in places like St. Charles, IL and Colorado Springs.

Title: The Jack Tales
Location: Community Center, Southwest Virginia Community College, Cedar Bluff, VA
Sculptor: Charles Vess & Johnny Hagerman with Eric Cook and Eric Yost

Though the definition of “sculpture” is broad, I find this Bas-relief sculpture made out of the brick of a wall certainly counts. Standing at 750 square feet it was begun in 1992. As Vess says of the choice to go with Jack stories:

“In the fall of 1992, I was commissioned by Southwest Virginia Community College in Richlands, Virginia, to conceptualize a monumental 30′ x 50′ brick wall sculpture that would be placed in a new campus building. . . . It was then that a young man named Jack seemed to plant himself squarely in front of my path to research. Jack of the mountains, Jack and his brothers, Soldier Jack, — the Jack Tale. Who better to represent the people of these four counties than young Jack, the hero of hundreds of lively tales, indigenous to the Appalachian Mountains? These very tales were brought by the Scots-Irish and German immigrants from Europe into the southwestern Virginia region during the mid 1700′s. Much as the early pioneers adapted themselves to this mountain environment, so did their stories adapt along with them. Thus, tales that were first transmitted orally throughout the British Isles and written down by the Brothers Grimm in Germany, mutated here into stories with an intrinsically `American’ hero. A hero who possessed limitless optimism and a trust in his absolute ability to control his own destiny.”

The wall was finished in 1997. And as Tina Hanlon said of the imagery, “Besides scenes from multiple Jack Tales, Vess put on the side a Native American storyteller and Brer Rabbit figure, to add cultural diversity to the Appalachian storytelling traditions represented.” Thank you, Tina, for the tip!

Title: John Henry
Location: John Henry Historical Park, Talcott, WV
Sculptor: Charles Cooper

So explain to me this. Paul Bunyan statues are so common in America that I had to include only one in this write-up for fear of making it too Paul Bunyan-centric. And I anticipated a similar problem when I decided to include John Henry. Yet insofar as I can tell, this is the only version of the man to be found in the continental United States.  What the heck? Finished in 1972 (the 100th anniversary of the completion of the Big Bend Tunnel where he plied his trade, or so say the denizens of Talcott) the statue weighs about three tons. Good thing too since he used to be in a remote location and subject to extreme vandalism. According to Roadside America he’s been riddled with bullets, pickaxe holes, dragged along Hwy 3, and doused with white paint.  Now he can be found at the entrance of the Big Bend Tunnel as of 2012 having been fully restored and repaired. Information on his move can be found here.  Thanks to Tina Hanlon for the tip.

Book: Knuffle Bunny
Location: The Park Slope Library Storytelling Garden, Brooklyn Public Library Branch, Brooklyn, NY
Sculptor: Chad Rimer, designed by Mo Willems

For years I debated whether or not to include the red elephant sculpture Mo Willems created for the Eric Carle Picture Book Museum on this list. Ultimately, the elephant is not from a children’s book (which is to say, it is not Gerald), so off it has remained. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I finally place Mo on this list. His Knuffle Bunny will now outlive us all. A heady thought, to say the least

Book: The Jungle Book
Location: Bensenville Public Library, Bensenville, IL
Sculptor: Tuck Langland

With Kipling’s connections to colonialism in India, The Jungle Book is far more complicated than it used to be. In the case of these statues, it seems that the Bensenville Public Library wanted to do something special for their 50th anniversary. And where other libraries might just throw a party or make a PSA, Bensenville set its sights a little higher. In 2010 they commissioned sculptor Tuck Langland to create these scenes from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book and then put them both inside and outside of the library. Then Tuck created sculpture workshops for the kids and they made figures that were cast and added to the library’s sculptures that he had made. You can see some pictures here and read a news story about it here.

Book: The Jungle Book
Location: Lena Meijer Children’s Garden, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI
Sculptor: Marshall Fredericks

Tracing the history of this particular sculpture wasn’t as easy as all that. Most of what I know comes from folks running into it over the years. This one actually has the most poignancy for me because apparently when my mother was a little girl she used to climb all over it. That would have been in Northland. Yet Kent Culotta says that he remembered seeing it in the courtyard of the Livonia Mall (also in Michigan). According to the Meijer Gardens the piece is called Boy & Bear and is a bronze sculpture from 1954. I don’t know what caused it to travel from place to place, but at least we can say for certain that it’s found a home in the end. Learn more about the Meijer Gardens here.  Thanks to Kent Culotta for the tip!

Book: The Jungle Book
Location: Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn, NY
Sculptor: William Hunt Diederich


Travel to the Prospect Park Zoo and you will find a whopping sixteen bas-relief sculptures of scenes from The Jungle Book. Most of them are visible only inside the zoo, but the one I’m showing here today can be seen from the street. More specifically, thirteen Mowgli bas-reliefs are displayed on the Prospect Park Zoo’s two Flatbush Avenue entrance shelters and on the exterior walls of zoo buildings. Where did they come from? Well, these are pieces created during the New Deal and carved into Indiana limestone. More information can be found here. Many thanks to Ketrin for the information.

Book: The Jungle Book
Location: Brookgreen Gardens, SC
Sculptor: Rudulph Evans


Located in the Brookgreen Gardens and Wildlife Preserve, this piece is by Rudulph Evans, a man probably better known for his Thomas Jefferson statue in the Jefferson Memorial. Created between 1917-1919, the piece is called “Boy and Panther” but is widely considered to be a piece of Mowgli and Bagheera. Thanks again to Ketrin for the link.

Book: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Location: Sleepy Hollow, NY
Sculptor: The company Miglo-Bufkin

Erected in 2006, I debated whether or not to include this story since it’s not technically children’s. Then again, I have copies in my own children’s section and few would argue that the Disney animated film isn’t totally kid-friendly. Also, the statue is awesome. According to this site, “The sculpture cost $175,000 raised through private donations and a state grant. The rust colored sculpture is fabricated out of overlapping rusted metal plates by the metal working company of Miglo-Bufkin.” If you’re interested in visiting the address is 420 North Broadway at Gordon Avenue in Sleepy Hollow, NY and it’s not far from the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery’s south entrance. Thanks to Leigh Woznick for the link!

Book: Lentil
Location: Hamilton, OH
Sculptor: Nancy Schön

In 2010 Ms. Schön was honored by The Eric Carle Museum for her work in the field.

Title: The Lion and the Mouse (Aesop’s Fables)
Location: Silver Spring Library, Silver Spring, MD
Sculptor: Marcia Billig

I have an update on this statue!  Montgomery Public Library Administrator Anita Vassallo left a comment on this post with background on the fate of this statue.  She writes:

Hi Elizabeth – I am an administrator with Montgomery County Public Libraries, and would like to let your readers know what happened to the Lion and the Mouse statue previously located outside the old Silver Spring Library and also the Civil War mural entitled “The Old Tavern” which was originally painted in 1937, and has had several homes over the years.

Both pieces of art were moved to the new library building at 900 Wayne Ave. Silver Spring, MD 20910 , less than a mile away. The statue was moved to a fifth floor outside area originally, but we are now planning on moving it again to an area inside the library where all can see and enjoy it. The mural was reinstalled on a wall near the main check out desk. We welcome visitors who would like to see the Lion and the Mouse in person!

Further info on the statue can be found here.  Thank you, Anita, for the update.

Book: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Location: “Darrell’s Dream” Boundless Playground, Warriors’ Path State Park, Kingsport, TN

Until I started making this list, I was under the distinct impression that the only notable statue related to this book was the one of Mr. Lewis in Belfast. Not so! In spite of its British roots the book inspired one of the most original children’s literature sites in this little round-up. Says commenter Kim, “There is a boundless playground at Warriors’ Path State Park in Kingsport, TN that has several statues of the characters of Narnia. There is a multisensory/braille trail that you can follow to hear/read the story of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. You can walk through a wardrobe with fur coats to get into the playground and then on the trail there are some really great statues.”  How right she is.  Though I was only able to find an image of poor Mr. Tumnus looking like nothing so much as a guy being turned into a statue, it’s enough to convince.  You can learn more about the playground and its various amazing aspects here.  How interesting that this is one of the rare children’s books to actual make statuary a big part of the plot.  Maybe that accounts for the lack of Narnia statues in the world.  They’d look too much like the White Witch’s handiwork, no?  Thanks so much to Kim for the tip.

Title: The Little Mermaid
Location: Solvang, CA
Sculptor: Edvard Eriksen

While it is true that I am not doing an international listing of children’s literature statues (yet), there’s nothing saying I can’t display the half-size bronze replicas of famous statues from other countries when they appear in the U.S. Case in point, Denmark’s most famous statue – The Little Mermaid. Normally found in Copenhagen’s harbor, you can find her on the corner of Mission Drive and Alisal Road, just across the street from the Hans Christian Andersen Museum (who knew America had one?). According to the town’s website the mermaid was installed in July of 1976 when Earl Petersen, owner of Denmarket Square, learned of the replica’s existence and purchased it sight unseen over the phone from the artist’s family in Copenhagen. Happily the statue is “fully authorized by heirs of its sculptor Edvard Eriksen (1876-1959), who created the original statue in 1913.” As for the statue herself, her head is said to be modeled after prima ballerina Ellen Price and her body after the sculptor’s wife, Eline Eriksen. Incidentally, the city of Solvang was founded in 1911 by a small group of Danish teachers, which certainly accounts of the Andersen love. Further info on the statue can be found here.  Many thanks to CLTM for the tip!

Title: The Little Mermaid
Location: Glendale, CA
Sculptor: Edvard Eriksen

It took me a while, but eventually I learned that there are MULTIPLE little mermaids all around the continental U.S. Many of them based on Eriksen’s original design. For example, we have this one located in the Forest Lawn Cemetery alongside such dead celebrities as Errol Flynn, Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Spencer Tracy. British actress Greer Garson put this statue in the cemetary in memory of her mother.

Title: The Little Mermaid
Location: Greenwich, CT
Sculptor: Edvard Eriksen

The Little Mermaid appears to often be associated with graves and death. Here she sits atop the grave of Danish-American pianist/actor/composer/comedian Victor Borge.

Title: The Little Mermaid
Location: Kimballton, IA
Sculptor: Edvard Eriksen

This one gets her very own Mermaid Park. She was originally made in 1978 out of fiberglass and then recast in 2008 out of bronze. Lucky gal.

Title: The Little Mermaid
Location: Flat River, Greenville, MI
Sculptor: Steve Willison

This next one’s rather odd. Her body is essentially the same as the other mermaids, but her face is different. And yet THIS is the one that sculptor Edvard Eriksen sued for copyright infringement (or, rather, his heirs did).

Title: The Little Mermaid
Location: The International Peace Gardens in Salt Lake City, UT
Sculptor: Edvard Eriksen

Last one! This was the third place in the world to get Eriksen’s permission to have a little mermaid statue. It was originally installed on June 5th 1955 (Danish Constitution Day).

Book: The Little Prince
Location: Northport Public Library, Northport, NY

This 4-foot high bronze statue was unveiled in 2006. It appears that author Antoine de Saint-Exupery lived in the Bevin House on Northport’s Eaton’s Neck during 1942 and completed The Little Prince while there. Hence the statue. You can find more information on the statue here. Thanks to Nancy Morcerf for the tip!

Book: The Lorax
Location: The Storybook Garden, The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, TX
Sculptor: Leo Rijn

This particular Lorax is just one of six Seuss sculptures found in Abilene.  I’m not entirely certain why he’s shiny in one picture and darker in the next.  At the very least, you get a nice sense of scale in that second photo.  Neat!  Thanks to Sidney Levesque for the tip and Morgan Mogler for the image!

Book: Make Way for Ducklings
Location: Boston Public Garden, Boston, MA
Sculptor: Nancy Schön

Probably her most famous work, and certainly quite lovely.  It’s great to see how they get dressed up at different times of the year.

Title: Mary Had a Little Lamb
Location: Meetinghouse Hill Rd, Sterling, MA

You can find some info on the lamb here. And, naturally, there is the controversy that surrounds it.

Book: Misty of Chincoteague
Location: Chincoteague Island, VA

As it happens, you can actually see the real Misty (stuffed) on Chincoteague as well. I’d understand why some folks would prefer to see this instead. More information can be found here. Thanks to J.L. Bell for the tip.

Title: Mother Goose
Location: Central Park
Sculptor: Frederick George Richard Roth

I am ashamed to say that after all these years of living in New York City I had no idea there even WAS a Mother Goose statue in Central Park until Leigh Woznick alerted me to the fact. According to Central Park, “The statue consists of the central figure of a witch astride a goose, surrounded by bas-reliefs of Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, Little Jack Horner, Mother Hubbard, and Mary and her little lamb. Roth and a team of craftsmen carved this work of art from a 13-ton piece of Westerly granite.” If the sculptor’s name sounds familiar that’s probably because he also created the Alice in Wonderland at the center of the Sophie Irene Loeb fountain in Central Park’s James Michael Levin Playground. Created in 1938 this statue stands at the entrance to the Mary Harriman Rumsey Playfield near the East Drive just south of the 72nd transverse road.  Now I need to make the trip to see it!  Thanks to Leigh Woznick for the tip!

Title: Mother Goose
Location: Lafayette Public Library, Lafayette, CO
Sculptor: Diane Mason

Mother Goose Winter_0

There may be multiple versions of this sculpture, I should tell you right now. As far as I can tell, it’s definitely displayed outside the Lafayette Public Library or Colorado, and it may also appear at the Herman & Kate Kaiser Library of Tulsa, OK as well.  It’s a little unclear but I can certainly confirm the Lafayette Library so that’s the one I’ll be displaying today. Thanks to Colleen for the tip!

Title: Mother Goose nursery rhymes
Location: Fairyland, Oakland, CA

Since it opened in 1948, Fairyland is considered by some to be the model for Disneyland and other storybook theme parks that would come later. If you want to take a look at some of the attractions and statues, be warned: You cannot get in without a child of your own. Read more about the park here or here.  Thanks to Amy for the tip.

Title: Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes
Location: Fairytale Town, Sacramento, CA

Crafty little goose, ain’t she?  Now this is the first of these fairytale parks I’ve run across that actually hosts a children’s book festival! Others should certainly follow suit. It’s called the ScholarShare Children’s Book Festival and it certainly has some big names.  As for the park itself, it opened originally in 1959. Learn more about it here.  Thanks to Crystal Brunelle for the tip!

Title: Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes / fairy tales
Location: Rotary Storyland & Playland, Roeding Park, Fresno, CA

A popular name for an amusement park (see New Orleans below), this particular location opened up around 1961 originally. Read this post for some background information on the park and its exhibits.  The parks website is here.  Thanks to Claudia Franks for the tip.

Title: Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes / fairy tales
Location: Clark’s Elioak Farm, Ellicott City, MD

Here’s a story. Long ago (1955) the first Theme Park in Maryland and the East Coast opened up. It was called The Enchanted Forest and was much beloved. Sadly after 1988 the property was sold and after various openings it eventually fell into a state of disrepair. But what became of the statues inside, you may ask? Enter Clark’s Elioak Farm. As you can see here, superhuman efforts were made to move some of the bulkier, larger structures. They’re now all available for anyone to see (with admission, naturally). Thanks to Libby for the tip!

Title: Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes
Location: Storybook Land, Egg Harbor Township, NJ

This particular park was founded in 1955 and appears to have gone strong ever since. You can read up on the park right here. Thanks to Phyllis for the tip!

Title: Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes
Location: Storybook Land, Wylie Park, Aberdeen, SD

Pretty much what you’d expect. Unfortunately it’s mighty difficult to find any background on this place. I’m not sure how old it is or where it came from. A tiny bit more information can be found here. Thanks to Donna Nix for the tip!

Title: Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes
Location: Story Book Forest, Idlewild, PA

This one has a much longer history that it owns up to than most. After saying that the place was built “not on motion, but rather emotion” it tells how “Story Book Forest was the brainchild of Mr. C.C. Macdonald, former owner of Idlewild Park, and Arthur Jennings, a performance clown who spent his summers entertaining guests at Idlewild.” No word on when it was made, but judging by the art it was a while ago. Before the 1960s in any case. An additional “Neighborhood of Make-Believe” featuring Mr. Roger’s characters was added later. Thanks to Pat Barnett and Judy for the tip!

Title: Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes
Location: Storybook Lane, Old Forge, NY

Strange as it may sound, though this location is up and running and doing well, I wasn’t able to get much in the way of information about it, let along photographs of its statues. The best I could do was this site here and this single image of Peter Pumpkin eater’s woebegotten wife. Odd, yes? You’d think they’d want to advertise. Thanks to Cathy Robertson for the tip.

Title: Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes
Location: Storyland, New Orleans, LA

NPR reported when Storyland took a hit after Hurricane Katrina.  All told, it seems to be operating as per usual at this time.  And you wouldn’t necessarily know it from the outside, but if you go in you’re likely to find . . .

Book: Epossumondas (yes, I’m mucking with the alphabetical order here a tad)
Location: Storyland, New Orleans, LA

Makes sense. Author Coleen Salley was a famed New Orleans denizen after all.

Book: Mouse Paint
Location: Kennelley Park, Fairport Public Library, Rochester, NY
Sculptor: Dexter Benedict

This sculpture was actually commissioned by the Fairport Library back in 2002. Ms. Ellen Stoll Walsh, author of the original book, is a Fairport resident, so the connection makes sense. According to Ms. Walsh herself, children’s librarian Robin Benoit was the brains behind the commission, coming up with the idea to place them in front of the children’s room.  Thanks to Matt Krueger for the tip!

Title: Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox
Location: Lake Bemidji, Bemidji, MN

Though the nation is rife with Paul Bunyan statuary, arguably the most famous can be found in Minnesota. They’ve stood since 1937 and in a recent article by Bemidji’s mayor (in response to Paul and Babe being used in a marketing blitz) he mentions that, “they’ve never given us much trouble — except when Babe cracked down the middle and had to have major surgery — and the time Paul wouldn’t let go of the Bemidji Curling Team’s Olympic bronze medal that was hung around his neck.” These two are part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. You can even find a documentary about the pair here.

Now here we come to a difficulty. Insofar as I can tell, there may well be at least twenty-six (you heard that right) different Paul Bunyan statues in the continental United States. I could spend days on end cataloging them here. I do meant to make this a rather all-encompassing list, but other characters deserve to be listed as well. So for now at least, let us allow the Bemidji Paul and Babe the honor of standing in for their 26+ brothers. They sort of belong more to the Tall Tale listing of statues more closely than the Children’s Literature statues anyway. Thanks to Belinda and Crystal Brunelle for the tip.

Book: Peter Pan
Location: Carl Schurz Park, Yorkville, NY
Sculptor: Charles Andrew Hafner

According to my sources (which is to say this site) this statue was originally made for the lobby fountain at the Paramount Theatre in Times Square. It was donated to the park in 1975 and according to Alex Baugh, “It was stolen once, I think around 1998, found in the East River and put back in its proper place.” For my part, I was pretty convinced that there weren’t any Pan statues in America. But, as the subsequent statues here show, I was way off the mark.  Thanks to Alex for alerting me to this.

Book: Peter Pan
Location: Main Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH
Sculptor: Mary Elizabeth Cook

And here we have a SECOND Peter Pan statue in the States. This one, however, comes with a bit of a sad story. According to this site, “Charles E. Munson left money to have the sculpture made in memory of his son, George Peabody Munson who died at the age of six.” Which accounts for why this is a slightly younger Pan than you usually see.  Thanks to Erica for the tip!

Book: Peter Pan
Location: Eldridge R. Johnson Park, Camden, NJ
Sculptor: Sir George Frampton

This may look a bit familiar to you. If so, that’s probably because it is one of five copies in the world. Or, as this site says, “The other four statues are located in Kensington Gardens, London; in Sefton Park, Liverpool, England; in the Gardens of the Egmont Palace, Brussels; and in St. John’s, Newfoundland.” I’ve seen the Kensington Gardens version before but had no idea until now that there was an American version. Apparently it was purchased as a gift to the children of Camden and “The statue was dedicated at a magnificent Peter Pan Pageant on September 24, 1926, where over 3,000 schoolchildren from Camden, Merchantville, and other nearby towns.” Amusingly, the same park sports a statue of the great god Pan as well. Thanks to Stephen Winick for the tips!

Book: Peter Pan
Location: Weatherford, TX
Sculptor: Ronald Thomason and cast by Metz Castleberry


Finally, we head over to Texas for the final Peter Pan statue in our collection.  It’s located in front of the Weatherford Public Library, and if it looks somewhat familiar that’s because it’s a bronze likeness of none other than Mary Martin who played Pan on Broadway and on TV. A plaque on the statue calls it, “A tribute to the genius of Weatherford’s Mary Martin who brought a myth to life for America’s millions.”  Read more about the statue here where you can also read about a fiberglass Pan statue that reported, “back in the 1970s, some Mineral Wells students tore…down.”

Book: Pinocchio
Location: Citygarden, St. Louis, MO
Sculptor: Jim Dine

The sculpture itself actually has a name. Called “Big White Gloves, Four Big Wheels”, it’s part of Citygarden, a pubic park in St. Louis and is the only sculpture in the entire park that was commissioned rather than simply purchased. If you listen to the audio tour (found here) you learn that the sculptor Jim Dine has been a Pinocchio fan since he was six. It doesn’t explain why Citygarden also wanted a Pinocchio of their very own, but it does say some great things about Pinocchio as a work in general.  More info is here.  Thanks to Lynn Alpert for the tip.

Book: Pinocchio
Location: Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
Sculptor: Jim Dine


But wait! It seems that St. Louis isn’t the only place in the country to see a Jim Dine statue of Pinocchio. While the St. Louis version was made in 2009, in 2012 this 12-foot tall bronze statue (the same height as its St. Louis twin sans the platform) just wants to give you a great big hug when you approach the museum.  Dine’s no fly-by-night Pinocchio fan either.  According to this article, “In 2005 Dine devoted his time to a personal interpretation of Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio by creating a lithograph for each of the 36 chapters of the book.”  Thanks to Peggy Dean for the tip!

Book: Pinocchio
Location: Citygarden, St. Louis, MO
Sculptor: Tom Otterness

I debated with myself whether or not to include this one, but the title is “Kindly Geppetto” and together with Jim Dine’s own Pinocchio-based work, the two statues establish St. Louis as (for whatever reason) America’s best place to find Pinocchio statuary.  Naturally I had to listen to the audio tour on the work here.  From it you can learn about everything from violence in Disney to Oedipus complexes.  Apparently this is supposed to be an image of Geppetto mere moments away from hammering little Pinocchio with a mallet.  More info is here.  Thanks to Lynn Alpert for the tip.

Book: Pinocchio
Location: Storybook Land, Wylie Park, Aberdeen, SD

Probably as far as you could get from the representational Pinocchios in St. Louis. Here in Aberdeen you basically have Disney’s version, right down to the black and white cat. Thanks to Donna Nix for the tip!

Book: Pollyanna
Location: Littleton, NH
Sculptor: Emile Birch

Okay. So I am officially in love with Littleton, NH. And after reading this little piece about their town, you will too.

Title: Ramona Quimby
Location: Gresham Regional Library of Gresham, OR
Sculptor: Lee Hunt

The first of MANY Ramonas to come.

Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins & Ribsy
Location: Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden, Grant Park, Portland, OR
Sculptor: Lee Hunt

The most famous Ramona statues are the ones found in this lovely park.  I’ve visited them once or twice and they’re spectacular.  Very well loved and tended.

Ramona Quimby
Location: St. Paul Central Library, St. Paul, MN

Actually, I’m pretty sure I have one too many statues here.  As I recall the St. Paul Library only has two Ramona busts.  Whence the third?  Help me out here, readers.

Book: Rip van Winkle
Location: Irvington, NY
Sculptor: Richard Masloski

A relatively recent creation, this Rip is rather beautiful in his construction, don’t you think? The New York Times even wrote an article about the plans to create the statue back in 2001. It is not, however, the only Rip van Winkle in town. Behold:

Book: Rip van Winkle
Location: Irvington, NY
Sculptor: Daniel Chester French

This one’s a little bit older. It was unveiled June 27, 1927 and currently stands at the Washington Irving Memorial at the corner of Broadway and West Sunnyside Lane. Amusingly Rip is just one of three statues there. One is a bust of Washington Irving himself. The other? According to The Irvington Historical Society, “Boabdil, a minor character in Irving’s The Alhambra”. Uh-huh.  Thanks to Leigh Woznick for the tips!

Book: Runaway Bunny
Location: Westerly, RI

This little bunny suffered some serious vandalism recently, but I believe everything’s been cleaned up nicely by this point. Feel free to pay him a visit.

Book: Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Location: Seattle Peace Park, Seattle, WA
Sculptor: Daryl Smith

Wait . . . we’re not done . . .

Book: Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Location: College of Business, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Sculptor: Daryl Smith

One more . . .

Book: Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Location: United Nations Peace Plaza, Independence, MO

Only Ramona challenges Sadako for most statues of a girl in a work of children’s literature. For a full listing of worldwide Sadako memorials and statues, go here. Commenter Rochelle says that there is also a Sadako found in Sante Fe, NM, ” maybe 2 feet tall (or so) inside a visitor’s center”. I wasn’t able to find anything online about it, so anyone who has more info – lay it on me!

Books: The “Sally the dog” series by Stephen Huneck
Location: Dog Mountain, St. Johnsbury, Vermont
Sculptor: Stephen Huneck

After a near-death experience, sculptor Stephen Huneck had a vision to build what he called the Dog Chapel, “a place where people can go and celebrate the spiritual bond they have with their dogs.” Set on 150 acres on a private mountaintop spot in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, “(T)he grounds are always open to people and their dogs.”  Huneck worked in woodcut prints and created ten of the “Sally” books in that manner.  But he also sculpted in wood, so it is more than fitting that we should find his works both in the Chapel and around it.


Book: Santa Calls
Location: The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, TX

Book: The Secret Garden
Location: Conservatory Garden, Central Park, New York City, NY

Yes, Virginia. There really is a Secret Garden statue and tribute to Frances Hodgson Burnett hidden away in Central Park. Though these two are supposedly Mary and Dickon, I’m a bit skeptical. Dickon maybe. Mary? Not so sure. The plaque that you’ll read on the ground, however, makes it pretty clear what this is supposed to be.

Book: Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn
Location: Hannibal, MMO
Sculptor: Frederick Hibbard

Problematic Tom and Huck wander onto the scene. You might get away with saying that Tom’s a children’s literary character, though reading him to your kids today certainly requires a LOT of explanation. Huck Finn? Not so much.  There’s a clip from a 1926 New York Times news article about the statue here.  Considering how long ago this was made, I should probably be including more information on the dates these sculptures were created.  Thanks to J.L. Bell for the tip!

Title: The Tortoise and the Hare (Aesop’s Fables)
Location: Van Cortlandt Park, on the sidewalk on Broadway (between 249th & 250th), Bronx, NY
Sculptor: Michael Browne & Stuart Smith

This marks the one and only New York City statue I was wholly and completely unaware of before I started this project. This lovely little work sits on a stone pedestal just outside the finish line of the Van Cortlandt Park cross-country track, which according to various sources is one of the best known in the country. The statue was apparently created as part of a capital project upgrading the track. Thanks to Sistahgirl for the tip.

Title: The Tortoise and the Hare (Aesop’s Fables)
Location: Copley Square, Boston, MA
Sculptor: Nancy Schön

Looks like NYC isn’t the only place sporting this particular fable.  Ms. Schön strikes again, and in Boston too.  Plus it’s not her only one.  She has a great series of Aesop’s Fables in sculpture.  Check ’em out here. I should note that this same exact pair also appears at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Thanks for the tip, Marcia Zorn!

Book: The Ugly Duckling
Location: Central Park, New York City, NY

Though Mr. Hans Christian Andersen gets all the attention, it’s the little duckling I love.  I’ve done storytelling in front of this statue and it is bracing stuff.  It is not, however, the only pairing of Andersen and his little duckling in statuesque form.  Behold . . .

Title: The Ugly Duckling
Location: Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL
Sculptor: Johannes Gelert

It was important that I show that this isn’t just a statue of Mr. Andersen (nice enough though that may be) but also features one of his characters. The Ugly Duckling is now all grown up and I like that it appears to be standing guard beneath its maker. Who put up the money for this beauty back in 1896? According to this site it was, “American citizens of Danish descent throughout the country.”  I wonder if it’s the oldest children’s literary statue on this list.  Thanks to Nellie for the tip.

Title: The Ugly Duckling
Location: Scandinavian Heritage Park, Minot, ND
Sculptor: Shari Hamilton


Who knew there were so many Hans Christian Andersens in America! And why do they always pose with the Duckling? This Andersen is much cheerier than his fellows.  As you can see from the dedication plaque here, the sculpture was coordinated by the Souris Valley Danish Society of Minot and donated by Lynn and Marilyn Odland.  He’s one of four other Scandinavian statues in the park (and undeniably the best known of the lot).  Thanks to Elaine Snively for the tip!

Book: Uncle Remus, His Songs and Sayings
Location: The Uncle Remus Museum, Eatonton, GA

As you will see, Br’er Rabbit is the kind of guy who gets represented in a myriad of different forms. This one, for all that it’s a touch odd, is my favorite. I mean, he’s wearing a purple suit. You’ve got to be a seriously smart dresser to pull that one off. For more information on the Uncle Remus Museum, check out their website here.  And here’s a news article about what happened when some college kids stole him as a prank. Thanks to Eric Carpenter, PG and Elizabeth Dulemba for the tip!

Book: Uncle Remus, His Songs and Sayings
Location: Putnam County Courthouse, Eatonton, GA

Full credit to Eatonton. They love Br’er Rabbit so much that a single statue of him in town wasn’t going to cut it. This second rabbit dons a snappy red sportscoat. And yes. That is Salman Rushdie in the second photo.  Thanks again to Elizabeth Dulemba for the tip!

Book: Uncle Remus, His Songs and Saying
Location: Morgan County Public Library, Madison, GA
Sculptor: Julian Hoke Harris

Created in 1959, these statues used to reside in the Lenox Square Shopping Center, an open air mall. Rumor has it that in the early 1970s they were deemed offensive and eventually were moved to the library instead. Another story says that “The Critters” (as they’re called) were moved in 1978 when the mall underwent a major renovation. Just gorgeous art in any case. You can find some first person accounts of their unveiling in the comment section of this blog post and a picture from that unveiling here. For some background information this post has a great plaque that discusses the statues.

Book: Where the Red Fern Grows
Location: Idaho Falls Public Library, Idaho Falls, ID
Sculptor: Marilyn Hansen

One of the best library statues I’ve seen.  More information on it can be found here.  And what’s amazing to me is that it’s not the only statue from that book in the world.

Book: Where the Red Fern Grows
Location: Sequoyah Park, Tahlequah, OK

There’s even a Red Fern Festival to accompany it.

Book: Watership Down
Location: Wandell Sculpture Garden, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, IL
Sculptor: Todd Frahm

Because you can never have too many bunnies. Now I was a little skeptical, I admit, when reader Thaddeus Andracki said that there was a statue of El-Ahrairah in an Illinois sculpture garden. Who’s to say it isn’t just a big rabbit? But after checking out the garden’s brochure I am convinced. You might well wonder if Watership Down should really be considered a work of children’s literature. I’d say it’s at least YA, and YA is few and far between enough that it will count here. Thanks again to Mr. Andracki for the link!

Book: Whistle for Willie
Location: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY
Sculptor: Otto Neals

Yep. That’s Ezra Jack Keats’ Peter from The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie, and so much more. This is one of my favorites, and yet I never had a chance to visit it when I lived in NYC. Someday I’ll make the pilgrimage. You can read more about the statue here.

Book: The Wind in the Willows
Location: Mountain View Public Library, City of Mountain View, CA
Sculptor: Albert Guibara

1999 marks the year these iconic characters were made. They’re located behind the library and, it is probably the only statue on this list to be attached to something living. Some of the works have been merged with the oak tree found back there. For more information check out the artist’s website here. Many thanks to Rebecca Laincz for the tip!

Book: Winnie-the-Pooh
Location: Newton Free Library of Newton, MA
Sculptor: Nancy Schön

As the story goes, Eeyore was established in 1991. But he looked so sad that Pooh was made in the memory of Sarah Oliver who had written the mayor asking for Eeyore to have a friend.  Later on Piglet joined.  Read this little article on the characters for more information.  Thanks to J.L. Bell for the tip about Piglet.

Book: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Location: Galveston, TX
Sculptor: Jim Phillips

When Hurricane Ike hit Galveston Island in 2008 many trees were killed by the storm surge. Sculptures were carved from the tree trunks. You can find the Tin Man and Toto here at 1702 Winnie. Many thanks to Robin Smith for the tip!

Book: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Location: Oz Park, Chicago, IL
Sculptor: John Kearney

In the past their plaques have been stolen, but at least the statues themselves have remained intact.

Book: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Location: Union Station, Burlington, VT

Apparently these flying monkeys have had a long and sordid history.  They originally were featured on the roof of a futon store called Emerald City (I believe the first photo here shows that), but were stolen at various times.  These days they reside on top of Burlington’s train station (the second photo).  You can find more info on them here.  Boy, they’re scary!  Thanks to J.L. Bell for the tip.  Mind you, putting Oz characters on a roof is nothing new if you’ve already seen . .

Book: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Location: Juneau, AK

We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. We’re in Alaska! On top of Reliable Sheet Metal, as it happens. Legend has it that this motley crew all began with a single Tin Man. The workers in the shop were just bored one day and made him. But Tin Man proved so popular that they decided to add a character every year.  There’s a little more information to be found here.  The tornado is my favorite.  Thanks to BHT for the tip.

Title The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Location: Storybook Land, Wylie Park, Aberdeen, SD

L. Frank Baum apparently lived in this part of the country for a portion of his life. All the more reason for this nice showing of familiar faces. It’s interesting to me when a statue harkens closer to a movie than a book. Legality be damned. This is ART we’re talking about! You can find more information about the site here.  Thanks to Donna Nix for the link!

Title: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Location: Dorothy’s House / The Land of Oz, Liberal KS


As the story goes, the people of Kansas have always been delighted with Baum’s classic tale, but there has been a great deal of debate surrounding the question of where precisely in Kansas Dorothy lived. In 1981 Liberal, KS declared itself the home of Dorothy and they’ve maintained a kind of tourist experience ever since.  They are also pretty terrible about crediting the sculptor who created this rather beautiful piece featuring Dorothy and Toto.  Apparently the Tin Man (and a Scarecrow statue I was unable to locate online) were built out of air ducts by a local refrigeration class. Thanks to DanB for the tip!

Title: Wynken, Blynken and Nod
Location: Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL
Sculptor: Edward Francis McCartan

This relief sculpture can be found on the sides of a statue paying homage to Eugene Fields. Next time you’re in Chicago, see if you can find it. The zoo is free, after all. Thanks to Meggan for the tip!

Title: Wynken, Blynken and Nod
Location: Washington Park, Denver, CO
Sculptor: Mabel Landrum Torrey

This particular statue is located next to the home of Eugene Field, the creator of the classic poem. It is not the only one of its kind, however. Travel to Wellsboro, PA and you’ll find a bronze statue/replica on the city’s Green. For more information, go here.  Thanks to Stephanie Harvey for the suggestion.

Book: Yertle the Turtle
Location: The Storybook Garden, The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, TX
Sculptor: Leo Rijn

One of the few Rijn sculptures where I can only find one version in the States.  If folks know of a second Yertle (aside from the one in the Dr. Seuss National Memorial) I’d love to hear it.  Thanks to Morgan Mogler for the image!

I know this can’t possibly be complete, so let me have ’em.  What other public American sculptures can you name?

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.


  1. Judy Weymouth says

    Betsy, it will take some time for me to read all the information you have included with these wonderful pictures today. Just scrolling through this incredible collection, though, fills me with awe thinking of the amazing talent of the artists who created these sculptures. I’m also moved thinking of the huge expression of love for characters found in children’s books . . . many groups of people raising gobs of money to commemorate authors and their “fictional” creations.

    Thanks for this amazing resource. I’m going to use it to visit these sculptures when possible.

  2. Melissa Manlove says

    I think the first Ramona is in St Paul, too, but at the Highland Park branch?

  3. I am seeing a trip to Texas in my future. Thanks, Betsy!

  4. Laura Martineau says

    Don’t know if this is still on your to-do list, but it’s quite recent so you may not have caught word of it. “Move One Place On,” the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland sculpture by Bridgette Mongeon, has been established in Evelyn’s Park in Bellaire, TX. (best still photo I could find–lots of video at the other links!)

  5. Laura Martineau says

    Another Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland sculpture by Bill Snow at the Carthage Public Library in Carthage, MO: (photo at bottom right)