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 Betsy Bird
Betsy 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.
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