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>Neighborhood watch

>This appeared on my street the other night. What’s next, flying monkeys?

Update P.S. Go here to see any illusions you had about whimsical public art destroyed.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. GraceAnne LadyHawk says:

    >These tree faces, some far, far sillier than this one, are in a number of catalogs selling household items to my demographic.

    The guy a few houses up from us here in the Northeast end of NYC has had one for a few years now, turned slightly from the street. It never fails to make me smile when I see it.

  2. >OMG, those flying monkeys scared the daylights out of me when I was a kid!

    Maybe you should consider having some appropriate music wafting from your house to accompany lovely image.

  3. Anonymous says:

    >is it priggish of me to complain that one can BUY a kit with which to express one’s whimsy?

  4. Roger Sutton says:

    >No, Anon, I confess to great disillusionment caused by Graceanne’s revelation that these come via catalog. Here I was thinking some merry JP prankster was having a bit of fun. My innocence has been stolen.

  5. >How’d you like it if someone came along and picked something off of you?

  6. >I’ve seen this beauty in SkyMall. Seems to me it shouldn’t be on the street. It would scare the living daylights out of me in a 1984-ish way. Save the whimsy for the backyard, I say!

  7. Anonymous says:

    >What a lousy parking job. I’d frown, too, if I were the tree next to that car.

  8. Anonymous says:

    >what a HIDEOUS catalogue! And where exactly is the “northeast corner of NYC” ? Is this a camouflaged racist remark? When I lived there it was called Spanish Harlem.

  9. GraceAnne LadyHawk says:

    >We are more northeast than that. Manhattan is not all of NYC.

  10. GraceAnne LadyHawk says:


    Search on Forest Faces or Tree faces.

  11. b. Johansen Newman says:

    >Yard and lawn art is much better in the hind sight of about 50 years–which is why I find myself hunting down little painted pieces of plywood figures from about 1955, that YOU COULDN’T RENT SPACE IN MY YARD FOR IN 1975. So these may look great to collectors of kitsch in 2057.

    I do find that these little touches of random silliness make me smile, even if a lttle tacky and I am thankful that someone actually felt like doing this in this scary day and age, because maybe it made them smile, too.

    Besides, that cowboy tree face from the link is kinda calling my name a little…

  12. Anonymous says:

    >We have one of those faces on a tree in the back yard. One of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time was one of the neighborhood squirrels’ first encounter with it. Have you ever seen a rodent do a double-take?

    Cyn C

  13. Anonymous says:

    >For pure tree whimsy it’s still hard to beat the small door at the base of a tree over by the Harvard Law School that is labeled… Piglet? Pooh? Something from Milne, and not from a catalogue.

  14. Melinda says:

    >I’m kind of griped because we can’t treat a tree as a tree, we have to make it into a people. You try growing 50 arms that reach for the sun while breaking rocks with your toes and see how easy it is.

  15. rindawriter says:

    >It constantly amazes me how some folks earn their livings…vinyl tree faces…what next?!

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