I spy with my Warby Parker glasses...

(Photo: Warby Parker Boston Seaport)

...original art by author/illustrator Maira Kalman!

The other weekend I needed to get my Welty (Eastern Bluebird Fade) glasses adjusted and ended up at Warby Parker's Boston Seaport location, only to discover the New Yorker (and Horn Book Guide!) cover artist's original paintings gracing the walls behind the counter.

(Photo: Warby Parker Boston Seaport)

While I was waiting outside a few minutes to be called in (thanks to COVID-19 maximum occupancy limits), I noticed this postcard display of the art near the front window.

(Photo: Cynthia K. Ritter)

The woman with the hedgehog book on her head was my favorite though I didn't see her painting on the walls, so when I was finished getting my glasses fitted, I asked if I could take a photo of the display and the employees nicely offered to let me choose a free souvenir postcard to take home. Since the checkered-shirt-clad woman intrigued me and her glasses most resembled mine, I obviously picked that one.

(Photo: Cynthia K. Ritter)

But a mystery remained for me: Where was she in the store? I didn't think to ask until after I had left, but it turns out she was on a side wall facing the side street that I didn't see until I peeked/creeped later on Google Map photos (accompanied by what looks like an adorable yellow hedgehog!). I guess I'll just have to stop by again someday for another adjustment so I can say hi to her.

Betsy Bird has been keeping track of public children's literature statues in the United States on her Fuse #8 blog since 2013 (how many have you been to? My count is 9, I think. Hopefully I can travel to more of these again soon!), but I wonder if anyone keeps track of permanent public art installations like this by children's book authors/illustrators? I've certainly read about some being installed in libraries and bars and such over the years, but it would be cool to see just how many there are to visit in the U.S. What ones do you know about? Share with us in the comments!

Cynthia K. Ritter
Cynthia K. Ritter

Cynthia K. Ritter is managing editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She earned a master's degree in children's literature from Simmons University.

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