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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Question: Are These Library Statues Creepy?

I need your opinion on something.

It’s funny how library decorations become invisible after a while, isn’t it? We’re putting the library back together at my K-2nd grade school after a recent book fair and we pulled out these two clay statues (which had been standing on top of a tall shelf forever) and thought “hold on – should we put these back out?” And now I ask you – should we?

Please give a thumbs up or down in the comments.


I’ve always kind of liked them.

They’re about a foot and a half tall.

They remind me of this Lionel Richie video:

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Yikes! They are a bit forlorn-looking. Maybe they are sad b/c the just have a stuffed animal and not a book to hold? If you like them, keep them. Do your students ever comment on them?


    • Ha – Your “yikes” says a lot. It’s funny – we haven’t had any comments on them at all.

  2. Katherine says:

    I’m with Brenda, when the photo popped up in my Google Reader I first thought, “Yikes – what is that?” However if you like them and no one has said anything I think you are fine to put them back. They remind me of Medusa. :)

  3. It might be interesting to have the students write stories with the statues as characters. You would certainly find out how they see them.

  4. Regina Hartley says:

    Perhaps you need to put them on an even taller shelf. Or bring them down to eye level and decorate them for each holiday–an interactive display. By themselves, they are a bit creepy. ;)

  5. Keep them!

    I mean, yes they are a little creepy, but what’s wrong with creepy? They’re interesting.

    I may be a little biased though, because our local library branch has a set of statues quite like these on the forlorn-creepy scale and my 4 year old daughter loves them. She always asks to go up and talk to the girl statue and has given them quite the background history.

    I am a strong proponent of strange library decor.

    • My wife said she’d give me a dollar for everyone who said to keep them, so I appreciate your thumbs up. Also, we can split the dollar.

  6. I am going to be creeped out by these all day! Do you know any of the backstory behind them at all? I wonder where they came from…

    • They have a name on the back and 71, which I assume is when they were made. I don’t know much else than that – we’re going to ask around the school.

  7. They are a bit creepy, but I’d keep them anyway. They’d be great as part of a Mary Downing Hahn display.

  8. Thumbs up!

    It looks like they came from a haunted 1960s nursery room. There’s a story in there somewhere.

  9. Uh, creepy to the nth degree. I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep reading once I saw the picture. Maybe they could be part of a paranormal/ghost display?

  10. I see:
    1. a cool writing prompt and
    2. a naming contest. Reading mascot, complete with their own stories.

  11. Barbara O'Connor says:

    Creepy. But I like Shelly’s idea of a naming and story contest. That would be fun!

  12. I think they’re a little creepy, but my opinion may be skewed by the fact that at my library anything like that would be immediately thrown out for being “ancient” looking. If you like them, you should definitely keep them, and display them proudly. Also THANKS because I’ll be singing “Helloooo… is it me you’re looking fooor?” in my head for the rest of the day!

  13. Super creepy.

  14. They are a bit creepy, but that could be a selling point for some kids. You could make up some kind of mythology to go with them.

  15. You’re right . . . they’re interesting, though a bit sad-looking. I saw Joyce Carol Oates’ latest
    hardback title –I think it’s called Mudwoman?–in my local indy bookstore last week. These two
    look similar to the figure on that cover! Have you seen it? Anyway, I love some poems and examples of visual art that are not necessarily cheerful . . . One needs art that represents a range of emotions, right? I say thumbs up. And now you have another dollar–ha!

  16. Mike Lewis says:

    No. You absolutely should not keep those statues. They don’t belong in a library… For children.

    But, do let me know if you’re taking offers.

  17. I do not think they represent the childlike joy we want to see in libraries. If you want to keep them, perhaps when a child reads a good book, they could design a smile and a copy of the cover to stick on to the statue. You know cheer the statue up a bit. With two statues, and a whole school year, lots of kids would have a chance. Maybe simple props that represent the book could be added. You could do the first one!

  18. Just thinking that they remind me of the figurines of Jem and Scout that Boo Radley hid in the tree!