Concord’s most literary duck turns 1

June 14, 2023

By Anne O’Connor

Millie is proud to call the children’s garden home.

The 1-year-old, two-foot-tall bronze rubber duckie is quite popular with the under-10 crowd. Children pat her, climb on her and gather ‘round for stories.

And, yes, of course she has seasonally-appropriate outfits, like a kerchief made from Red Sox themed material to go with her shirt.

Millie the Duck, created by Nancy Schon – best known for creating the Make Way for Ducklings sculpture in the Boston Public Garden, was a gift from the Milldam Nursery School, said Sherry Litwack, the president of the Concord Free Public Library Corporation, which owns the library building and grounds.

“She’s just a child magnet,” Litwack said of the statue that was originally intended to commemorate the nursery school’s 50th anniversary¸ “Children make a bee-line for her.” 

When Schon made the Boston statues, part of the agreement was that she would create no more duck statues. But, Millie got the green light, because Millie is a rubber duck, not a duck/duck, Litwack said. 

Millie roosted at the library because the school felt that more children would enjoy the art if it were at the library, rather than at the school, she said.

Before the duck was completed and installed at the library, she earned a name. Staff began to refer to her as “Millie,” after the Milldam Nursery School.

Millie needed a backstory, so, what would be more appropriate than having her own children’s book?

“Millie Finds a New Home,” by Jeff Dinardo and illustrated by Priscilla Alpaugh was published in time for the June 2022 installation of the sculpture.

The book is dedicated to Jeff Adams, a trustee of the CFPLC, who oversaw the recently completed building project at the library. When folks became frustrated with how things were going, Adams would say, “Construction is fun,” Litwack said.

In the Concord-set story, Millie gets interested in a book with a section on construction, flies around Concord looking for the man and daughter who had been reading the book and comes across the construction at the library. Things get interesting after that.

The library will celebrate Millie’s first birthday on June 16 from 3-4 p.m. at the children’s garden at the main library with special activities and, of course, cake.