This little wooden duck is as simple as it gets, but you should have heard the “awwwws” it elicited at a baby shower last week.

The duck is handmade by Frank Ridley at Different Drummer Workshop in Solon. It’s a small family business that’s been making wooden toys, mostly from white pine, since 1973. Ridley says most of his customers are parents looking for “green” toys made in the United States so they don’t have to worry about their toddler ingesting something toxic when the toy inevitably goes into a drooling mouth. Others love the toys because they prefer the old-time simplicity of a wooden fire engine that contains no plastic and doesn’t run on batteries. Ridley believes toys should be non-violent and simple in design, so children can use their imaginations.

While the duck ($15) is a classic, Different Drummer Workshop has a big line that includes clever takes on a lawn mower ($25), a logging truck ($45), a highchair ($65) and a hybrid car ($13). There’s even a bank shaped like a milk truck, with a little wooden milkman in the driver’s seat ($36).

Ridley’s creations can be found at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester; Mung Bean in Boothbay Harbor; Rocking Horse Toys in Wiscasset; and Handworks Gallery in Blue Hill. You can also order them online at