October 09, 2011

Dewey The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Bret Witter

I love animal stories and reading, so a story about a library cat fit the bill for me. And the anecdotes were cute (with some sad areas) but there was a lot of non-kitty aspects to this book as well.

After a small kitten appears in the drop box of the local library of Spencer, IA, the head director (Vicki Myron) decides to keep him as a library cat and he soon charms his way into the hearts of most of the town. After being nursed back to health from the extreme cold he learns to spend his day perusing the library and interacting with the patrons of all ages. This goes on for a full nineteen years of his life and he becomes very well known throughout the world. Along with his story, Vicki tells her own story and that of her family and the surrounding towns. As the sort of owner (he was owned by the whole town in a sense) she cares deeply for Dewey and it shows in this book.

Since this is a true story I can't really comment on characters. The stories about Dewey were great and being a cat owner myself I could tell that his personality was probably described very accurately as are the funny things that he did. The parts about Vicki and her family I didn't find quite as compelling, but then again I was expecting this book to be all about a cat. She does describe all the people fairly in the book though and I can see no reason why anyone would be offended by their characterization (except maybe the lady with the cow, but let's face it, that's funny).

I enjoyed the tales of Dewey most of all; the way they found him, who looked after him, his adventures in the library. They all touched me and I don't want to give too much away, but there were a few writings that brought tears to my eyes. The stories about Vicki and her family, as said before, I didn't enjoy as much. I didn't expect them to be there and I think that was part of it since I was looking for a book all about Dewey. It did inspire me to go look and see what our local library had to offer and I may even start volunteering eventually. So I guess the stories were worthwhile afterall. The writing itself was clear and more in a short story format. Quick little reads that would be perfect for reading in short doses.

A wonderful book for animal lovers and those who love the library. Just don't expect the whole book to be about Dewey.

Copyright 2008
271 pages

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