Monday, January 16, 2012

loopyker's #CBR4 Review #02: Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter

This review is for the audiobook only. When looking for “Dewey” books it can be a little confusing, so to clarify - this is the juvenile adaptation (grades 3 and up) of the original adult version, Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. There are also international versions simply called Dewey by other publishers. In addition to those, there are illustrated children's books Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library! and Dewey's Christmas at the Library for the kindergarten to grade 2 children. All, of these are about the same cat, Dewey Readmore Books, who brought joy to many people of all ages.
Dewey the Library Cat begins with the discovery of a sad, frozen, little grey kitten in the book return box of a small-town public library. After being brought back from near-death with a warm bath, it was discovered he was actually a sad, frost-bitten, little orange kitten. The librarian, Vicki Myron, who found him bonded instantly with the little guy and, with the approval of the City, he became the official “library cat” and lived in the library, except for when it was closed for holidays.
The book has many sweet stories of how Dewey impacted the lives of many of the staff and patrons of the library. It takes a special cat to have the personality to welcome so many different people! Many accounts tell how he did this while entertaining and comforting many people during his 19 years of life at the library, leading to world-wide fame. A satisfying, heartwarming book for those who enjoy cats and/or animal-human bonding stories. It just makes it better that it is also a true story.
As an audiobook listener, I missed out on the photographs, but there are photos and videos available on the Dewey web site and the Spencer Public Library. The narrator, Laura Hamilton, sounds like she would be right at home in a library reading this to juvenile aged children, but not so much that adults can't enjoy this audio version too.
My only little problem with the book, even as a cat-lover who constantly talks to her own cat, is that the anthropomorphism of Dewey's motivations and actions by Vicki can be a bit much to take at times, but they weren't enough to take too much away from the book. And, just a warning if you are getting this for a tenderhearted young person, Vicki does describe how Dewey gets ill in his old age and is put to sleep. A very emotional part of the book for readers of any age.
Overall, I enjoyed the audiobook and Dewey for a light and entertaining read. I listened to much of it with my own cat sleeping on my lap. It left me wanting to know more about Dewey, and from all of the information I see up on the web site, I'm guessing that many others had the same response. I've already added the next book to my list for future listening.

You can find more about Dewey, Dewey products and the newer book, Dewey's Nine Lives at the Dewey website. There is also a the Facebook Page, Dewey .

Author: Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
Narrator: Laura Hamilton
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Duration: 4 hours, 13 minutes (unabridged)
ISBN: 9781441885517
Release date: Oct 12, 2010

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (May 3, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0316068713

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