The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
Written by: Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
Published By: Grand Central Publishing
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Have you ever judged a book by its cover? The moment I saw the cover of Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, I just knew I had to have it. The cover features an adorable photo of a very handsome orange tabby. Pulling this book off of the shelf at the local Barnes and Noble and reading the summary found on the inside of the book’s dust jacket convinced me even further. This was a book I simply had to read. Of course, I didn’t end up buying it right away. In fact, I waited until Christmas to receive the book, but I considered it a wait worthwhile.
The title tells you exactly what this book is about – Dewey, a library cat with such presence that he eventually became known worldwide. But of course, there is more to the story than that. Dewey was found only a few weeks old left in the metal after-hours book return drop box of the Spencer Public Library located in Spencer, Iowa. Vicki Myron, Director of the Spencer Public Library for over 25 years, describes the day she found Dewey as being the coldest day of the year. How could this tiny kitten survive nearly freezing to death in a metal container under a bunch of books with no way to keep itself warm? And yet, the kitten did survive. But would he be too scared to handle – after all, he was stuffed into a book return slot. The staff at the Spencer Public Library soon discovered that Dewey Readmore Books (as he was eventually named) had a terrific disposition. He loved and trusted everyone.
Eventually, the Vicki Myron was able to convince the library board to allow Dewey to remain at the library where he became a favorite of the townspeople who visited on a regular basis. Dewey’s disposition and handsome stature earned him many an admirer and those admirers eventually told others until Dewey was being visited by people far and wide. His fame spread to local papers, nationally read cat magazines and eventually to people filming internationally viewed documentaries.
But to Vicki, the staff at the Spencer Public Library and the regular patrons, Dewey was more than a famous cat – he was a friend that gave them so much more than fame. Dewey was adventurous and playful, but always knew when to be calm and caring. When staff members were down, Dewey knew just the right thing to do to cheer them up. Dewey is credited with lifting the spirits of the jobless, bringing family members together, helping disabled children and offering himself up as a pet for those children who could have none.
When I first started reading Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, I couldn’t help but compare him to my own pets. My first cat was the runt of the litter with extra claws on his front paws, a digestive issue and the sweetest disposition I had ever seen in a cat. My second cat takes some time to get to know people, but once she does know you, she is your friend for life. If you are sick, she’ll sit or lay beside whatever is hurting, offering her warmth in a mothering sort of way that convinces you she believes she can heal your every ailment. Dewey was just like my own furry munchkins and I quickly fell in love with him as well.
The book doesn’t just describe Dewey. It also delves into the town, the atmosphere of the times and the history of the author as a way of giving a thorough view of the world Dewey lived in. I loved the extra added insight into the people who took care of Dewey as well as the town at large. It helped give the reader further insight into how Dewey was able to affect those around him so profoundly. Reading this book, I wished I had actually met Dewey during his stay at the Spencer Public Library. He just seemed like such an amazing spirit trapped in a cat’s body – playful and adventurous while at the same time warm and friendly. I found myself laughing along with his antics and sighing at his gentle nature. It’s amazing how many lives one small cat, living in the library of a town most people have never heard of, can touch.
I also enjoyed the numerous photographs of Dewey found in every chapter of the novel. They aided in getting a better idea as to what Dewey looked like in action. The added inserts describing Dewey’s job at the library among other things were equally humorous.
I can’t imagine any cat lover who wouldn’t be charmed by the story of Dewey. Any animal lover would enjoy the tale. The story of Dewey Readmore Books is a heartwarming and inspiring tale about an animal who found his way into many a heart and profoundly touched everyone who ever knew him. Check out Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World – you won’t be disappointed!
For more information about Dewey Readmore Books, visit the Dewey section of the Spencer Public Library website at Spencer Public Library, Dewey's website at www.deweyreadmorebooks.com or check out Dewey's Facebook Page at Dewey | Facebook.