Writer: Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
Do you love cats? Because if you do, I double-dog-DARE you to look at this cover AND NOT FREAKING MELT. Even if I hadn't first heard of this book on LibraryThing (I requested the ARC but didn't get it), I would've never been able to avoid this book in stores. I mean, come on. For a cat lover, that cover's a magnet. I had to get it. HAD TO.
This review's going to be a little different than the norm, because Dewey is a non-fiction book that really doesn't need much other than a description, how I liked it, and what to expect. There's no spoilers (to speak of), no characterization, no plot. So there.
The story: there's a cat named Dewey, who, when he was a wee little kitten, was dropped off in the library box in Spencer, Iowa during a VERY COLD WINTER. The library immediately adored and adopted him, and the book that follows is his story: how he became a part of the library, the local community, and eventually the world.
But there's more to it than that, much to my surprise. I picked this up expecting bunches of cute cat stories (which I got), but I got something of a memoir as well: of the small town of Spencer, Iowa, and about the life of the author, Vicki Myron, who was technically Dewey's mom. I wasn't expecting those particular additions. Sometimes, the history and personal stories led into tales about Dewey and how he affected the community, other times not so much.
That's okay. The book's a quick read, and you can't help but grin over the tales (ha ha) of Dewey's antics in the library, as well as his ability to read and know people and just be an awesome people-cat. If you love cats, you'll tear up. Especially towards the end, which is pretty much what you'll expect and dread from a book like this. Sentimental? You bet. But it's a book about a CAT for goodness's sakes! Read and enjoy, and if you're like me, wish you hadn't missed the boat (you'll know what I mean).
Any criticisms? I wish the book had included more photos, and color photos at that. Not just of Dewey, but of the library staff, particularly our narrator. Watch them do that for the trade just to piss me off. :) Also, sometimes the non-cat stuff felt a little unnecessary, but that's just me. Maybe I was just in too big a hurry to read more cat stuff. :)
Worth the Cash: yes, I know it's a hardcover book in the US. But if you like/love cats, it's worth it. Okay, maybe the hardcover is only worth it to cat lovers, and all of you cat-likers will have to wait for the trade or something. Of course, those of you who DON'T like cats probably shouldn't bother, because it's unlikely you'll be moved by Dewey's story and his effect on the community. Or maybe you will. Check the book out in your own library and give it a go. It can't hurt. :)