Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

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Dewey: The Library Cat
Dewey - The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World (book cover).jpg
Author Vicki Myron
Bret Witter
Cover artist Front cover photo of Dewey by Rick Krebsbach
Country United States
Language English
Subject Dewey Readmore Books
Genre Non-fiction
Publisher Grand Central Publishing
Publication date
2008
Pages 304
ISBN 978-0-446-40741-0
OCLC 191865523
LC Class SF445.5 .M97 2008
Followed by Dewey's Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions

Dewey: A Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World is a best-selling non-fiction book published in September 2008.[1] The book covers the life and times of Dewey Readmore Books, the cat in residence at the Spencer Public Library in Spencer, Iowa. Grand Central Publishing paid $1.2 million to then-library director Vicki Myron and co-author Bret Witter for the rights to the cat's life story.[2]

In addition to discussing Dewey's life from his discovery in the library drop bin on a cold winter's night, to his unlikely fame, to his death in 2006, the book also talks about the life of his caretaker, Vicki Myron, including her early life and struggles with illness and single motherhood. Dewey is portrayed as a loving cat who primarily lived in the library and connected with patrons.[1]

A feature film is being adapted from the novel, and is expected to star Meryl Streep.[3] Myron said, "No contracts are signed yet. Somebody leaked it to the press, but we're working with New Line Cinema. They're buying the option to make the movie and Meryl Streep will be playing me." She added, "I always knew there would probably be a movie. We had planned that early on once we knew the book was good. But I guess I'm surprised at the Meryl Streep thing. I was hoping for her early on and she agreed. It's wonderful."[4]

Reception[edit]

A reviewer for Teacher Librarian wrote, "Any cat lover or pet owner should be charmed by this story of a wonderful feline."[5] The Globe and Mail wrote, "Myron tells a series of frankly sad stories about people and cats knocked about by life... Each story is, by turns, bleak and uplifting... The writing is plain and direct, and largely devoid of sentimentality."[6]

The School Library Journal (SLJ) reviewed Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library!, saying, "This heartwarming picture book is based on the authors' adult title, Dewey (Grand Central, 2008). It describes how on a cold night Myron found a tiny kitten in the return box at Spencer Public Library in Iowa, and the feline's impact on the library community. Dewey Readmore Books overcame unpleasant encounters with young children who picked him up upside down or petted him the wrong way and settled in, "happy" to help people. The realistic illustrations, done in vibrant watercolors, bring the tale to life (the orange cat's expressions are priceless). The story moves along swiftly, and will be a hit with readers requesting animal books."[7]

Another reviewer wrote, "The attractive full colour illustrations have a photographic quality while the children reflect a variety of backgrounds. Paw print end papers are well-matched to this heart-warming story... The observation that Dewey 'read with the mummies and grandmas [and] helped the daddies work' may well be true but could be interpreted as gender stereotyping in a 21st century library. Nonetheless this is an endearing read which will appeal to children under eight and librarians/catlovers of all ages."[8]

SLJ also reviewed Dewey: The True Story of a World-Famous Library Cat: "Myron's best seller about the resident cat at the Spencer Public Library in Iowa has been adapted for middle grade readers. The references to most of the author's personal problems, which peppered her adult book, have been removed, and Dewey's story stands on its own... astute readers will also pick up on the message that a town's heart beats strongest in its library."[9]

Dewey the Library Cat (Brilliance Audio) was reviewed by SLJ, too: "Dewey's story is heartwarming and amusing as the cat wins over even the most recalcitrant of patrons. Children will giggle at his antics, delight in his eccentricities, and mourn his eventual passing. Laura Hamilton narrates the chapter book with panache and warmth."[10]

Publication details[edit]

  • Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. Large-print edition with slightly different title. New York: Grand Central Publishing Large Print, 2008. ISBN 978-0-446-54119-0. 464 pp.
  • Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. Audiobook on CD. New York, NY: Hachette Audio, 2008. ISBN 9781600243820. Read by Suzanne Toren.
  • Dewey: A Small Town, a Library and the World's Most Beloved Cat. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2008. ISBN 9780340953945.
  • Dewey: El Gatito de Biblioteca que Conquisto el Mundo. Spanish translation. United States: Suma, 2008. ISBN 9781603966481.
  • Dewey: um Gato entre Livros. São Paulo: Globo, 2008. Translated into Portuguese by Helena Londres. ISBN 9788525045799. 266 pp.
  • Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library! Juvenile ed. Illustrated by Steve James. New York: Little, Brown, 2009. ISBN 9780316068741.
  • Dewey. Leicester: Ulverscroft, 2009. Large-print ed. ISBN 9781847828224.
  • Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story. Adapted for primary school readers by Roberta Edwards; illustrated by Mirella Monesi. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 2009. ISBN 9780448453323.
  • Dewey. Miami, FL: Suma De Letras, 2009. Translated into Spanish by Isabel Murillo Fort. ISBN 9781603966481.
  • Dewey. İstanbul: Pegasus, 2009. Translated into Turkish by Suna Develioğlu. ISBN 9786055943578. 303 pp.
  • Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story. Adapted for middle school readers. New York: Little, Brown, 2010.
  • Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story. Audiobook on CD. Grand Haven: Brilliance Audio, 2010. Read by Laura Hamilton.
  • Dewey: The True Story of a World-Famous Library Cat. Adapted for young readers. London: Simon & Schuster Children's, 2010. ISBN 9781847388445. 214 pp.
  • Dewey: A Small Town, a Library and the World's Most Beloved Cat. Bath, England: BBC Audiobooks, 2010. Read by Lorelei King. ISBN 1408435489.
  • Dewey. New York: Hachette Audio, 2010. ISBN 1607886219. Read by Susan McInerney.
  • Dewey, le Petit Chat de la Bibliothèque. Translated into French by Claudine Azoulay. Toronto: Editions Scholastic, 2010. ISBN 9781443103183. 36 pp.
  • Dewey: Un Gato en la Biblioteca! Translation of Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library! by Teresa Blanch. Barcelona: Edebe, 2011. ISBN 9788423699155.

The book has been translated into Chinese, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian and other languages.

Myron followed up the book with more stories about Dewey in Dewey's Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions (New York: Dutton, 2010; ISBN 9780525951865). It includes tales about other cats as well. It was published as an audiobook by Penguin Audio in 2010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Michael Crumb (January 5, 2009). "'Dewey the Small-Town Library Cat' gets a successor". USA Today. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ Ayers, Jeff (September 16, 2008). "LJ Talks to Dewey Author Vicki Myron". Library Journal. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Meryl Streep Set to Play Librarian in Dewey Film". American Libraries. November 14, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Streep Set to Play Dewey Librarian". American Libraries. American Library Association. 40 (1-2): 22. January–February 2009. 
  5. ^ Bilz, Rachelle Lasky (June 2009). "Animals". Teacher Librarian. 36 (5): 13. 
  6. ^ Fabiani, Louise (January 14, 2011). "Bestsellers Have Gone to the... Cats?". The Globe and Mail. Toronto: The Globe and Mail Inc. p. R24. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  7. ^ Cuddy, Beth (Sep 2009). "Myron, Vicki & Bret Witter. Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library!". School Library Journal. New York: R.R. Bowker. 55 (9): 145. 
  8. ^ Woodman, Rosemary (Autumn 2010). "Myron, Vicki and Witter, Bret with James, Steve: Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library!". School Librarian. 58 (3): 158. 
  9. ^ Dean, Kara Schaff (June 2010). "Myron, Vicki & Bret Witter. Dewey: The True Story of a World-Famous Library Cat". School Library Journal. New York: R.R. Bowker. 56 (96): 134. 
  10. ^ Bateman, Teresa (January 2011). "Dewey: The Library Cat". School Library Journal. New York: R.R. Bowker. 57 (1): 57. 

External links[edit]