Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Dog Loves Books
I'm a sucker for stories about books. Most librarians I know are as well. Standing in my local library I spotted a title sticking out from the stack called Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates. I pulled out the book to see a smiling happy dog carting around a pile of books. I checked it out immediately. The very next day I stopped into my local bookstore to order the book. I couldn't imagine my own personal library without it.
Dog loves books. He loves how he can disappear into the stories and meet fun characters. So he decides to open a book shop. He does all the work of setting up shop, but after opening he's a bit short on customers. He waits and waits and waits. And he grows bored. Until he remembers...he's surrounded by books. He starts reading and suddenly the quiet bookshop is gone. He's playing with dinosaurs or in space. He's so busy he doesn't even notice that he has his first real customer. And he gets the joy of sharing the books he loves so much.
For a librarian this is about as wonderful of a book as you can get. Not only does Yates write a love letter to books, she writes a love letter to connecting people with books. This is about the transformative power of stories. About getting lost in the worlds in the pages. It's magical. The text is sparse. Yates lets her pictures tell much of the story. A two page spread just says "...a new adventure begins" as we see Dog bounding across the landscape in the pouch of a kangaroo.
Yates' pencil and watercolor illustrations were the highlight of the book for me. Dog is a wonderful character. He's noble and enthusiastic. He has a wonderful smile on his face for most of the book (other than his sad waiting scenes). His excitement for books is incredibly contagious. But at the same time he has a wonderful nobility about him. This is a dog who is proud of his store and proud of his books. The other characters have a great sweetness to them. The dinosaurs are more friendly than fierce. His first customer, a little girl, is rosy cheeked and excited. This is one of those magical books that will make you love reading and love books. Just as much as Dog loves them.