Posted in Picture Book Reviews

Book Review #9 : Miss Dorothy and her Bookmobile

Author – Gloria Houston

Illustrator – Susan Condie Lamb

Release Year – First published in 2011

Publisher – Harper Collins Publisher (USA)

Age group – 7 – 75 years

Available on – Amazon India

When Dorothy was a young girl,

she loved books,

and she loved people,

so she decided that

she would become a librarian.

Story – 

As a young girl, Miss Dorothy’s dearest wish was to be a librarian in a fine brick library just like the one she used to visit when she was small. But, after marriage, her new home, in North Carolina, had valleys and streams but no libraries, so Miss Dorothy and her neighbours decided to start a bookmobile. Instead of people coming to a fine brick library, Miss Dorothy could bring the books to them – at school, on the farm, even once in the middle of a river. She did her work of taking books to people even when the weather conditions were tough.

Years passed on.

One day, a reader donated a little white house to be used as a library. Miss Dorothy finally settled down as a librarian of not a fine brick library but a fine little library where people loved to read and people loved her.

My Review –

This is a real story told by the author Gloria Houston from her hometown. Miss Dorothy’s life’s journey is a passionate one, heartwarming and inspiring.

The story spans right from Dorothy’s childhood to her old age. It is written in an interesting manner. The words flow effortlessly and the vocabulary is simple. The description of the landscape where she lived is astounding complemented aptly by the illustrations. The illustrations are in watercolour and absolutely brilliant. The colour tones are warm and soothing. The pictures of natural landscapes are mesmerizing and the bookmobile is perfect in green.

Of all the instances, there are 2 instances which bring out Miss Dorothy’s commitment to her work. One is where an elderly Mrs. Maumey couldn’t go out of her house due to heavy snow. She hung out her husband’s red flannel drawers on the clothesline as a signal to Miss Dorothy to come to her place and collect the books she had finished reading. Miss Dorothy, then walked up the hill with more books for Mrs. Maumey.

Another instance is where her bookmobile got stuck in the middle of an overflowing river and a farmer on a tractor came to help pull her out. As soon as she and her bookmobile were out of the water, she got ready for her business. The farmer asked her for a book of poems and he got one then and there.

I am curious to know whether Miss Dorothy charged money from her readers or was it all free? If it was purely for her passion then how did she raise money for buying new books over the years and for paying for fuel and maintenance of the bookmobile?

What I loved –

What I loved in the story was although the neighbourhood, where Miss Dorothy lived, did not have any library, the people there were avid readers and were kind. They understood and shared her passion and contributed towards making her dream come true by helping her buy a Bookmobile. This shows a strong bond within the community. The story throws light on the concept of rolling libraries in olden times where books were taken to the people in wooden crates on an oxen wagons.

What D loved –

I got this book for D when he was 5. He was not interested then. But, when I read to him recently, he particularly became fond of the interactions between Miss Dorothy and the school children – one of them wanted to go see the world and later became an Air Force pilot, and the letters they wrote back to Miss Dorothy on growing up, later in life.

 My verdict –

This is a long story spanning over 25 pages with long texts. Therefore, it is appropriate for readers above 7 years. The younger children may not be able to appreciate the story for its length.

Given the fact how much I like Miss Dorothy’s life story, I am sure grown-ups, with a passion for libraries, books, and reading, will also find it worth.

Other books on librarians –

Note: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon India. This means: if you buy this book by clicking on the links given above, I will earn a small reference money at no additional cost to you. Thank you.


5 thoughts on “Book Review #9 : Miss Dorothy and her Bookmobile

  1. That is such a cute story, Anamika! And, your review brought it alive to me! The library of Ms. Dorothy’s dreams and the one she creates in the vehicle and the people so eager to read, come rain, snow or wind!
    Very interesting and so pleasant to read!
    Shilpa Gupte recently posted…The Bucket List.My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge