Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review - Do You Know Dewey?


Do You Know Dewey? Exploring the Dewey Decimal System

By: Brian P. Cleary
Publisher: Millbrook Press
Publication Date: August 2012
ISBN: 978-0761366768
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: November 2012

Melvil scratched his head as he stood on a stool and looked at the piles and piles of books on the shelves. It was just a big mess and there wasn’t any way he could find what he was looking for. When he grew up he was able to “make a system to organize those stacks of books and classify and list ‘em.” What Melvil did was make it easy for us to find where nonfiction books are in a library. “The Dewey decimal system keep nonfiction in its place. / Books are grouped by subject, such as art or outer space. / This system mainly covers books on topics that are real: / people, things, and places jammed with factual appeal!” In other words, when you go into a library you’ll be able to find what you are looking for instead of looking at a jumble of books.

If you think you want to learn more about the Internet you’d simply head to the shelves that are “labeled with the zeroes, or the Os.” You can see the labels on the ends of the shelves and on the spines of the books. Easy peasy! If you head to the 100s you can find out all about us, even those unusual things like ghosts and people like Harry Houdini. When you want to learn about the religions of the world “and probe beliefs and faiths of people living around the globe,” it’s off to the 200s. Anything you need to know about can easily be found if you know how the Dewey decimal system works. What section do you think this book would be in?

This is a fun, informative book about the Dewey decimal system the young reader will enjoy. This vibrant book makes the system come alive as Cleary’s inimitable rhyming scheme helps children learn where to find nonfiction books in a library. This is not an in-depth look at the system, but rather an introductory one for the younger student. The artwork is particularly vibrant as it dances throughout the pages. For example, when we take a peek at the 400s, we see a youngster in a darkened library. He is holding a torch aloft as he “explores” an Egyptian tomb. In the back of the book is a section on how to use the Dewey decimal system and a basic one on its actual numerical sequence.

Quill says: This is a perfect introduction to the Dewey decimal system, a "must have" for every library!