The nourish-n-cherish household love for books and libraries is well known. On our recent trip to Boston for instance, we made an afternoon of the Boston Public Library and spent several evenings at the local bookstores. By the time, New York and Boston were done, we had bought between ourselves 10 large books that needed to be packed on a flight. Flights, as you know, would, if they could, weigh the sandwich you were eating to see if they priced tickets right (Boops: 3 layered sandwiches – $50 extra please. )
When we moved our nest a couple of months ago, the whole family squealed at the sight of a little yellow lending library in the neighborhood. There it sat on the lawn of one of our neighbors, and is a sight that always has me smiling. The generosity of the owners, the marvelous gift of books for everyone, not withstanding, I also see that they do a fine job of rotating children’s books, picture books, fiction and non-fiction books. It is an inevitable stop on a walk, if just to peek at the collections set forth for the week.
Obviously, then I was attracted to the book, Digging For Words – Jose Alberto Gutierrez and the Library He Built, Written by Angela Burke Kunkel Illustrated by Paola Escobar
In the city of Bogota, Colombia, live in two Joses. One is a little boy who dreams and waits patiently for Saturdays when he gets to visit a special place. The other, a garbage collector, who has over the course of 20 years of garbage collecting, created a library of the books picked from garbage piles, to share with the rest of the city. His library opens on Saturdays.
The story by itself is a heart warming one based on the true life of Jose Alberto Gutierrez, However what makes a wonderful story completely captivating is the beautiful illustrations. The unexpected joy of seeing the Little Prince in the last page, leaves one with a fuzzy feeling after reading a tale of warmth, perseverance and possibilities of doing good in our world.
Jose Alberto Gutierrez, is known as the Lord of the Books (what a marvelous, marvelous title?)
Excerpt from the Author’s Note:
In addition to running his library, Gutierrez directs the foundation he established, La Fuerza de las Palabras (The Strength of Words) which provides reading material to schools, organizations, and libraries across Colombia.Author’s Note from Digging For Words – Jose Alberto Gutierrez and the Library He Built
What are your favorite libraries and bookstores?