By Jamie LaRue
Garfield County Libraries
“Most people don’t remember the day they were born. I remember it all.” So begins the children’s book “Buttons: Dreams Do Come True” by longtime Glenwood Springs resident, Rachael Windh.
That arresting beginning has an immediate twist. The narrator is … a book. It’s a book by a book about being a book.
After being pressed into existence, “Buttons” begins its journey. First, into a shipping box. Next, to a shelf in a bookstore. Then, to a young girl’s home as a birthday gift. Then, “Buttons” is regifted to a neighbor.
Then, to school, then to a library, then, after many uses, to a library book sale, then, at last, to the adventure “Buttons” had always longed for — travel!
I realize that I have just given a complete spoiler for the book, but I found it charming. People don’t return to children’s books because of surprising plot developments. They return because a book captures some important feeling or discovery. In this case, the illustrations are lovely, and the story is touchingly told. The point — dreams can indeed come true — is a good one.
But more to the point, “Buttons” nails something usually only librarians think about: books do indeed have many lives. And like some people, they want to be loved, and they want to get around in the world. (In libraryland, we refer to the travels of a book as “circulation.”)
Getting to a library is just one part of a book’s journey. Ideally, it passes through many hands, many lives. Those additional lives increase its chance of finding its readers.
In talking with the author, I learned that she actually wrote the book 23 years ago, and has been submitting it for publication ever since. That’s a familiar story for many authors. Writing the book isn’t necessarily the hard part. It’s getting it published — one of the reasons that so many authors turn to self-publishing.
The next challenge is getting the book noticed. And that’s what this review is about. All around us, people are quietly engaged in acts of creation. It’s worth celebrating.
“Buttons: Dreams Do Come True” is available from the Glenwood Springs Branch Library.
“Recommended Reading” is a collaboration between The Sopris Sun and Garfield County Libraries, highlighting important literature available at local libraries.