Books Your Kid Should Read

"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." - Jorge Luis Borges

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The Pet of the Met

21 August 2008

Pet of the Met
by Don and Lydia Freeman
Illus. Don and Lydia Freeman

This was one of my favorite childhood books, and only recently came back into print; my mom brought it as a gift for my daughter and it was like travelling back in time 30-some years - it had been that long since I'd even *thought* about this book. I'm so glad it's easily available again, though, because it really is wonderful. Pet of the Met tells the story of Maestro Petrini, the mouse whose job it is to turn pages for the prompter at the Metropolitan Opera house. A true devotee of opera, the only blot on Petrini's existence is the constant presence of his arch-enemy, Mefisto the cat. The two manage to co-exist peacefully until one day Petrini is carried away by a production of The Magic Flute and ends up giving the performance of his life. The story introduces kids to all kinds of great theatre and opera terms, and gives a magical window into backstage activities. And the pictures are simply marvellous, as you'd expect from the illustrator of the Corduroy stories. An excellent book to read aloud, over and over again.