BENVENUTO by Seymour Reit


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When returning New York kids get off the Fresh Air bus with jars and bottles containing samples of Catskill wildlife, Paolo Bruno, twelve, is carrying a baby dragon he had found abandoned in a cave, and though Mr. Bruno maintains at first that a city apartment is no place to bring up a dragon, Benvenuto stays and enjoys the family's affection, Mrs. Bruno's ravioli, and the admiration of blase Greenwich Villagers he encounters on his walks. Then Benvenuto disappears, and before he is found several days later Paolo's ads in Madame Olga's pet shop and the Village Voice lost and founds have attracted the unwelcome attention of the police, the SPCA, and the health department. It takes Madame Olga's friend Luther Lewis, a young black civil rights lawyer, to establish the family's right to keep Benvenuto (as ""dragons are not listed in the City Health Code""), and after a flurry of notice from the Times, the News and TV hosts, theysettle down with the pet, returning him to the country later when he grows too big and too restless for the city. Reit's good natured cast and local (Bleecker Street) color breathe a spark or two of life into the commonplace notion and formula plot.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1974
Page count: 126pp
Publisher: Addison-Wesley