I hadn’t thought about Hector P. Valenti, Star of Stage and Screen, since the last time I read one of the Lyle the Crocodile books to our children. Given that our youngest is 26, it has been a while. Husband mentioned him the other day as one of his favorite literary villians.
The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber was one of the first books I read all by myself as a child. I loved the water colors and the storyline, about Lyle the Crocodile, a caviar swilling reptile who is abandoned by his owner Hector, a down and out performer, and who becomes a beloved member of a human household in New York City. In all the Lyle books, Mr. Valenti tries to get Lyle back into show business with him in various nefarious ways, only to have virtue and love win out in the end. I just reread The House on East 88th Street, and it is a fresh and lovely as when I first read it in 1963. Hector is a good villain indeed.
Who are your favorite literary villains? What children’s books would you like to read again? What is your opinion of Turkish Caviar?