New York Magazine

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Best Reading Program

  • R.E.A.D. With Mudge or 212-275-6975

    Story time’s fun and all, but it’s not nearly as mind-blowing as New York Public Library’s R.E.A.D. With Mudge program, which pairs kids ages 5 and up with trained dogs at six library branches in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. That’s right: They get to read with a dog. The program (named after a popular book series about a boy and his dog, Mudge) helps kids focus on reading by taking a little pressure off them. At the Mulberry Street library branch, a calm Border Collie-Greyhound mix named Theo curls up on kids’ laps for one-on-one reading sessions that last twenty minutes. When a kid forgets to read out loud, the dog nudges him gently. When the child struggles with a word, Theo puts his paw on the page. It’s almost uncanny, says owner Kimberly Wang: “Sometimes I think Theo really can read.”

From the 2009 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

Order the Issue Today

Cover of New York Magazine's Best of New York issue

Order This Issue

Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).