“The Cricket in Times Square” by George Selden is the story of a Cricket named Chester who meanders into a picnic basket in the Connecticut countryside one day and ends up taking the train with the picnickers back to New York City.
Chester winds up in the Times Square subway station and the sound of his chirping causes Mario, the son of Italian immigrants who run a magazine stand in the subway station, to take notice. Mario begs for his parents’ permission to keep Chester as a pet and creates a makeshift bed for him out of a matchbox so he can sleep in the news stand.
Chester befriends a cat named Harry and a mouse named Tucker who also live in the subway station and the three of them become close friends embarking on adventures and having dinner parties together.
Chester has a special talent of mimicking songs on the radio by chirping the way crickets do, and soon, with Tucker Mouse acting as his manager, Chester becomes an overnight New York celebrity!
How did Delia enjoy it?
“The Cricket in Times Square” won the Newberry Honor in 1961. While Delia and I both thought it was a cute story, I wish I would have approached reading the book with the knowledge that it was going to be a simple tale, so I would be able to sit and enjoy the simplicities while they were unfolding instead of waiting for something climatic to happen. The story, to me, is reminiscent a bit like “Charlotte’s Web” with the “miracle” of Chester’s music mimicking the “miracle” of the web. This book was coincidentally illustrated by Garth Williams who illustrated both “Charlotte’s Web” and “The Little House on the Prairie” books. Reading about olden New York City was a treasure as I have a love for that city.
I’d recommend The Cricket in Times Square for children ages 7 to 11 years old.
Check out what else Delia and I have read.
Check out what Delia’s little sister and I have read.