One night, the sounds of New York City–the rumbling of subway trains, thrumming of automobile tires, hooting of horns, howling of brakes and the babbling of voices–is interrupted by a sound that even Tucker Mouse, a jaded inhabitant of Times Square, has never heard before. Mario, the son of Mama and Papa Bellini, proprietors of the subway-station newsstand, had only heard the sound once. What was this new, strangely musical chirping? None other than the mellifluous leg-rubbing of the somewhat disoriented Chester Cricket from Connecticut. Attracted by the irresistible smell of liverwurst, Chester had foolishly jumped into the picnic basket of some unsuspecting New Yorkers on a junket to the country. Despite the insect’s wurst intentions, he ends up in a pile of dirt in Times Square.

Mario is elated to find Chester. He begs his parents to let him keep the shiny insect in the newsstand, assuring his bug-fearing mother that crickets are harmless, maybe even good luck. What ensues is an altogether captivating spin on the city mouse/country mouse story, as Chester adjusts to the bustle of the big city. Despite the cricket’s comfortable matchbox bed (with Kleenex sheets); the fancy, seven-tiered pagoda cricket cage from Sai Fong’s novelty shop; tasty mulberry leaves; the jolly company of Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat; and even his new-found fame as “the most famous musician in New York City”, Chester begins to miss his peaceful life in the Connecticut countryside. The Cricket in Times Square–a Newbery Award runner-up in 1961–is charmingly illustrated by the well-loved Garth Williams, and the tiniest details of this elegantly spun, vividly told, surprisingly suspenseful tale will stick with children for years and years. Make sure this classic sits on the shelf of your child, right next to The Wind in the Willows.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Cricket in Times Square is a fabioulous and outstanding story.It’s about a cricket and his friend’s going though lots of trouble to do things that thier heart’s are set on. I think this is a perfect story for anyone who believes in thierself to do the imposible.George Selden has writen many stories. Many of you have probably read other books by George Selden and I bet they are as good as The Cricket in Times Square.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. TeensReadToo says:

    THE CRICKET IN TIMES SQUARE is a classic children’s story. Written in the 1960′s and the winner of a Newbery Honor Book award, THE CRICKET IN TIMES SQUARE has wonderful staying power. Now, courtesy of Macmillan Young Listeners, the tale truly comes to life.

    The story finds a country cricket, Chester, unwittingly stranded in New York City. After falling asleep in a picnic basket in Connecticut, he wakes up in a world that is totally different to him. He is befriended by Mario, a young boy who helps his parents run a newsstand in the subway. Chester encounters Tucker, a wizened city mouse, and his friend, Harry Cat. The two teach Chester how to live in the city and enjoy the wonders of the subway.

    Soon, everyone learns of Chester’s talent of recreating any music he hears, and spellbounds Mario’s parents, music critics, and subway commuters alike. But Chester quickly becomes tired of the constant performing, and misses his quiet country life. Tucker and Harry do their best to ensure that Chester finds his way back home.

    With the talents of Tony Shalhoub, Chester Cricket, Harry Cat, and Tucker Mouse become real characters that the listener can instantly relate to. Even though the story is about animals in a Times Square subway station, the listener gets drawn in and wants there to be a happy ending.

    Mr. Shalhoub creates unique voices for each of the characters, and from the very beginning, it is easy to decipher which character is doing the speaking. I listened to the story (an unabridged production on two CDs) with my two children and they were immediately enchanted. With classical music signaling the end of each chapter, they both would shout out the next one.

    For anyone not familiar with the classic tale, listening to it will be an adventure. And for those that know the sweet tale of Chester finding himself in a foreign land (at least for him), listening to the story will be a treat. No one will be disappointed!

    Reviewed by: Jaglvr
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. I read hundreds of books in my youth, and this is one that stands out clearly in my memory. The story and style of writing are captivating, and the reader is easily swept away, going through the adventures along with Chester, Tucker, and Harry. I’m getting this book to read to my own kids as their bedtime story. I’m hoping they’ll enjoy it as much as I did (I’m sure they will)! The sequel is worth reading as well, but not nearly as good as this one.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. Anonymous says:

    its a great book with a lot of things happening that are funny.(Example Tucker the mouse sets the newstand on fire by accident).There is a lesson in this story. You can always trust your friends.
    Rating: 4 / 5

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