Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1960. 132 pages. Tr. $17.00. ISBN 10: 0-374-31650-3/ISBN 13: 978-0-374-31650-1.
While tending his family’s newspaper stand in the Times Square subway station, a young boy named Mario hears an unusual sound—the chirping of a cricket! Mario rescues the cricket from a dirty corner of the station, elated to have a pet at last. The cricket quickly becomes a fixture at the newspaper stand, though Mario and his parents disagree over whether it is lucky or not. Meanwhile, the cricket—whose name is Chester—befriends Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat, who also live in the station. As Chester adapts to his new life, far from his country home, his talent for music is revealed and suddenly throngs of people are marveling at the rarity of a cricket in Times Square.
Enhanced with drawings by Garth Williams, this charming story will leave a lasting impression on readers of all ages. A perfect read-aloud for younger children eager for more complex stories and a good selection for confident readers ready for chapter books.
Other in-print formats available for this title:
- Selden, G. (2008). The cricket in Times Square [unabridged CD]. New York: Macmillan Audio.
Awards won by this item
- Palmquist, V. “Birthday bios: George Selden.” http://www.childrensliteraturenetwork.org/birthbios/brthpage/05may/5-14seld.html
- (1989, Dec. 6) “George Selden, 60, Writer of Tales Describing a Cricket’s Adventures” New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/06/obituaries/george-selden-60-writer-of-tales-describing-a-cricket-s-adventures.html?pagewanted=1?pagewanted=1
- Garth Williams, 1912-1996: http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/Kids/AuthorsAndIllustrators/ContributorDetail.aspx?CId=12897
Subjects/themes that could be used in programming
- New York
Series Information: The original story spawned sequels and a prequel featuring Chester Cricket and his friends: Tucker’s Countryside, Chester Cricket’s New Home, Chester Cricket’s Pigeon Ride, The Old Meadow, and Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse.
Programming Ideas and/or lesson plans
- Teachers@Random: http://www.randomhouse.com/teachers/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780440415633&view=tg
- Levine, G. (2006). The cricket in Times Square: a study guide. New York: Learning Links.
- Onion, S. (2004). A guide for using the cricket in Times Square in the classroom. Westminster, CA: Teacher Created Resources.