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The Cricket in Times Square Paperback – September 15, 1970


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Paperback, September 15, 1970
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 favorite child, right next to The Wind in the Willows. (Ages 9 to 12) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Most appealing  whimsy, with beautiful illustrations." --  Library Journal.

A Newbery Honor  Book.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling (September 15, 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440415632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440415633
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (271 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #847,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Maria on January 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
My 2nd grader and I listened to the audio book on a long drive, and then he read the book himself early in third grade. It is a quiet, slowly-unfolding story, with memorable characters, as well as a great tribute to "old" New York City. Characters include a very realistic Italian immigrant family who own a newsstand underground at a subway entrance, an elderly Chinese man, exotic to the young lead boy character, yet approachable and very kind, and a host of helpful and sometimes mischievous animal life that gets particularly busy when no humans are around, including of course, the cricket with a talent for opera singing.

My son and I are voracious readers, and we rate this evocative, tender, and imaginative story in our top 5 of all time, along with classics like Charlotte's Web.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Cricket in Times Square is the first book in the series. It's about a cat named Harry, a mouse named Tucker, but it's mostly about a cricket named Chester. Chester lives in Connecticut. He was found by a lady who stuffs him in her purse. He gets carried all the way, to New York in a subway station. There's a family who sells newspapers in the subway station. And there's a boy who finds Chester and picks him up and buys a special golden cage with a bell that hangs down. Once Chester hears the bell he is able to sing. Then Chester has his own concert.
My favorite part is when Chester has his own little concert and he makes a lot of money because Chester makes beautiful music.
I would recommend this book and series to grade two to six because they are great fantasy stories about animals, but I would recommend them the most to people who like fantasy and animals.
By the way this book is the first book out of seven books. They're great books to read.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By D. Rouse on June 25, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a big hit with our three-and-a-half year old. It was the second chapter book I read aloud to him, and perfect for his age. As other reviewers have noted, the tense scenes are minimal, all the characters are appealing (although there is a bit of ethnic stereotyping), and the themes of friendship and loyalty are positive.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
It all started when Mario found his new best friend in a pile of dirt. He met Chester, Chester the cricket. Mario lives with mama and poppa, but they don't have a lot of money. They own a newsstand in Grand Central Station. Chester meets two other friends besides Mario. He meets Tucker, a mouse and Harry, a cat. Quickly these four learn a lot about each other and become best friends. The four friends work hard to bring success to Mario's newsstand. I think this book is great. When I was reading I couldn't put the book down because you never know what's going to happen next so you have to read on. I think many other people should read this book too. It so detailed so you can see every little part in the book happening in your head. This book is one of my favorite books I have every read in my whole entire life. There's nothing good missing in this book, it's great. I would most certainly recommend this book to anyone who likes to read. The four friends work hard to bring success to Mario's newsstand. Read the book to find out what happens in the end of this great, Newberry award winning book.
By:Jake Soffer
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is about a cricket named Chester who finds his way to New York City in a picnic basket. Chester is originally from Connecticut. One day a little boy named Mario picks him up and takes him to an unsuccessful newstand located in the subway station of Times Square. This little creature is lucky enough to find two great friends. Their names are Tucker the fast talking broadway mouse, and his pal Harry the Cat. These friends have many great times such as; when Tucker manages to get the gang some scraps of food. But they also have some bad times, like when Chester dreams of a willow leaf, and eats a dollar bill, but all together they manage. These wonderful pals go on some more pretty great adventures, Chester even becomes a celebrity. Read the book to find out more!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on September 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book gives you a warm feeling inside as you settle down to read this tale. It is a good rainy day book. The ending is somewhat, well different, but it doesn't leave you sad or hanging. I would recommend this book to other thirteen-year-olds. It is not way to easy, or overly difficult to read. I would actually reccomend it to ages 11-14. All in all it is a good beginning book for a series of entertainment.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read The Cricket in Times Square and thought it was a fantastic book. I enjoyed the book because the author, George Selden, used good vocabulary words to describe his characters and settings. The story was easy to follow and fun to read.
The Cricket in Times Square is about a cricket named Chester. Chester lived in Connecticut. One day he smelled some food from a picnic and went over to investigate the smell. While sniffing, he got caught in a bag with sandwiches. The family eating the sandwiches got on a train to New York City. When he got to New York City, one of the main characters, Mario Bellini, found Chester outside. Chester was next to Mario's parent's newsstand so Mario picked him up and put him in a matchbox. While at the newsstand, Mario asked his mom if he could keep the cricket. After a few days Mario took Chester to buy a cage at a Chinese store. The cage was shaped like a Chinese building.
At the newsstand Chester met a mouse named Tucker and a cat named Harry. Chester became good friends with them. Chester became a very famous cricket and played his beautiful music at 8:00AM and 4:30PM for all the people at the newsstand.
If you want more details about Chester's exciting adventures, read this book or other books by George Selden! I hope this review makes you want to read The Cricket in Times Square, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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