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The Cricket in Times Square (Chester Cricket and His Friends) Paperback – April 1, 2008
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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.
“The story of a musical cricket and his friends, a mouse and a cat of real character, who took up their abode in a Times Square newsstand . . . Most appealing whimsy with beautiful illustrations by Garth Williams.” ―School Library Journal, Starred Review
“Delightful reading for the whole family.” ―The Horn Book Magazine
“This is absolutely grand fun for anyone, a nine to ninety book with the most enchanting portraits by Garth Williams.” ―The New York Herald Tribune
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Because this was during the day and age pre-video games, a great book was an important find during that time. The Cricket in Times Square was one of those books.
I disappeared into it and loved being in the subway, visiting the newsstand and almost smelling the newspapers, and taking a trip to mysterious Chinatown. Even after all
these years I remember this book fondly and I was actually looking to see if it was in EBook form because I thought it would be great to read again. Unfortunately it isn't yet.
This book is a great book for boy or girl to read and I hope they enjoy it today as I did back when I was a kid. This book and the Men of Iron by Howard Pyle were my two elementary school favorites.