The Cricket in Times Square

Book review by
S. K. List, Common Sense Media
The Cricket in Times Square Book Poster Image
Absorbing tale of a very talented cricket.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this absorbing, often amusing tale showcases a traveling cricket with miraculous talent. Artwork in every chapter keeps developing readers onboard.

User Reviews

Adult Written bynailpolish1 September 11, 2015

ive never actually liked a book before!

kids 5 and under will not under stand it but its a very touching story and i have to read it for school. i thought it would be borig but it was not. its awsome!...
Parent of a 12 year old Written bycrankylibrarian January 8, 2014

Music and friendship conquer all

A beautifully told New York fantasy: Chester, the country cricket, is accidentally whisked away to downtown Manhattan where he finds a home with a lonely boy na...
Teen, 13 years old Written byhell0 March 30, 2013

Awesome!

This is an amazing book!!! The education is finding your true talent :). But some language and tobacco. Mama yells at Chester for eating money. Papa and Sai Fon...
Kid, 11 years old August 14, 2011

amazing

well it cool and funny and i think every one will like it

What's the story?

If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere ... . And Chester Cricket does! The displaced country creature adapts to life in the Big Apple and becomes a success. He shows the universal struggles of immigrants in this delightful story, and Garth Williams's full-page, black-and-white illustrations help bring the tale to life.

 

Is it any good?

George Selden creates an incredibly detailed and compelling animal world (with distinctive animal personalities) within the familiar human world. Small and insignificant, Chester the cricket almost always knows his own mind and, more important, his self-worth. Selden effectively contrasts Chester's slight stature against the size and swirl of New York City and spins the tried-and-true tale of the outsider who confronts the big city. Almost half a century old, THE CRICKET IN TIMES SQUARE may inhabit a kinder, gentler Manhattan, but Selden still captures the city's essence. Kids encounter abundant urban attractions: unusual foods, colorful characters, busy street scenes, stimulating shops.

The target reader readily identifies with Mario, who seems about 10 years old. One of the story's best features is Mario's freedom within the city; all alone, he staffs the newsstand late at night and rides the subway to shop in an unfamiliar district. If this seems strange to kids, they'll also find it empowering. Garth Williams' excellent drawings -- bold in line, rich in detail, and one or two to a chapter -- bring added warmth to the incidents and individuals.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the characters in the story. Do you identify with any of the animal characters? What do you think of the way Mario roams the city all by himself?

Book details

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