The Cricket in Times Square

Common Sense Media says

Absorbing tale of a very talented cricket.





What parents need to know

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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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.

Parents say

Kids say

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 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.

Families can talk 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

Author:George Selden
Illustrator:Garth Williams
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:January 1, 1960
Number of pages:134

This review of The Cricket in Times Square was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byMeldrum SFA September 23, 2009

Mrs. Meldrum's SFA class opinions

If you like funny, this book is for you! The pictures are amazing. Not only is it funny, it has a serious side too. The characters are extremely excellent and hilarious. There is plenty of action to keep you wanting to read. As you read, you will learn the meaning of true friendship. There are many details about Chester's long journey. This book is clearly an entertaining book.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

A great book for kids of all ages!!!! I loved it!!!

Kid, 11 years old August 14, 2011


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


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