A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate