The Cricket in Times Square Book Poster Image

The Cricket in Times Square

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.

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.

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

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Teen, 13 years old Written byhell0 March 30, 2013


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 Fong smoke. Otherwise, WONDERFUL!! I <3 it :)
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old August 14, 2011


well it cool and funny and i think every one will like it
Kid, 12 years old April 14, 2010

Great book

This was one of my favorites. There isn't anything that wouldn't be appropriate for younger kids. I definitely would recommend this book.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models