The Cricket in Times Square

by George Selden

Paper Book, 2005



Local notes

PB Sel (c.1)


New York : Yearling Book, [2005?]


The adventures of a country cricket who unintentionally arrives in New York and is befriended by Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat.


Original publication date


Physical description

149 p.; 20 cm


0440415632 / 9780440415633



User reviews

LibraryThing member LAteacher
This book was very realistic because the author used personification to rat, cat, cricket also other animals. This book is very impressive.
LibraryThing member RoseMarion
What will Chester Cricket do? He is from the country in Connecticut, but accidentally finds himself in bustling New York City after jumping into a picnic basket! While there he is taken in by a young boy named Mario Bellini whose family owns a non-profitable newsstand above the subway station. Mario is a kind and caring young man, but his mother doesn’t like having a pet cricket live in her newsstand. Luckily, Chester is kept company by Tucker the Mouse and Harry the Cat, and the three spend many nights talking, laughing, and eating together.

One night there is a terrible fire in the newsstand, and Mama Bellini is fed up with Chester whom she blames for the fire. However, something magical occurs that not only softens Mama Bellini’s heart, but the hearts of all those in New York—Chester’s singing.

Will Mama ever grow to accept Chester? Will Chester be able to help the Bellini’s out of their financial despair? Most importantly, will Chester stay in New York City with his new friends or return to his country home? If you want to find out the answer to these questions and read a funny and touching children’s classic, you should pick up a copy of The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden!
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LibraryThing member melea_says
I read this book for the first time this week and I'm 21. If I had read it when I was younger I think I would have liked it more. It was still a very cute book and I enjoyed reading it. It's a really quick and easy read, but it still contains an important moral.
LibraryThing member Omrythea
I loved this book as a kid. It is great!
LibraryThing member MissMermaid118
The kids loved it - I liked it, too.
The following is part of the review I posted on my blog, A Sea of Books.
Since New York City figures so prominately in the book world this weekend, it seems an appropriate time to post my review of this children's classic. I read it to my niece and nephew over a couple of weeks, reading a chapter or two in the evenings. My nephew is 8 and my niece is 5. This is the first long book that has held both of their interests, and they eagerly looked forward to each session. My niece would often ask during the day if we'd be reading "the cricket book" that night.

Believe it or not, I had never read THE CRICKET IN TIMES SQUARE before, and I found myself reading ahead after the kids went to sleep because I just had to find out what happened! And why not? This is a charming story full of adventure, friendships, and whimsy. I don't think anything I say would improve on the abundance of accolades showered on this book through the decades since it was first published in 1960. All I'm going to do is give it a big thumbs up and encourage anyone who hasn't read it, to do so -- with or without a kid at your side! It's thoroughly enjoyable!
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LibraryThing member vibrantminds
A country cricket finds himself in the subway of Times Square in New York. He befriends a mouse and a cat and a young boy whose family runs a newsstand and takes him as a pet. The cricket at first seems to be a jinx to the newsstand until the cricket discovers that he can chirp most any song and becomes a star over night. However, fame is not what the cricket wants, he longs for his country life and decides to give up all in order to return. A cute award winning tale for young readers.… (more)
LibraryThing member Whisper1
This 1961 Newbery Honor winner is delightful, charming, witty and funny. When Conneticut living Chester the cricket is inadvertently trapped in a picket basket and travels via train to the Times Square subway station in New York City, he meets up with a host of lively, lovely characters.

Late at night while young Mario Bellini is taking care of his family newsstand , he hears an unusual sound from a stack of papers. Rescuing Chester, he convinces his parents to allow him to keep Chester as a pet.

When subway-drain-living Tucker the mouse befriends the cricket, Tucker's humorous opera loving friend Harry the Cat joins the mayhem.

Together the cricket, mouse and cat help to rescue the financially troubled Bellini business by having Chester perform operatic concerts. Chester has an ear for music and his cricket chirps soon become exquisite sound.

The interplay between the critters is charming. While there isn't a lot of substance, still, I recommend this book for many reasons, including the wonderful illustrations by Garth Williams, the laugh out loud moments created by Tucker the mouse and Harry the cat, and the way in which the author captured New York City.
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LibraryThing member DarlenesBookNook
I read this book aloud to my daughters. It won the Newbery Honor in 1961 and the Massachusetts Children's Book Award in 1976. I am sure that I read this as a young girl, but I did not remember it.

We all loved the book! The displaced cricket, Chester, from Connecticut is found in Grand Central Station in New York by a little boy named Mario, who takes Chester to his family's newspaper stand and builds a bed for him. Chester befriends two other creatures in Grand Central Station: a cat named Harry and a mouse named Tucker. The unlikely trio has several adventures, and they band together to help keep Mario's family from going bankrupt.

There are six other books in this series, and we intend to continue reading about the adventures of Chester Cricket and his friends!
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LibraryThing member bbellthom
This is the wonderful book that was a runner-up to the Newbery Medal in 1961. Chester a cricket accidently ends up in a picnic basket and is transported to the subway of New York City. The cricket lives in a newsstand and becomes a pet to owner’s son. Here he meets a cat and a mouse and all three become friends. When Chester causes some problems for the newsstand he is almost let go but he comes up with a way of saving the newsstand with his amazing musical abilities. This is a very cute story 4 stars.… (more)
LibraryThing member cindyjo115
Surprisingly, a very fun read!
LibraryThing member JusticeEvans
A wonderful tale about a country cricket who ends up in the subway station at Times Square in New York City. He learns that crickets are lucky and that his musical talents could make him famous.

A great story illustrating the similarities and differences between country and city life. Also good for showing the stresses of fame and how important one's actual home is.… (more)
LibraryThing member Mr_Abner
Great Classic about a cricket and his friends. They are diverse and from different walks of life. Helps ELL students to see the relationships that can be had with diverse people.
LibraryThing member brianinbuffalo
As a young reader, I absolutely loved this book. One of these, I look forward to reading it again.
LibraryThing member kerry.wood
A story about a cricket who lives under a newsstand in New York's Time Square and saves a man from losing his business. Since on audio, would be a great story for children grades 2-5.
LibraryThing member JenJ.
Chester Cricket, a native of Connecticut, gets stuck in a picnic basket and is eventually found and taken in by a young boy, Mario, whose parents own a newstand in the subway. Chester is befriended by two other denizens of the subway station, Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat.

Lots of depth can be found in this small book about Chester Cricket and his summer spent in the Times Square subway station. I particularly like that Tucker Mouse is left to be a less than perfect character. He never learns a "lesson" that changes him into a paragon; he remains a real, fully-fleshed out character with plenty of faults. I also found the exploration of the effects fame can have on a performer to be quite interesting, particularly in light of the current fishbowl climate celebrities live in.

Listened to the Recorded Books Playaway narrated by Barbara Caruso. The depiction of the Chinese man Mario goes to see for cricket advice made me uncomfortable, but I wonder if the accent was an audio production decision or written into the book. If it was written into the book, I think it would make me less uncomfortable because the book was written in the early 1960s before political awareness was as common. If it was an audio production decision or Barbara Caruso's choice, I'd find that less acceptable since the audio was produced in 1994. Maybe it shouldn't bother me at all, but it just seemed to be in slightly poor taste. I also would love to hear an audio production that incorporated some of the classical music mentioned within the story. What a great way that would be to introduce that music to children and to deepen the impact of the story. I believe my parents read this aloud to us as children, but I didn't remember it at all so maybe I'm wrong.
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LibraryThing member pussreboots
Another childhood favorite.
LibraryThing member TnTexas
My kids enjoyed the book quite a bit. Me? I thought it was ok, but nothing really outstanding. Still, it's an interesting look back at what writing styles used to be like.
LibraryThing member AmberTheHuman
I did not read this as a kid, though I did often see it displayed at whichever library happened to be "my" library at the time. Not sure why I never picked it up. Well, anyway, now I have. I enjoyed it. It's a sweet book, and it's nice to read a book about friendship and problems that arise randomly and how the three friends deal with them. They are honorable characters. I hadn't realized there were sequels, but I have already checked out the next one.… (more)
LibraryThing member Scuttle2003
A great story, I enjoyed the imagination included in the authors words, and I was very interested in the background story of Chester cricket.
LibraryThing member foggidawn
I'd been meaning to read The Cricket in Times Square for some time now. So, when I was browsing through available audiobooks for a recent trip, I was pleased to come across this -- and not only was it a book I had been meaning to read, but it was narrated by Tony Shaloub!

Mario's family owns a newsstand in the Times Square subway station. One day, while minding the stand, Mario hears a sound one doesn't usually hear in New York City: the soft chirping of a cricket. The cricket in question is Chester, who inadvertently caught a ride in from Connecticut in a picnic basket. Mario is fascinated by the small creature and makes a pet of him -- albeit one that lives at the newsstand, since his mother will not allow the insect into her house. At the newsstand, Chester is soon befriended by Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat, two street-smart city dwellers who appreciate Chester's friendly personality and musical ability. Chester enjoys life with his new friends, but then, disaster strikes, and it is at least partially Chester's fault. Can he find a way to make up for it to his benefactors -- and will he ever find his way back home to Connecticut?

I'm not sure how I missed out on this book as a kid, since it's just the sort of thing I would have liked. I enjoyed it now, of course, though it is a little dated in spots (Mario visits Chinatown and the depictions of his visit there don't sit as well with a modern audience as they may have in the past). Unsurprisingly, Shaloub's narration is excellent and contributed to my enjoyment of the story.
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LibraryThing member mirrani
This book is about the magic of animals, even though there isn't really any magic involved at all. The author has managed to include each character's back story without taking anything from the plot itself and has a natural way of moving along in from page to page that is just perfect and quite possibly deserving of more than just the Newbery Honor. It is a perfect story for young readers and it is a heartwarming reread for adults, who just might rediscover some faith in humanity as they go from cover to cover. A Cricket in Times Square is one of those charming classics that everyone should read.… (more)
LibraryThing member dms02
Good early read aloud. Yet another book where I cried at the end and my 5 year old consoled me. I am a sap!

The book had some slow parts but picked up mind-way through and I loved the ending. It was an enjoyable book for both the parent reader and the child listener. There were some plot twists that kept the story engaging.… (more)
LibraryThing member Mirandalg14
First read this in 1990 for school, and I still think it is super cute. A great readalike for Charlotte's Webb.
LibraryThing member fuzzi
As far as I am concerned, this book should have won the Newbery Award.

Chester Cricket finds himself miles from his Connecticut meadow home, deep in the bowels of NYC 's subway stations, and underneath Times Square. How he makes a difference in the lives of those around him, Harry the cat, Tucker the mouse, Mario and the great teeming crowds of the subway station, is not just charming or delightful, but so much more.

"The Cricket in Times Square" is a children's book that should also speak to adults, to that inner child in each of us.
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LibraryThing member CallMeChristina
I loved this story, with all its wonderful New York characters and the cricket who brought hope to a huge city (and who loved him some liverwurst!)

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