The Cricket in Times Square   -     By: George Selden, Garth Williams
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The Cricket in Times Square

Square Fish / 2008 / Paperback

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Product Description

Chester Cricket is a country cricket who manages to get stuck in a picnic basket and finds himself stranded in the subway station in Times Square. Chester makes friends, Tucker the Mouse, Harry the Car, and Mario Bellini, a young boy who takes Chester in and keeps him as a pet. This particular cricket is set for great things- especially when his great talent is discovered.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 132
Vendor: Square Fish
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 7.54 X 5.25 (inches)
ISBN: 0312380038
ISBN-13: 9780312380038
Availability: In Stock
Ages: 9-12
Series: Chester Cricket & His Friends

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Publisher's Description

Tucker is a streetwise city mouse. He thought he’d seen it all. But he’s never met a cricket before, which really isn’t surprising, because, along with his friend Harry Cat, Tucker lives in the very heart of New York City—the Times Square subway station. Chester Cricket never intended to leave his Connecticut meadow. He’d be there still if he hadn’t followed the entrancing aroma of liverwurst right into someone’s picnic basket. Now, like any tourist in the city, he wants to look around. And he could not have found two better guides—and friends—than Tucker and Harry. The trio have many adventures—from taking in the sights and sounds of Broadway to escaping a smoky fire.

     Chester makes a third friend, too. It is a boy, Mario, who rescues Chester from a dusty corner of the subway station and brings him to live in the safety of his parents’ newsstand. He hopes at first to keep Chester as a pet, but Mario soon understands that the cricket is more than that. Because Chester has a hidden talent and no one—not even Chester himself—realizes that the little country cricket may just be able to teach even the toughest New Yorkers a thing or two.
 
The Cricket in Times Square is a 1961 Newbery Honor Book.

Author Bio

George Selden (1929-1989) was the author of The Cricket in Times Square, winner of the 1961 Newbery Honor and a timeless children’s classic. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Selden received his B.A. from Yale, where he was a member of the Elizabethan Club and contributed to the literary magazine. He spent three summer sessions at Columbia University and, after college, studied for a year in Rome on a Fulbright Scholarship. 
 
People often asked Selden how he got the idea for The Cricket in Times Square. “One night I was coming home on the subway, and I did hear a cricket chirp in the Times Square subway station. The story formed in my mind within minutes. An author is very thankful for minutes like those, although they happen all too infrequently.” The popular Cricket series grew to seven titles, including Tucker's Countryside and The Old Meadow. In 1973, The Cricket in Times Square was made into an animated film. Selden wrote more than fifteen books, as well as two plays. His storytelling blends the marvelous with the commonplace realities of life, and it was essential to him that his animal characters display true emotions and feelings.
 
Selden lived in New York City until his death in December 1989. He enjoyed music, archaeology, and J.R.R. Tolkien. His editor, Stephen Roxburgh, said, "Chester Cricket, Harry Cat, Tucker Mouse, and their friends celebrate the triumph of innocence and camaraderie over cynicism and selfishness. George Selden is gone, but his voice lives on in Chester Cricket's song."
 
Garth Williams (1912-1996) illustrated all seven of the Chester Cricket books and many other distinguished works, including Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
 

Discussion Questions

What makes a book last for fifty years? This is one of the topics we offer for discussion with your students. You’ll know the answer to that question—as far as The Cricket in Times Square is concerned—by the time you’ve read the first chapter. This classic work of children’s literature touches on universal themes of friendship, loyalty, honesty, and home; its fantasy is not tied to technology, but to imagination; the characters are as knowable today as they were when the book was first published and as they will be years from now; and the beautiful writing is timeless.

Whether you use the novel with your full class, with groups, or with individual students, we’ve provided this guide to offer ways of connecting to various curriculum areas and to meet language arts standards. You’ll find literature, writing, reading comprehension, theater, music, art, science, and social studies activities. Most of all, you’ll find a rich and lasting experience to share with your students.

This guide was prepared by Clifford Wohl, Educational Consultant

Editorial Reviews

“The story of a musical cricket and his friends, a mouse and a cat of real character, who took up their abode in a Times Square newsstand . . . Most appealing whimsy with beautiful illustrations by Garth Williams.”—School Library Journal, Starred Review
 
“Delightful reading for the whole family.”—The Horn Book Magazine
 
“This is absolutely grand fun for anyone, a nine to ninety book with the most enchanting portraits by Garth Williams.”—The New York Herald Tribune

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