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Number of Pages: 132
Vendor: Square Fish
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 7.54 X 5.25 (inches)
Series: Chester Cricket & His Friends
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 Citythe 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 guidesand friendsthan Tucker and Harry. The trio have many adventuresfrom 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 onenot even Chester himselfrealizes 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.
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.
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 questionas far as The Cricket in Times Square is concernedby 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
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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