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Children's Literature Reviews
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The cricket in Times Square
George Selden ; illustrated by Garth Williams.
New York, [NY] : Farrar, Straus, 1986.
151 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.

Best Books:

Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001 ; H.W. Wilson; United States
Children's Catalog, Nineteenth Edition, 2006 ; H.W. Wilson; United States

State and Provincial Reading Lists:

Voice of Youth Award, 2003-2004 ; Nominee; 3rd and 4th Grade; Illinois

Reading Measurement Programs:

Lexile, MetaMetrics, Inc.
Lexile Measure 780

Reading Counts-Scholastic
Interest Level 3-5
Reading Level 6
Title Point Value 8
Lexile Measure 780


Joanna (BookHive (
New York City’s Time Square is the setting for this story about a young cricket who has come to the city from the country. Chester Cricket soon meets Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat. The three become fast friends. Chester makes another friend as well; a young boy named Mario whose parents own a newsstand in the subway station where the three animals live. Full of great characters, exciting adventures, and one extraordinary cricket,A Cricket in Time Square  is sure to become one of your favorites! Category: Adventure; Award Books; Classics. Grade Level: Intermediate (4th-6th grade). 1960, Farrar Straus & Gioux. Ages 9 to 12.

Barbara Carroll Roberts (Children's Literature)
A classic Newbery Honor Book first published in 1960, this quiet story of friendship and loyalty continues to charm young readers, particularly those who love animals. This is a quiet tale: Chester Cricket, Tucker Mouse, and Harry Cat meet at the Bellini’s newsstand in New York’s Times Square subway station when young Mario Bellini finds the cricket in a pile of trash. The lonely boy decides to keep Chester as a pet, and a series of adventures ensue. Action-and-adventure fans may have a difficult time with the leisurely pace and low-key action of this book, but its loving portrait of real friendship continues to make it a classroom favorite with fourth and fifth graders. Modern parents and teachers may want to take a close look at Seldon’s portrayal of Sai Fong, the elderly Chinese man who gives Mario a cricket cage. In 1960 racial stereotypes were still common in American literature, and Sai Fong certainly falls into this category. There’s nothing ugly here--on the contrary, Sai Fong could not be more lovingly drawn--but his giggling and fractured-English may give offense, nonetheless. Certainly this is an aspect of the book that adults would want to discuss with young readers. Part of the “Chester Cricket” series. 2006 (orig. 1960), Yearling/Random House Children’s Books, $6.50 and $16.00. Ages 8 to 12.


New York (N.Y.)--Fiction.
LanguageCall NumberLCCNDewey DecimalISBN/ISSN
English (eng)
- 0374316503
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