Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

Chester the Cricket, Tucker the mouse and Harry the cat are the most unlikely of friends but thank goodness they are friends because together they are able to help Mario and his family who own a small newsstand in Times Square.

If you enjoyed Tumtum and Nutmeg, The Tale of Despereaux and A Rats Tale then you will certainly love this classic book The Cricket in Times Square. Just like Tumtum and Nutmeg there are moments when I just gasped out loud for example on the night when the friend’s discover Chester has this amazing musical ability. Just when everything is going really well and it seems there might be a way to help Mario and his family who are so poor, Tucker topples over a box of matches. “One match, unluckily, struck right next to a pile of that mornings newspapers. The spurt of flames it sent up lit the frayed edge of the papers and quickly spread over the whole bundle.” This is particulary disasterous since this happens in a small newstand filled with papers and magazine.

The Cricket in Times Square is once again a very old book. It received a Newberry honour in 1960 but I am very pleased to say that it certainly stands the test of time. I will hunt out a new copy for my school library and this is a book I will recommend to my middle primary readers and their teachers. In USA there was even an animated television show of this book in 1970s.

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