Sunday, February 02, 2014

The Cricket in Times Square

A Connecticut cricket called Chester is accidentally trapped in a picnic basket and finds himself transported by train to the metropolis of New York City. In Times Square subway station he meets Harry Cat and Tucker Mouse, and the three begin a series of adventures.

Written in 1960, The Cricket in Times Square is very much a product of its era, but the tales it tells and the lessons it teaches are timeless: reasons to learn about other cultures; the importance of keeping a level head in a crisis; and perhaps most important of all, that fame and fortune do not always bring happiness. Aimed at children, it is still charming enough to delight adults.

Chester is adopted as a pet by young Mario Bellini, whose parents run a not especially successful news stand at the station. But he and the three animals, through innocence and good intentions, help to change its fortunes.

George Sedden's book sometimes turns up in second-hand shops (and can be downloaded for e-readers). If you find one, snap it up, if only for Garth Williams's wonderful illustrations. You won't regret it.


snafu said...

Sounds like a nice book, I will keep a look out for it. I am a sucker for a good kids story, must be my second childhood, - maybe I only ever had one and I just have not grown out of it yet. The illustrations look good. Talking of illustrated children's books, have you come across Graham Oakley’s series The Church Mice. He illustrates all his own stories and they cleverly counterpoint the text. Well worth reading.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Anne .. it sounds a fascinating book, particularly because we can learn about American culture via the three characters. I love the sound of it .. and that illustration is just amazing - I would love to be able to draw ...

Lovely to read about - thanks -Hilary