The Cricket in Times Square
by George Selden
This thin, children's book illustrated by Garth Williams (who is perhaps best known for his illustrations of E. B. White's classic Charlotte's Web
), is the familiar tale of a musical cricket named Chester, a greedy mouse named Tucker, and a cool cat named Harry, who live together (more or less) in the Times Square subway station in Manhattan, NY, NY, USA. The cat and mouse actually live in a drain pipe, as a sort of furry odd couple, subsisting on things dropped by passengers rushing through the station and scrounged from the lunch counter. The cricket is the pet of the little boy whose Italian immigrant parents run a struggling newsstand. But the cricket has remarkable musical talents which soon turn things around and bring fame and fortune to the little Times Square family. Warm-hearted, funny, and only a little bit politically incorrect (the bits with the little Chinese man talking in dialect would never get past the editor these days), it's a story I fondly remember having read to me when I was small, and if you have similarly fond memories, I hope you read it to your kids!
Recommended Age: 8+
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