Jennifer's Reviews > The Cricket in Times Square

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
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's review
Sep 17, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: chapterbook, kids, newberyhonor, animal-stories, audiobooks
Read in September, 2009 , read count: 2

Chester Cricket, a native of Connecticut, gets stuck in a picnic basket and is eventually found and taken in by a young boy, Mario, whose parents own a newstand in the subway. Chester is befriended by two other denizens of the subway station, Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat.

Lots of depth can be found in this small book about Chester Cricket and his summer spent in the Times Square subway station. I particularly like that Tucker Mouse is left to be a less than perfect character. He never learns a "lesson" that changes him into a paragon; he remains a real, fully-fleshed out character with plenty of faults. I also found the exploration of the effects fame can have on a performer to be quite interesting, particularly in light of the current fishbowl climate celebrities live in.

Listened to the Recorded Books Playaway narrated by Barbara Caruso. The depiction of the Chinese man Mario goes to see for cricket advice made me uncomfortable, but I wonder if the accent was an audio production decision or written into the book. If it was written into the book, I think it would make me less uncomfortable because the book was written in the early 1960s before political awareness was as common. If it was an audio production decision or Barbara Caruso's choice, I'd find that less acceptable since the audio was produced in 1994. Maybe it shouldn't bother me at all, but it just seemed to be in slightly poor taste. I also would love to hear an audio production that incorporated some of the classical music mentioned within the story. What a great way that would be to introduce that music to children and to deepen the impact of the story. I believe my parents read this aloud to us as children, but I didn't remember it at all so maybe I'm wrong.

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