Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Cricket in Times Square - Newbery Honor

File:The Cricket in Times Square Cover.jpeg

This story has a lot going on - the main characters are a cricket, a mouse, a cat, a boy, and the boy's parents, quite a cast for a juvenile book. Further the book deals with themes of music, especially classical music, business, homesickness, and gaining acceptance, also quite a diverse chunk.

However, George Selden melds them all together in a very enjoyable and relatively short, story.

The cricket, Chester, finds himself in Times Square having gotten on a train in Connecticut. He is befriended by Tucker, the mouse, and Harry, the cat, and soon, Mario, the boy. Despite some early missteps, he comes to be accepted and brings prosperity to Mario's parents' newsstand. However, Chester misses "the country" and, in the end, his friends help him hop a train for home.

This is an excellent book, most editions have Garth Williams' superlative illustrations. Well recommended.

Today's poem:


Not like the others
They know,
Some earlier than others.
Once I hid the difference
But why?
I am who I am
Does it matter
What they think?
Once I thought so.
It made me sad.
I let them hurt me
With their words
And deeds.
But I am who I am
And there is nothing
Wrong with me.
So everyone else
Can love me
Or leave me
But I'm ok
Just like I am.

This is part of Conditions by Greg Schroeder. Available at

"I wrote this after being in town with a Comicon and watching the young people enjoying themselves and the older people (many of them) being taken aback by the costumes."

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