Friday, April 04, 2008

The Cricket in Times Square, by George Selden

I have a vague recollection of watching a cartoon adaptation of this book when I was younger because the story was somewhat familiar. Maybe my mom read it to me. At any rate, I don't remember ever having read it and so I grabbed up a copy at our recent Friends of the Library book sale. I'm so glad I did.

The story was cute, endearing and, of course, I enjoyed the familiar work of artist Garth Williams. I particularly liked the portrayal of Mama Bellini and her intense dislike of crickets and critters in general. I like how Selden transformed her character through, essentially, beautiful music. Not only is this a cute little "animal story" but it's a story about how music can move the inner spirit of a person - which I think is very true. The story can strike you on many levels. Mama Bellini starts out hard hearted and cold - dealt a bad hand in life, so it would seem. Then Chester, the "lucky" cricket is adopted and brought in to the family through young Mario Bellini, a hard working youngster. Mama doesn't want to have anything to do with a cricket and wants him disposed of. However, when it is discovered that Chester has perfect pitch and can play any piece of music that he is presented with, her attitude towards Chester changes. Suddenly he's the ultimate stress reliever - both in music and in money (as he has suddenly attracted the attention of the multitudes).

It's cute, it's fun, it's short and enjoyable. I heartily recommend it when you have an hour to spare and want just a little entertainment. It'll likely leave you with a little chirp of your own!


A Pilgrim said...

We watched the cartoon adaptation.
I haven't even read the book.
Ahhh, another book added to my reading list! =)

Literary Feline said...

I haven't seen the cartoon adaption of the movie, but I do remember reading the book when I was a child and loving it. I was an even bigger fan of his Harry Cat's Pet Puppy which is where I got the name for one of my childhood pets, Huppy. My brother and mother always tried to say it stood for Happy Puppy, but I knew the truth. LOL

Mr. Nauton said...

wow, haven't read this one since I was 9 or 10, when I read everything I could find with Garth Williams' art on the cover -- gotta go find which shelf it's on... thanks!

Rivers Daughter said...

I love this book, it has been on my list of favorite's for about ten years now. There is something so charming and sweet in it that draws me back every time.

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