The Cricket in Times Square
by George Selden (1960) (Available in Spanish)
An oldie but goodie. The Cricket in Times Square boasts three different animal protagonists – a mouse and a cat who are scrounging partners and live in Grand Central Station, and the cricket from Connecticut who arrives to enliven their lives. But there’s also the boy, Mario (and his family), who befriends and cares for the cricket in his new, foreign environment. Beside its charming characters, The Cricket in Times Square has little that is threatening or scary or unsettling for younger children. Mario and Chester Cricket do have some challenges to solve, but they do so with fortitude and panache. And like The Trumpet of the Swan, The Cricket in Times Square is filled with music that makes the story soar and takes it to strange unexpected places. And along the way, there are brief, eccentric moments of wisdom offered by a Chinatown shopkeeper and a New York Times music critic. All of which explains why The Cricket in Times Square has been charming families for decades. That’s what you call a timeless classic.