George Selden (1929-1989) was the author of A Cricket in Times Square, winner of the 1961 Newbery Honor and a timeless children's classic. The popular Cricket series grew to seven titles, including Tucker's Countryside and The Old Meadow. In 1973, The Cricket in Times Square was made into an animated film. Selden lived in New York City until his death in December 1989. He enjoyed music, archaeology, and J.R.R. Tolkien. Garth Williams illustrated all seven of the Chester Cricket books and many other distinguished works, including Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Gr 1-3 Selden's much loved and acclaimed classic has been abbreviated, retaining only the barest of details. The plot is essentially the same as the original, but the imagery, descriptions, characterizations and dialogue are all pale in comparison. The text evokes no warmth for the characters or the story itself. The addition of many pictures gives the impression that this version is easier to read. Readability tests show that it is not. The cartoon illustrations ``from the acclaimed Hollywood animation'' are colorful, but many are out of focus, and none have the charm of Garth Williams' original illustrations. Selden now has five books featuring Chester Cricket and his friends. Any one of them would be a better choice than this title. Sharron McElmeel, Cedar Rapids Community Schs . , Iowa
"The story of a musical cricket and his friends, a mouse and a cat of real character, who took up their abode in a Times Square newsstand . . . Most appealing whimsy with beautiful illustrations by Garth Williams." --School Library Journal, Starred Review "Delightful reading for the whole family." --The Horn Book Magazine "This is absolutely grand fun for anyone, a nine to ninety book with the most enchanting portraits by Garth Williams." --The New York Herald Tribune