Cricket in Times Square
by George Selden, Farrar. Newbery Honor Book, 1961
Activities 2000 Nancy Polette

Return to list of literature guides
Chester Cricket arrives in New York City's Times Square Subway Station one June in a picnic basket. Mario Bellini, whose parents operate an unprofitable newsstand in the station, finds him and puts him in the newsstand for a pet. Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat, who share a home in a nearby drainpipe become his good friends. Chester has a satisfying summer with these two friends and with Mario who plays games with him and buys him a cricket cage in Chinatown. In August, Chester begins to chirp. One night while he, Tucker, and Harry are having a dinner party complete with background music from the Bellinis' small radio, the three friends make a startling discovery: Chester has the ability to imitate perfectly any music he hears once on the radio. The next day the Bellinis overhear him "singing" an Italian folksong he had heard the previous evening. To discover the series of events that follow this amazing revelation, read The Cricket in Times Square
Activity One: A Cricket Data Bank
Read about crickets on the internet and list at least three items of information under each heading. Use the information in the pattern that follows.


Crickets: Books
Chirping Crickets by Melvin Berger. HarperCollins, 1998.

The Cricket

Eats Lives
____________________ ____________________
____________________ ____________________
____________________ ____________________
____________________ ____________________
Does Has
____________________ ____________________
____________________ ____________________
____________________ ____________________
____________________ ____________________

Line One: If I were a cricket
Line Two: Tell where it is found.
Line Three: Tell one thing it could do
Line Four: Tell another thing it would do
Line Five: If I were a cricket

Activity Two: An Internet Scavenger Hunt 

Challenge a friend or classmate to see which of you can find and print out at least six of the items listed below. All of the items are important in The Cricket in Times Square. A New York City web site address is given to get you started.
Internet Address Picture or Article
_______________________ a cricket
_______________________ New York City
_______________________ a newsstand
_______________________ a subway
_______________________ Grand Central Station
_______________________ a cat
_______________________ name of a popular diner
_______________________ Chinese object
_______________________ a clock
_______________________ something Italian
_______________________ word "money"
_______________________ piano
_______________________ a mouse
_______________________ an opera

New York City
New York City:
Books (List page number on which the item is found.)
Fun Places to Go With Children in New York by Randi Millman-Brown. Chronicle Books, 1998.
New York City by Deborah Kent. Children's Press, 1997.
Activity Three: A Collage
Arrange the pictures or parts of articles you found in a large collage to tell about The Cricket in Times Square.