Beautiful Aug 11, 2007
This classic, which should be hailed as an equal to E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, actually has much in common with that masterpiece. Not only are they both lovingly illustrated with line drawings by the incomparable Garth Williams, but they both revel in the simple beauty of little things in nature that often get taken for granted. The Cricket in Times Square places the beautiful song of a cricket in the grimy setting of a subway station, with sublime results. Chester Cricket, his friends Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat, and the Bellini family, whose station newsstand benefits from Chester's music, are wonderful characters with great charm. But it's more than an urban version of Charlotte's Web. Friendship, love, letting go, and the appreciation for beauty and simplicity - the scene in which the cricket's song stops traffic long enough for everybody to hear it has a heart-tugging, strange beauty that almost brought tears to my eyes - make this a classic in its own right. A great pick.