New adventures for a storybook cricket, Chester Cricket's New Home, by George Seldon, illustrated by Garth Williams. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc. 144 pp. $10.95. Ages 8-10.
On a steamy August afternoon, Chester Cricket (well known to many readers as the cricket of Times Square) feels an ominous foreboding. Sure enough, tragedy strikes. He loses his beloved home in a brookside stump when two hefty ladies strolling through the Old Meadow decide to take a breather. They sit down on the stump and crush it, trapping Chester inside. With the help of Simon Turtle, he escapes from the ruins, and all of his friends in the meadow rally to find him a new home.
First he beds down in a crack in Simon Turtle's log, which turns out to be a tight squeeze. But Chester enjoys the neighborhood and meets a wry new friend, Walter Water Snake. Soon, John Robin drops by and offers Chester an old squirrel's nest in his willow tree. Unfortunately Chester is driven out of his newly adopted home by raucous bird parties.
After two more unsuccessful visits with some overzealous chipmunks in their too-perfect home and with a pair of high-class pheasants, Chester returns in desperation to Simon Turtle's pool, where Simon and Walter Water Snake have a secret ready. Exhausted, Chester falls asleep, and Walter carefully places him in a special niche which Simon has gnawed out of his own log. To his surprise, Chester wakes up in a comfortable new abode - home at last.
A warmhearted story, illustrated with charming pen-and-ink drawings in Garth Williams's distinctive style.