The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Taleby Carmen Agra Deedy, Randall Wright, Barry Moser (Illustrator)
Skilley, an alley cat with an embarrassing secret, longs to escape his hard life dodging fishwives brooms and carriage wheels and trade his damp alley for the warmth of the Cheshire Cheese Inn. When he learns that the innkeeper is looking for a new mouser, Skilley comes up with an audacious scheme to install himself in the famous tavern. Once established in the inn
Skilley, an alley cat with an embarrassing secret, longs to escape his hard life dodging fishwives brooms and carriage wheels and trade his damp alley for the warmth of the Cheshire Cheese Inn. When he learns that the innkeeper is looking for a new mouser, Skilley comes up with an audacious scheme to install himself in the famous tavern. Once established in the inn, Skilley strikes a bargain with Pip, the intelligent mouse-resident, and his fellow mice. Skilley protects the mice and the mice in turn give to Skilley the delectable Cheshire cheese of the inn. Thus begins a most unlikely alliance and friendship. The cat and mouse design a plan to restore Maldwynwounded raven and faithful guard in the service of Queen Victoriato his rightful place in The Tower, but first they must contend with a tyrannical cook, a mouse-despising barmaid, and an evil tomcat named Pinch. Will the famous author suffering from serious writers block who visits the Cheshire Cheese pub each day be able to help?
"He was the best of toms. He was the worst of toms." And for all his harsh early life and unnatural dietary preferences, ragged London alley cat Skilley gets to look at a queen, too.
Landing a gig as mouser for the chophouse and writers' hangout Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is a lifelong fantasy come true for both Skilley and the inn's swarm of resident mice—because unlike his feline rivals, Skilley adores cheese and has no taste for mice at all. In fact it isn't long before he and Pip, a mouse of parts who has learned to read and write, have become great friends. Deedy and Wright take this premise and run with it, tucking in appearances from Dickens, Thackeray and other writers of the time. Cat and mice unite to face such challenges as the arrival of a cruel new cat named Oliver ("Well, this was an unwelcome twist"), a mysterious cheese thief and, climactically, a wise but injured old raven that is the subject of a country-wide search that culminates in a visit to the inn by Queen Victoria Herself. Moser contributes splendid black-and-white illustrations that manage to be both realistic and funny, recalling Robert Lawson while retaining his own style.
Readers with great expectations will find them fully satisfied by this tongue-in-cheek romp through a historic public House that is the very opposite of Bleak. (Animal fantasy. 10-12)
The New York Times Book Review
Meet the Author
Carmen Agra Deedy is a New York Times best-selling author and has been writing and traveling around the world telling stories for more than twenty years. Her books have received numerous awards and honors. Carmen has performed in many prestigious venues, but children are her favorite audience. Born in Havana, Cuba, she came to the United States as a refugee and like most immigrants sees the world from multiple perspectives. She lives in Georgia.
Randall Wright is the author of several novels for young readers, including A Hundred Days From Home, The Silver Penny, and Hunchback, a 2004 VOYA Top Shelf Award winner. He lives in Utah.
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I so enjoyed this lovely book and plan to read it aloud to my 92 year old grandmother. She loves mice and Old England, so it will be perfect for her and the rest of my family. Highly recommended!
Skilley the alley cat has made up his mind he is going to sneak inside the Cheshire Cheese Inn. So, he will cunningly convince the Innkeeper to let Skilley stay as the Inn's mouser. You see a mouser is a cat that catches mice. The Inn has the best cheese around and the Inn is overrun with mice. He finally sees the chance to sneak in after a customer. He puts on such a good performance and even caught a mouse. Well he convinced the Innkeeper that this was THE MOUSER for the Cheshire Cheese Inn. Skilley took off with the mouse further into the Inn and spit out the mouse. The mouse was called Pip and he has lived at the Inn his entire life. He could not figure out why the cat spit him out. Why didn't he eat Pip that is what any other cat would have done. Well you see Skilley has a secret and so does Pip. They agreed never to give away their secrets. They become buddies and together they are quite the little schemers. If they are careful and everything goes as they have planned they can live in peace with everyone, including the British Monarchy. The man at the beginning of the story that let Skilley into the Inn had a friend with him, Charles Dicken's. He found the Cat and Mouse antics to be very entertaining and with his imagination he came up with these fun and very unusual characters. Kudos to Charles, Carmen, Randall and Barry for putting their talents together into a neat little package for us to enjoy. The illustrator did a marvelous job of depicting all the characters through the author's detailed description to perfection. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure I received a free copy of this book from Peachtree Publishing for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
This was a wonderful story and included suttle hints of Charles Dickens. It was a great story about friendship.
I found this book and I thought that it would be an interesting book. Interesting yes and one that you can not put down until the last page is turned!!!The friendship between the mouse and the cat were simply astounding!!!! I would recommend this book to be read by all!!! This shows that it takes all to be friends. Pip the mouse took alot of courage to believe that he could have a friend in Skilley!!! This book says alot and to have Mr Dickens in it also puts a twist into also. An excellent book