01 July 2012

The Cheshire Cheese Cat

A Dickens of a Tale

By Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright 

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 Maldwyn wounded raven and faithful guard in the service of Queen Victoria to 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 writer s block who visits the Cheshire Cheese pub each day be able to help?

The first line reads: “He was the best of toms. He was the worst of toms.” That alone got me to read the book!

Why did I read this book again?

I actually met one of the authors of this novel, and his enticement of a cheese eating cat, a literate mouse and Charles Dickens struggling to write A Tale of Two Cities all hanging out at the same inn hooked me.

5 out of 5


Skilley the cheese eating cat is great! Pip the little mouse who figures out how two read and write is charming, the villainous, orange Pinch gives all cats a bad name, and poor Charles Dickens gets distracted by all of their drama. Yes, I liked the characters. This is Middle Grade, so no one is extremely fleshed out, but the relationship between them all is fun.

4 out of 5

Did I care what happened?

Every time I see an orange cat I glare at it and wonder if it has been attacking any royal ravens recently. And I'm totally craving cheese right now.

4 out of 5

Plot Holes

The story was sound. It's charming, intense and fun enough language to keep me sucked in. Although if you don't approve of literate mice or angry ravens, don't read this book.

4 out of 5

How many times did I yawn?

Once, but it was Sunday afternoon...
The story isn't terribly fast paced, but the chapters of the book are short and punchy, which kept my attention. And there are cute illustrations interspersed throughout the text

4 out of 5

Cool Factor

While the most action that went on in this book was a cat vs cat vs raven fight, I'd have to say that all of the geeky, writers references were well worth it. And I'm certain I missed a bunch of them.

Kids, if they enjoy animal tales, will like this. It's beautifully written and would be great to read aloud.

4 out of 5

The End

The end was great. You have to see it to get it.

5 out of 5

Overall Enjoyment

4 out of 5

Score= 34

That's a Brown Belt!

1 comment:

Anthony Dutson said...

Sounds like my kind of book. You also might like Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents.

Similar storyline in a fantasy setting. And of course, very funny.