The Cheshire Cheese Cat

The Cheshire Cheese Cat

A Dickens of A Tale

Book - 2011
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In this playful homage to Charles Dickens, Skilley, an alley cat with an embarrassing secret, longs to escape his street-cat life.

?Expertly realized characters and effervescent storytelling make this story of unlikely friendship, royal ravens, and ?the finest cheese in London? a delight.? ? Publishers Weekly , STARRED REVIEW

?A success in every way.? ? School Library Journal , STARRED REVIEW

?Readers with great expectations will find them fully satisfied by this tongue-in-cheek romp through a historic public House.? ? Kirkus Reviews , STARRED REVIEW

Hoping to trade London?s damp alleyways for the warmth of ye olde Cheshire Cheese Inn, Skilley strikes a bargain with Pip, an erudite mouse. Skilley will protect the mice who live at the inn, and in turn, the mice will provide Skilley with the thing he desires most. But when Skilley and Pip are drawn into a crisis of monumental proportions, their new friendship is pushed to its limits. The escalating crisis threatens the peace not only of the Cheshire Cheese Inn but the entire British Monarchy!

New York Times best-selling author Carmen Agra Deedy and author Randall Wright collaborate on this compelling story set in Victorian England. With the artwork of award-winning illustrator Barry Moser, The Cheshire Cheese Cat is filled with charming characters and strong themes of friendship and loyalty.

Discussion Guide available!

Parents? Choice Gold Award ? Parents? Choice Foundation

Best Children?s Books of the Year ? Bank Street College of Education

Best Children?s Books of 2011 ? Kirkus Reviews

Best Fiction Books of 2011 ? School Library Journal

Publisher: Atlanta : Peachtree, 2011.
ISBN: 9781561455959
Branch Call Number: J DEE
Characteristics: 228 p. : ill.


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Aug 14, 2012

He was the best of toms, he was the worst of toms... Oh, I had such great expectations for this book and was not disappointed. Clever plays on the works of Charles Dickens.

branch_reviews Apr 21, 2012

“HE WAS THE BEST OF TOMS. He was the worst of toms.”
Skilley, a ragged London alley cat, finds a home at the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese inn. He is expected to rid the inn of the mice that have been thieving from the cook’s supply of world-famous Cheshire Cheese. Skilley, however, is not a mouser. The thought of actually consuming a mouse revolts him. But, what he does love to eat is cheese. So he makes a pact with brave, clever, little mouse Pip. Skilley will catch the mice, but will secretly release them, so it will appear he is a great mouser. In return the mice will keep him supplied with his favourite delicacy - cheese. The success of this arrangement is threatened by Pinch, a hardened and evil tomcat, and by Adele, a mouse-hating busybody, and, of course, by Croomes, the temperamental cheese-making cook. Things are complicated too by the presence of a mysterious guest hiding in the garrett. The story has everything - mystery, adventure, friendship and danger all delivered in elegant and evocative language and accompanied by Barry Moser’s brilliant illustrations.
Reviewed by SK


This is a true collaboration. One that mixes history, animals, mystery, and literary references in abundance. Kids of all ages, genders, and stripes will take to the book. It also happens to make for a handsome readaloud. Recommend it to any child looking for just a good read. It is, precisely, that.

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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 12


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The Cheshire Cheese Inn is a place of secrets. It seems that anyone who works or lives there has one. For Skilley the alleycat, his is a shame that has caused him to strike up a deal with the local mouse population that haunt the inn’s famous cheese production room. For Pip, his mouse friend, it has to do with the mysterious creature that lives amongst the mice, insisting on its own freedom. For the cook it’s a secret about the cheese, and for the barmaid the same. Only the famous writer Charles Dickens, a man that patronizes the inn, seems secret free. And yet, he too harbors a difficulty and a shame. It’ll take Skilley’s deal with Pip to set the spark that causes all these secrets to come to light, and it may possibly save the very monarchy of England as well!


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“It is not enough to say you are sorry. You must utterly own the terrible thing you have done. You must cast no blame on the one you’ve injured. Rather, accept every molecule of the responsibility, even if reason and self-preservation scream against it. Then, and only then, will the words ‘I am sorry’ have meaning.”


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