Monday, December 17, 2012

Cheshire Cheese Cat Review

Book talk:  Skilley is a cat with a big secret and Pip is a mouse with a hidden talent.  When they meet under the roof of the Cheshire Cheese Inn, they form an unlikely friendship.  But they're not the only strange characters with close-guarded secrets in the inn.  When they fall in with the inn's in-crowd they find themselves in hot water.  The intrigue at this inn is insanely hilarious, insistently  entertaining, and inspiring.  Don't let this one squeak by--let the cat out of the book and dive in to the cheesy goodness!

Rocks my socks:  This was the purrfect novel to read after I got home from the Dickens Fair (on an outing with the local Forever Young Adult book club.)  Though it is billed as a Dickens of a tale it was a fun and quick read and even children who have no idea who Charles Dickens was will love reading about the unlikely friendship between a word-loving mouse and a cheese-loving cat.  Despite my bias towards cats, I must admit preferring the mouse in this novel. And how could I not when he collects words like trading cards and slips them into his conversations?  The authors clearly have a passion for words as well which leads to such clever observations as "Cat....a small, mean word, one that began harshly and ended crossly."  The plot becomes increasingly absurd as it continues, but this is not a novel meant to be taken seriously.  With its puns and word-play it's clear that the authors had a lot of fun writing it and that sense of enjoyment is infectious and makes it fun to read.  The illustrations throughout are excellent as well.

Rocks in my socks: none

Every book its reader:  I'd give this fans of A Tale of Despereaux, Malcolm at Midnight, or Charlotte's Web.  Students in 3rd grade and up looking for a heart-warming anthropomorphic animal tale will enjoy this novel.  While a knowledge of Charles Dickens isn't necessary to enjoy the novel, adult fans of puns, word-play, and Charles Dickens will love finding the references hidden in this light-hearted story.


The Cheshire Cheese Cat has its own website that is absolutely loaded with extras like a history of the inn and the literary figures who frequented it, word games, facts about the Victorian Era, and more.  It's a great site, definitely worth checking out.

Carmen Agra Deedy also has her own website

Source: copy purchased at #ALA12

The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright illus. by Barry Moser: Buy it or check it out today!

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