Monday, September 12, 2011
Book Review: "The Cheshire Cheese Cat:A Dickens of a Tale" Written by Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright, Ilustrations by Barry Moser
A cat who prefers dining on cheese instead of mice? That's the secret that Skilley, a cat from the streets attempts to hide when he seeks to become the "Head Mouser" at "Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese".
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is one of the grandest of London public houses. It is a place where people and esteemed writers such as, Samuel Johnson, Mark Twain, and Charles Dickens, among others, go to eat, to drink, or in the case of Charles Dickens, try to think of an opening for their book.
Once settled at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Skilley meets Pip, a mouse with a penchant for words (the longer the better) and penmanship (he is quite adept at calligraphic creations created by merely using the tip of his tail!). He also has a few secrets of his own!
Skilley and Pip make a deal that Skilley will protect the mice that reside at the inn in exchange for the "cheese, glorious cheese!" that Skilley desires most.
With a writing style reminiscent of Charles Dickens, slight tinges of sly humor, character development which showcases the hardships of the working class and names of characters (Nell, Pip, Oliver that have appeared in various Charles Dickens classics), the story draws us in ever further, as we vicariously experience various and dire conflicts that Skilley and Pip are required to overcome in order to survive.
Throughout Skilley and Pip's challenges, all the while trying to pen the proper opening of his book, Charles Dickens functions as their secret ally.
The charming illustrations by Barry Moser are rendered in realistic style; wonderfully captivating in their detail.
The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale teaches that lessons of a great friendship can be learned by even the most unlikely of friends.
This story is sure to become a favorite of both children and adults! Like fine cheese, it will only get better with age. It's definitely appropriate to have "Great Expectations" of this gem!
I was received no compensation for this review.
I was sent a copy of this book marked "UNCORRECTED PROOF" to read/review.