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. 

  • Hardcover: $16.95
  • ISBN: 978-1-56145-595-9
  • Total Pages: 256
  • Size: 6 x 8
  • Language: English
  • Rights: World, except Korea and audio
  • Status: active


  1. Aunty Caren,
    Unlikely friendship? Hmmm....hey...even a cat (or a mouse) is not above bribery...hehehe... purrr...meow!

  2. Sounds like a very cute story. I like the Dickens tie-in.


  3. Ooh, Mom & I will have to read this book!

  4. Awwww it sounds so adorable!! Thanks for the review and info to this sweet book! Take care

  5. @Pat I have to say it is even better than I expected it to be. I was quite impressed.

    @Sebastian yes you will!

    @Old Kitty it is quite adorable and I think you will love the humor. Since it is set in the UK I think you would definitely love that as well! xoxoxo

  6. Cheese, glorious cheese. It makes life tastier every single day.

  7. Sounds like it's right up my (cobbled) street! :D Will check it out x

  8. @Sharon lol!!! I agree!

    @Pup Fan it is! It is actually quite fun/interesting. I didn't think it would be, but I was pleasantly surprised!

    @Caro "cobbled" street lol xoxoxo

  9. That really does sound like a great book.Thanks for telling us about it. I love to read a good book especially with cats in it. Thanks for visiting our blog. Take care.

  10. Caren, I don't have any kids, only furbabies... is it wrong that I want to read this book myself?? It sounds adorable!! Maybe I shall read it to the cats =^..^=

  11. @Marg OMC it IS a great book! I honestly didn't think I was going to like it (and kept putting off reading it) but I was SHOCKED that I LOVED IT! Read it Saturday evening. You are welcome and I am glad to be following you and thanks so much for visiting us as well! Have a great evening!

    @Kitcaboodles you know what? I have no children either and I read the book! Go for it! You don't need kids to read a good book! (you might even enjoy it more without kids! lol) I think reading it to the cats is a great idea!

    @Admiral Hestorb I knew you would! xoxo

  12. OH Thanks Caren, Sound like a cute book. and mom should have it : )

  13. You had us at CHEESE. !!!
    I'm sending Glogirly out for the book AND some cheese.

  14. @Brian I am certain that you will like this! It is so clever. It will only take you a few hours to read it. I was amazed by how much I truly enjoyed it!

    @Mr.Puddy I think your Mom will love it! She can read it to you and you will love how the 2 cats battle each other! xoxoxo

    @Glogirly and Katie lol!!! Sounds good to me!!! I LOVE CHEESE! xoxo

  15. No way! I LOVE Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in London! Loved it so much we went there twice during our stay. I sat in Mark Twain's spot of choice (it is marked with a plaque on the wall). They were so sweet to me & because I loved it so much there, they let me keep one of their menus.

    So you know I'll HAVE to read this book! I'm so excited!

    (One of my favorite children's books is The Cricket in Times Square which is about the friendship between a cat & mouse...and a cricket!)

  16. Sounds like a book we would like to get!

  17. I wouldn't mind a little bedtime reading. I never like any of the stuff the Human reads. But this sounds okay. Maybe she could read it to me.

  18. @ChrissyKat OMG that is too cool!! I didn't realize it is really a REAL place! YES you will HAVE to read this book! You will love it!! I KNOW you are going to love it!

    @Simba I think you will!

    @Spitty I am human and I actually LOVED IT! More than I imagined that I would. I truly loved it!

    @Au and Target it is an excellent book!

  19. This sounds--and from the cover, looks--absolutely charming, and I love the literary references! I'm putting this on my list of things to purchase for Xmas gifts, and I have the perfect recipient in mind. :)

  20. @Chrissykat - you are so lucky! I am envious - what a treat indeed!

    This looks like another I will have to 'taste' and relish for awhile.

  21. Woof! Woof! Oh How cute is the book cover. Golden thanks for the review and sharing. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar