Written by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright
Illustrated by Barry Moser
Take a famous author working on a masterpiece, an unusual cat and mouse, an injured Tower raven, and the best cheese in the realm and throw them all into one inn. Misadventures abound. In 1858 London, alley cat Skilley is looking for a home when he hears The Cheshire Cheese Inn is looking for a mouser. He’s great at catching mice, but he doesn’t eat them. His real love is cheese. The inn has cheese in abundance, plus mice. So, Skilley and Pip, a very smart mouse, strike up a bargain. Pip and the other mice provide Skilley with cheese. Skilley catches Pip over and over and releases him. Charles Dickens, working on A Tale of Two Cities in a corner of the inn, notices all this activity. Meanwhile, the mice are also helping a raven they rescued from another alley cat, Pinch. Maldwyn, the raven, is missing from the Tower of London. Even the queen shows up in the end. Seems that everyone at the inn has secrets. Pip helps Dickens with the beginning to his novel. The cheese cook uses the mice as taste testers.
The illustrations are realistic and beautiful and have the feel of the Victorian era. With a smattering of quaint language, the book promotes literacy skills. The reader also learns a lot about living in the era. A great website is available at www.cheshirecheesecat.com with many reading activities.
- Title: The Cheshire Cheese Cat
- Author: Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright
- Illustrator: Barry Moser
- Publisher: Peachtree, 2014
- Reviewer: Sue Poduska
- Format: Paperback, 234 pages
- Genre: Historical fiction, friendship, culture, humor
- ISBN: 978-1-56145-810-3
- Extras: Extensive glossary, website at www.cheshirecheesecat.com