Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens Of A Tale

Deedy, Carmen Agra and Wright, Randall. 2011. THE CHESHIRE CHEESE CAT: A DICKENS OF A TALE. Ill. by Barry Moser. Atlanta: Peachtree. ISBN 9781561455959 [Suggested Grade Levels 3–6]

Part historical fiction, part fantasy, THE CHESHIRE CHEESE CAT is an action-packed story with a little something for everyone. The book takes the reader back to the streets and alleys of 19th century London where a street cat named Skilley longs to live comfortably at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. When a cat is needed to handle the mouse infestation, Skilley becomes their mouser. Unfortunately for Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese he has a secret; he is a cheese-loving cat that has no taste for mice. An unlikely alliance forms between Skilley and the mice that reside there. Author Charles Dickens is a frequent customer to the establishment. He has a case of writer’s block, so instead of writing he has been observing the interactions between the cat and mice jotting down notes and theories in his journal. Another mouser is brought in to help alleviate the mouse problem. This tom, Pinch, is a vicious cat with a taste for blood. The mice are no longer safe and Skilley’s secret could possibly be revealed as well as what the mice are hiding in the attic.

Moser’s drawings are scattered throughout the book and add personality to the characters. Pages from Dickens’ journal are also included which show his suspicions and his humor.

Research the Tower of London and the myths of the ravens. Search YouTube for videos about the ravens. Hold a cheese tasting event and vote on the best tasting cheese.

Other books with a mouse as a main character:
King-Smith, Dick. A MOUSE CALLED WOLF. ISBN 9780375800665
Peck, Richard. SECRETS AT SEA. ISBN 9780803734555

By Jane Jergensen

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