Rave Reviews Log: Animal Stories

January 09, 2012

The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale

By Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

Skilley is a street cat who wishes for a home.  When he discovers that the Cheshire Cheese Inn is overrun with mice, he manages to sneak in and make a show of catching one to impress the owner and earn a place to stay.  But when he is out of sight, he spits out the mouse and tells him to scram.  The mouse is named Pip, and Pip happens to have learned how to read and write when he befriended the daughter of the innkeeper, Nell.  Pip quickly learns Skilley's secret--he loves to eat cheese, not mice.  The mice agree to keep Skilley fed with the award-winning cheese at the inn if he agrees to pretend to hunt them without eating them.  And thus, a friendship is born.  But trouble comes along when the most disreputable of street cats, Pinch, also makes his way into the inn.  And Pinch had no problems with eating mice.  Add a mysterious hidden visitor living upstairs whose safety may help save England from war, and you've got a good story!   If you are familiar with Charles Dickens (also a character) who wrote such books as A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist, then you will be happy to hear the names of various characters and will be pleased with the plot, as they are just as he himself might have written it.  A wonderful story that animal lovers or just regular folks will like.

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