I first read part of The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright this past winter. Peachtree Publishers had put up the first few chapters on NetGalley. I loved the what I had read (you can read my first review here). When Peachtree Publishers contacted me and asked if I would like a chance to read the entire book, I jumped at it!
Here is the summary from Goodreads:
Skilley, an alley cat with an embarrassing secret, longs to escape his hard life dodging fishwives brooms and carriage wheels and trade his damp alley for the warmth of the Cheshire Cheese Inn. When he learns that the innkeeper is looking for a new mouser, Skilley comes up with an audacious scheme to install himself in the famous tavern. Once established in the inn, Skilley strikes a bargain with Pip, the intelligent mouse-resident, and his fellow mice. Skilley protects the mice and the mice in turn give to Skilley the delectable Cheshire cheese of the inn. Thus begins a most unlikely alliance and friendship. The cat and mouse design a plan to restore Maldwyn wounded raven and faithful guard in the service of Queen Victoria to his rightful place in The Tower, but first they must contend with a tyrannical cook, a mouse-despising barmaid, and an evil tomcat named Pinch. Will the famous author suffering from serious writer s block who visits the Cheshire Cheese pub each day be able to help.
Like I said, I loved this book. While it was a quick read, I didn't feel like the story was lacking in depth because of its shortness (like many upper elementary chapter books are).
I really liked how the authors created an almost "alternative history" and placed famous people of the time in it, but didn't make the story all about them. The main characters were still Skilly and Pip, but Charles Dickens had a pretty important role in the story as well.
The story itself centers around Skilly and Pip, and teaches us how to be friends and also be true to ourselves, without being "preachy". One key point in the story was that if you say you are sorry, then you have to actually understand why you are sorry for it to actually mean anything. All too often, people say it without meaning it. Its an important lesson for children (and some adults) to learn.
Its one of those books that adults would enjoy for all the references (Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, and just the Victorian age), but children would also enjoy because its just an enjoyable story.
I can't wait to share this book with my students and you guys! Thats right, its giveaway time! To enter to win, I'm going to make it easy---leave a comment at the bottom of this post with your name, and email address or tweet about the giveaway (make sure to @ me so I know you did). You must be a follower to win. Open to US mailboxes only, sorry. If you'd like an extra entry, follow me on twitter (@maestra_amanda). We're going to make this a quick giveaway, so it ends by the 15th of October. I'll contact the winner on either the 15th or 16th to get their mailing address and then send that information on to Peachtree Publishers.
The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale is written by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright. Its published by Peachtree Publishers and came out in hardcover on October 1st. I'd like to thank Peachtree Publishers, and especially Emily for giving me a chance to read this great book!
Also, Peachtree Publishers is hosting a blog tour of The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale. For more information, and to check out other blogs, click here