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?
(Terra's Thoughts)This book was so much fun. A Dicken's of a tale of a stray Tom cat who happens upon a local inn that makes the best cheese in all of England. And yes, our beloved kitty does in fact have a strange addiction to this particular cheese and will do anything to get it.
The story centers itself in the Cheshire Cheese Inn with an array of characters that are down right hilarious. You find the quirkiest bunch of throw togethers that I have had the delight of reading about. Even the most esteemed Mr. Charles Dicken's is incorporated here and his part is of a quiet, patient and intelligent observer.
I found this book absolutely refreshing for a book that tweens and teens can read without all the violence and sexual undertones of some of today's novels that are supposed to be for their age group. But don't let this turn you off if you are much, much older as I am because you will truly miss out on a lovely lighthearted read that will make you giggle as well as teach you some manners.
I really can't say enough good about this particular book but I will say this, I will be purchasing a hard copy of the book for my 9 and 11 year old granddaughters for Christmas this year. Reading is fundamental but also just fun and should be encouraged as much as possible.
To Pip and Skilley I say, Jolly good going and hope to see you in another book soon.
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (October 1, 2011)