“The hidden creature observed the mice with a growing sense of horror. A cat at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese? Folly. Worse than folly. Catastrophe.”
Skilley is an alley cat with a secret. He feels that Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is the perfect home for him. The inn is famous for both its cheese and its mice infestation. So Skilley strikes a bargain with Pip, one of the mice, that will give them both what they want, as well as provide the illusion of giving the innkeeper what he most wants. Then the barmaid brings in another cat, Pinch, who is not one for bargains nor secrets. As Skilley is uncovering the bigger secret at Ye Olde Cheshire, Pinch is terrifyingly close to discovering Skilley’s own secret. And the bigger secret deals with treason! The short chapters make this an enjoyable read for reluctant readers. All can enjoy the comical drawings of Barry Moser whose art adds another level to the tale. Older readers may even enjoy the numerous Dickens references in the story.
256 pages 978-1561455959
Recommended by: Alice L. Cyphers, Librarian and Reading Specialist, Pennsylvania, USA
With Charles Dickens sitting in the corner of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese watching the cats with a knowing eye, the story of the thousands of mice who live secretively within these walls unfolds. A cheese-loving cat named Skilley moves in and becomes the innkeeper's mouser. Little does he know that this cat has bargained with the mice so he can partake of the delicious cheese for which the inn is renowned. In return the cat "appears" to catch a few mice but actually carefully restores them to their happy community once out of sight of the human beings.
Then, enter the enemy... a street cat who lives to capture the mice. The plot thickens around Dickens as he writes and around the mice whose lives may finally be in jeopardy and whose secret may unfortunately be revealed. The characters are wonderfully developed and the 19th century comes to life in this delightful story. Will the mice meet their maker? Will Charles Dickens ever find his opening sentence? Will Skilley betray his good friend, Pip? Will Maldwyn's truth be heard?
224 pages 978-1561455959 Ages 8-11
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com