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The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale
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The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  3,309 ratings  ·  459 reviews
In this playful homage to Charles Dickens, unlikely allies learn the lessons of a great friendship.
Skilley, an alley cat with an embarrassing secret, longs to escape his street-cat life. He hopes to trade London's damp alleyways for the warmth of ye olde Cheshire Cheese Inn, so he strikes a bargain with Pip, an erudite mouse. Skilley will protect the mice who live at the i
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published October 2011 by Peachtree Publishers
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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
In need of a mouser the Cheese inn takes on a cat. The cat doesn't like mice though. He eats cheese. So he strikes a bargain with the resident mice that he will live in harmony with them for a supply of cheese.
Until his nemesis moves in on his territory and strikes fear in the mice.
Cute little story. That sneaks in Charles Dickens as a author suffering from writer's block and is helped along by our furry friends.
Jason Koivu
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, fantasy
Not only is the subject matter of this book not my usual cup of tea, but I'm also just a tad outside of its intended audience age range. Regardless, when I saw "Cheshire Cheese," I wondered if it wasn't a reference to the super old London pub Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, which has been around since the 1600s. It is the same, and so I had to read it. As a bonus, The Cheshire Cheese Cat is also a historical-fiction. It's subtitle A Dickens of a Tale is a bit of a giveaway as to at least one of the his ...more
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Animal stories. Done well and you get something like Charlotte’s Web or The Incredible Journey. Done poorly and you cannot name for me a more annoying genre. Some days it seems to me that every great children’s author eventually tries their hand at the style to varying degrees of success. Burned one time too many I’ve taken to just avoiding books with animals in them altogether unless there’s something that seems to be extraordinary about them. So when The Cheshire Cheese Cat came into my posses ...more
Brandy Painter
I don't really do animal stories. There are only two that I have ever read and desired to reread or read aloud to my children. (Charlotte's Web and The Tale of Despereaux) Now a third book can be added to this collection. I saw enough reviews praising The Chesire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale, some written by others also wary of animal stories, that I decided to give it a try. Really, the premise is hard to pass up even for someone like me who is jaded toward the genre. A cat who likes to eat ...more
London alley cat Skilley takes a job as mouser for Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a renowned chophouse and writers’ hangout. Unfortunately, Skilley prefers eating cheese to mice, and must form an uneasy alliance with the hordes of mice infesting the inn. Charles Dickens, a frequent visitor to the inn, observes the curious relationship between Skilley and the mice while he struggles to find an opening line for his latest novel. With appearances from a mean cat named Oliver to an injured Tower Raven to ...more
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
I read some heartfelt tributes to narrator Katherine Kellgren following her death in January 2018 and wanted to listen to an audiobook she had read. She brought to life this story of cats, mice, a raven from the Tower of London, and Charles Dickens. Lots of fun!
Sep 06, 2020 rated it liked it
The range of voices on the audio was amazing but some were harsh. I’m not sure if children would know all the raven/Queen Victoria/Dickens and Oliver Twist and Tale of Two Cities references to make the story come alive for them. Still, I’ve dined at the Cheshire Cheese and the tale was fun.
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Cheshire Cheese Cat
Children will take pleasure in reading this adventurous and humorous Victorian story set in London’s Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.  It is a book whose main characters are animals and humans play the supporting roles.  One of those humans being British author Charles Dickens.  It is evident that Dickens and his works served as a great inspiration to the author.  Some of the characters, like Nell and Pip, are named after some of Dickens’ own characters.  Even though this is a chapte
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
A cat who doesn't like mice, but loves cheese, becomes the mouser at the Cheshire Cheese Inn, an inn frequented by
Charles Dickens among other writers. The cat, Skilley, makes a deal with the mice. He doesn't eat them and they provide him with all the fine cheese he can eat. The plot, involving thousands of mice, a raven, another cat and numerous humans takes many twists and turns. All problems come to a head and are resolved when Queen Victoria
unexpectedly visits the Inn to find her missing rave
Dec 20, 2011 rated it liked it
I didn't dislike this as much as I was afraid I might--because what is worse than an animal story? An anthropomorphic animal story. Also, it's got to be among the WASPiest book I've ever read (though one of the authors is Cuban, so I don't know what point I'm trying to make). But the truly good writing saved it for me. And the fact that the cutesy playing with typesetting didn't extend beyond the first few pages. I thought I was going to have to put up with a whole book of text shaped like cat's ...more
Barb Middleton
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Skilley, the cat, has a secret. He hates to eat mice and loves cheese. He finds the perfect job at the Ye Olde Chesire Cheese Inn which makes the best cheese in the county. He makes a pact with the mice at the Inn where he pretends to kill them in exchange for them giving him cheese. Charles Dickens, the writer, goes to the Inn as well and is trying to write his novel, A Tale of Two Cities. He’s having a dickens of a time. When the barmaid brings home a vicious tomcat, who truly eats mice, and h ...more
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
A cat named Skilly meets up with a small mouse named pip, most stories end up with the cat chasing a mouse or the mouse to chasing the cat, like Tom & Jerry, but this story is different. Scilly and Pip protect each other. Scilly isn't fond of the taste of Mouse meet, but loves cheese. That's why in return of protecting the mouse colony, Scilly gets cheese From the Mice.

The reason I rated this three stars is because there's so many characters that you cant keep up with . Pinch, Pip, Skilly, Mald
MSSA UE Student
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
By Ella B.

I read a funny book, The Cheshire Cheese Cat, by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright. It is a humor book set behind a restaurant. The story takes place in the past during Queen Elizabeth I’s reign.
The main character is a black cat named Skilley. Skilley is a pretty black female cat who loves to eat cheddar cheese and be with her best friend Pip. She is kind, helpful, and honest as shown when she offered a bite of cheese to Pip, and when she tried to find Pip when Pinch took him.
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing

First Impression: I felt like I won the lottery when I found that Katherine Kellgren was narrating this wonderful looking middle grade novel. I'd been meaning to read this one because of the Dickens reference and finally had the chance to listen to it on audiobook from the library.

While Reading: I just love Kellgren's narration. The story is a fun one, about an alley cat who does not actually like to eat mice, but cheese instead. So when he is given the opportunity to earn his keep at the famous
Shannon Mawhiney
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"He was the best of toms. He was the worst of toms."

Skilley the cat finds a sweet new gig for himself at the Cheshire Cheese tavern, where the finest cheese in all of England is made... and where they have a real problem with mice. Unfortunately for the Cheese's employees and patrons (a cadre that includes Charles Dickens himself), Skilley secretly hates the taste of mice. In fact... he prefers cheese. Through some unusual friendships and not-so-unusual rivalries, Skilley and others learn about
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
May 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: children-ya
Picking up this novel, I was expecting a lovely tale of unlikely friendship and courage, in the vein of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, after all this book has been nominated for several awards, alas it was a disappointment. My avid reader son and I set it aside just past the halfway mark. I realised that this book was written to appeal to adults rather than children (e.g. the references to Dickens and other literary figures would flow over young readers’ heads), the story is quite predictable ...more
Mar 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Skilley, Pip and Maldwyn seem to be friends or can they be? They all live at the Cheshire Inn. Skilley to catch the mice, Pip a mouse that doesn't want to be caught and Maldwyn a raven that would love nothing better than to be back in the Queens Tower. Will natural instincts take over when push comes to shove or can this unlikely trio stay friends.
Carmen Deedy takes a classic tale of cat and mouse, adds the need for survival and friendship against odds that are stacked against them and you have
An cat (that doesn't eat mice, but prefers cheese!) and Charles Dickens, plus Katherine Kellgren narrating? I was SO excited. Alas, this just didn't do it for me. I listened to the first disc and found parts entertaining (esp. Dickens' journals and some of the descriptions of the cat, so apt!) but overall it just didn't capture my interest. Also, much as I have loved Katherine Kellgren's narration in the past, I found her voice for Pip the rat and also for the cook very annoying and hard to list ...more
Anna W
Nov 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have recently read Carmen Agra Deedy'S The Chesire Cheese Cat.
It was an okay book ecept I would have liked it better if it was from the point of view of a himan being. In this book thare is a cat that doesent like mice and eats cheese. The cat befriends the mice and saves some of their lives. I dont think this is true to the charactar because my cat loves cat food with meat in it and if he could hunt and hadent been declawed he would love catching mice and birds. All in
Kaethe Douglas
I am 46 years old, and I am well aware that I am no where near the target audience for this. But I loved it. Skilley as drawn by Moser looks like my Luna, there's Dickens working on a novel, there's a lot about cheese, there's an unusual little girl and an even more unusual mouse. Loved it! Definitely go for a bound version, because the art really adds to the whole, as do amusing little typesetting jokes. A whole book about loving cheese! It would be fun to read this along with Anatole and the C ...more
Cordelia Dinsmore
Feb 14, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this little tale. The inclusion of Mr. Shakespeare made it quite entertaining, especially with his attitude toward what was going on in the inn, and everyone else seemed to be clueless about it.

The villains in the story were quite ruthless, which gave it an air of foreboding, but in a way that even young readers would find entertaining and somewhat lighthearted. Although, I felt a little squeamish at times with the fate of many of the residents.

Overall, an enjoyable read, and I would n
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In The Cheshire Cheese Cat, by Carmen Agra Deedy, a cat named Skilley gets a job caching mice at the finest pub in London, but there is one problem: he hates eating mice and loves cheese! He later has to save the mice of the pub from a great danger. I like this book because it is relatable. When Skilley stands up for the mice even though he is scared to reveal his secret, it's like when friends stand up for each other. If you want to find out if Skilley can save the mice, read The Cheshire Chees ...more
Kelley Jansson
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got in a long line to get a free copy of this book at BEA 2014 because there was a cat on the cover. The cat subject did not disappoint. This was an incredibly original tale that blends a cute animal story in a Victorian London setting with Charles Dickens. The writing has been carefully crafted to match the book's time period and setting, while the illustrations packed a playful punch that added to the distinctive tale. A fun read for youth with a list of new vocabulary words at the back for ...more
Susan Foster
I loved this book! I am so glad I chose to listen to it instead of reading it, because the audio performance was just superb! I absolutely LOVED the many different British/Cockney accents that added so much to the characterizations.

The Dickens connection made me want to go back and reread "Tale of Two Cities" (one of my favorites), as well as some of his others.

This was such a fun book! I laughed out loud, my heart raced with anxiety during the tense moments, and I cheered with the triumphs! :)
Stevie D
I am currently reading The Cheshire Cheese Cat by Carmen Agra. This book is about a cat named Skilley and a mouse named Pip
and one time Pip came out of the hole and the cat go him. But it turns out that the cat doesn't like mouse he likes cheese. So a
few days later they became friends. I really like this book because it explains a lot were takes place. You should read The Cheshire
Cheese Cat.
Jul 13, 2014 rated it liked it

A wonderful tale set in the time of Dickens in an old inn in England. I loved how Dickens would show up and excerpts from his "notes" which was a lovely introduction to his writing for children. The glossary in the back and the vocabulary used was one of my favorite things to make it accessible to kids.

I have a fondness for anthropomorphic animals and this fit the bill, all the characters were charming but I especially adored Skilley.

A lovely little book for a Sunday afternoon.
Dec 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
A good read but once again I am left wondering if the professional reviewers really know how to review a book from the perspective of the child reader. I love the vocabulary used and the accompanying glossary but why not another brief section on Dickens for the children to whom this book is geared? I am willing to bet they have not yet read A Tale of Two Cities...
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely delightful. I listened to the audio book so I missed out on the illustrations, but the audio book was so very excellent! I love that the cat loves cheese and doesn't eat mice. A Tower raven in the mix, and a mouse who can write a ransom note? So good! I loved this book so very much. Such fun!
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
Listening to this with the kids on our car rides. Charles Dickens himself shows up regularly and there are excerpts from his "notes" referencing the story being told and the Inn in which it was set. It is a story about a cat that gets hired on as a mouser but the cat secretly prefers cheese. Katherine Kellgren does he narration and it is absolutely first rate.
Cecilia Rodriguez
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Skilley is a Russian Blue alley cat in search of a more stable situation, when he hears a local inn has mice problems.
The plot mentions several famous Victorian authors, and focuses on Charles Dickens, who according to the story, is working on his "Tale of Two Cities," when all of the action takes place.
I enjoyed the unlikely friendship between Pip and Skilley.
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Carmen Agra Deedy is an internationally known author of children’s literature, a storyteller and radio contributor. Born in Havana, Cuba, she immigrated to the United States with her family in 1963 after the Cuban Revolution. Deedy grew up in Decatur, Georgia and currently lives in Atlanta and has three daughters.

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22 likes · 8 comments
“It is not enough to say you are sorry. You must utterly own the terrible thing you have done. You must cast no blame on the one you have injured. Rather, accept every molecule of the responsibility, even if reason and self-preservation scream against it. Then, and only then, will the words 'I am sorry' have meaning.” 9 likes
“You want the truth, Master Skilley? Then find out just what manner of cat you really are... and brazenly, unabashedly, boldly, be that cat.” 2 likes
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