Deedy, Carmen Agra and Randall Wright, The Cheshire Cheese Cat, illustrated by Barry Moser. 256 pgs. Peachtree Publishers, 2011. $8.95. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG
Skilley is a cat who lives on the streets of Victorian London. When he manages to secure himself a place as mouser for a pub, he believes he has achieved the safety and security he has been longing for. However, Skilley has a secret that could threaten everything. Alliances are formed and treachery abounds as Skilley and the pub mice fight for their very existence as well as the survival of the British monarchy.
A fun and original story paired with exceptional drawings makes for a fantastic book. The silliness of a cheese loving cat who strikes a bargain with the mice living in the pub leading to the development of a lovely friendship will charm readers young and old alike. As the story progresses, the mutually beneficial relationship that has been born teaches the value of looking past differences and reserving judgement for those who may go against the expectations of society. The writing of this book is delightful and readers will enjoy the tension and intrigue that multiple story-lines provide as animal and human lives intersect within a Victorian pub.