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Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale

Curious about what life was like in Victorian London? Want to be introduced to some famous authors of that time like Charles Dickens? You need to read The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright and illustrated by Barry Moser. This amusing story transports the reader to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese inn where the story is told through the relationships of its characters: a mouse named Pip who has learned to read and uses an enriched vocabulary, a friendly cat named Skilley who agrees to protect the mice in the inn while they protect his big secret, an injured raven named Maldwyn who once perched on the White Hill and would like nothing more than to return to his home, and a mean cat named Pinch who may ruin them all. Famous writers of that time frequent the inn. Charles Dickens intermittently chimes in and expresses the difficulty he has in writing the now famous first sentence in his Tale of Two Cities. It is evident that Deedy, Wright, and Moser put so much research into this story. I loved how the characters are named for characters in Dickens’ works and symbols of that time were used to enhance the storyline. A glossary of the challenging vocabulary words used in the story is included. A great supplement to this book is their amazing website which encourages participants to read more about old England and play games to see how much they have learned. This novel is on the Texas Bluebonnet Reading List 2012-13.

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