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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

BLOG TOUR: A cheesy story, review and giveaway with Peachtree Publishers!

Hi there readers!

Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…the place to FEED your NEED to READ! Today we have another exciting event as we welcome a blog tour to the site from the great folks over at Peachtree Publishers (hi Emily!). This book was a recent addition to their catalog and with formidable ties to a novel of worldwide grandeur, seeks to bring a little culture to the Middle Grade reading audience whiel still maintaining their wit and whimsy. Ready to read all about it? Good! Then let’s give a big SFIR welcome to our blog guests of the day and the featured book of choice….

A Dickens of a Tale
Illustrated by

From the publisher's site....

Skilley, an alley cat with an embarrassing secret, longs to escape his street-cat life. Tired of dodging fishwives' brooms and carriage wheels, he hopes to trade London's damp alleyways for the warmth of ye olde Cheshire Cheese Inn. He strikes a bargain with Pip, an erudite mouse: Skilley will protect the mice who live at the inn, and in turn, the mice will provide Skilley with the thing he desires most.

But when Skilley and Pip are drawn into a crisis of monumental proportions involving a tyrannical cook, an unethical barmaid, and a malevolent tomcat, their new friendship is pushed to its limits. The escalating crisis threatens the peace not only of the Cheshire Cheese Inn but also the British Monarchy!

Unbeknownst to Skilley and Pip, however, they have a secret ally: a famous author who scribbles away many an afternoon in ye olde Cheshire Cheese Inn...


“He was the best of Toms. He was the worst of Toms….”
…and so begins this fanciful story of an unlikely duo able to find the strengths in their differences and come to an understanding that our friends are not defined by our species or background, but by those we deem worthy of associating with. If they be cut from a different cloth than our own, so be it…it may just prove to our own enrichment as well their own, and who would want to deny anyone that opportunity? Certainly not I….nor Skilley and Pip. Speaking of these two “mouse-cat-teers”…

Skilley is an unusual cat. In both mannerisms, diet, and choice of friends, he bucks the trend with every swish of his crooked tail (which comes with a story and a half, but I’ll away him to fill you in if you choose to read this fine tale)….and just so happens to be a perfect match for the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn, just not in the way the owner would have liked. Pip is another contraction to typical stereotypes thanks to a little girl named Nell and her kindness towards all animals great and small. It was she who took him in after a very unfortunate incident and she who made sure he was safe and loved growing up. It was also she that instilled a love of reading within the little mouse …that’s right, READING! Gotta love a mouse that loves to read and more still, he knows a thing or two about the meaning behind those words. Check out this totally shareable passage as Pip is explaining the term “context”….

“Context. Ummmmm…” Pip gave his ear a scratch. “Well, you see, words have to be in the right place in order to have meaning. You need to know where they’ve been, and where they’re going. You wouldn’t just eat a piece of cheese without knowing where it’s been, would you?” - pg 149

See? Lovely isn’t it? (For another sneak peak at a passage, check out yesterday’s “Teaser Tuesday” post!) Pip has a way with words so to speak and along with the delightful story, readers young and old alike get a bit of a language lesson as well. Pretty nifty if I do say so myself. Master Dickens would be proud….and he is too. (Not you Too….I meant “too” as in “also”….) How do I know? Well, how else….he makes an appearance or two or three or…well, you get the idea. He is a regular if you will at the Inn and observes much of the events that unfold right beneath his nose with a keen eye …gleaning bits of the unspoken story here and there along the way. We even get treated to some of his ruminations on said events as we glimpse a page from the journal he is constantly writing in while wasting the day tableside in search of an opening for his latest serialization. It’s all rather entertaining.

Perhaps my favorite character beyond the obvious choices would be….Pinch. Just kidding! No…Pinch is a naughty kitty and deserves any back luck that may befall him. Seriously, he is BAD news. Maybe it should be Croomes, the cook….but even though her outside may be harder than her inside (though to penetrate that shell it’s gonna take A LOT of pages), but you’d be wrong again. No…my favorite would have to be Too (that tiny little mouse perched on dear old Dad's head in the picture on the left taken from the official book site). She is the mousiest of mouse’s and adorable beyond words. When she first meets Skilley, her reaction to the cat throws everything off but in a good way that is totally smile worthy and her bravery is without measure. A little darling if a mouse ever could be one.

The artwork scattered throughout the book like so many morsels of the inn’s infamous cheese, are delightful and at times pause worthy if not merely for the talent displayed but the shiver they may induce. Now my fair readers, don’t run off like a frightened little Too (though Too would NEVER run off….too small she may be but courage was never measured by sheer size). I only mean to say that there happens to be a character or two whose portraits…well, let’s just say the artist’s rendering is spot on for displaying their internal beauty (or lack thereof). Then we have the sweetest moments shown with Pip and Skilley or Too and her father….just try not to smile at the adorable nature of these images; betcha can’t and I certainly wouldn’t blame you.

So…would I recommend this book to you? Yes, yes and yes again. For the young and the old, the well read and the beginner, those looking for a quick read and the true Dickens fan at heart….you can’t go wrong with this enjoyable read. For those thinking a “Dickens-esque” tale is too much for a young reader, fear not! There’s a trusty glossary at book’s end in case you get stuck on a word or two as well as an invitation to learn more words full of “ledders” by checking out a dictionary near you. A book that takes you on an unexpected journey, imparts a lesson or two along the way, and ultimately leaves you with a smile….what more could you ask? So yes, I say….yes a hundred times over. Seek thee out a bookstore near you to pick up this enchanting read post haste!

Special thanks to Emily at Peachtree Publishers for the opportunity to participate in this tour and share my reading adventure with you (as well as for the review copy!). (THANKS!) For more information on this fabulous publisher as well as they’re extensive catalog, visit them online, ‘like’ their Facebook page, read their blog, or follow them on Twitter (1 and 2). As I’m not one to end the fun an earlier than necessary, I’d like to point out that there is an additional stop for the tour today over at Booktalking and then tomorrow they head over to Not Just For Kids….so there’s no shortage of good times ahead. Be sure to check out the entire blog tour, the schedule for which can be found on the official web page for the book (as well as a myriad of nifty bits and pieces to further the reading experience, nay extend it into actual history!) and if you feel so inclined ‘tweet all about it’ with the official #CheshireCheeseCat hash tag.

 As for me, I must bid you adieu….but not yet. (Ha! Tricked you for a milli-second, right?) There is one final matter of which I’ve yet to deal….a giveaway. That’s right my friends! Thanks to the generous folks at Peachtree Publishers YOU have the opportunity to win a copy of this wonderful story to call your own. How to enter? Simple! Just fill out the FORM below and TADA…you’re in. Please note that the contest is open to US residents only (for shipping convenience of the publisher) and will end promptly at midnight CST on Friday, October 14th, 2011. So spread the word, tweet all about it, or simply tell your family and friends! Don’t miss out on this great title because that my friend would be the real tragedy…and really “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known…” in leaving you with the chance to discover this great read.

Until next time…good luck…and happy reading!


Unknown said...

Thanx for a great review...I'd enter but you have stipulations in your rules and regulations that omit the fine folks of Canada...hehe Have a groovy day~!!

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Such a shame I'm not able to enter this particular giveaway (good luck all who are) but thanks to your wonderful review I shall be adding this to my wish list anyway.

Megan said...

This sounds like an absolutely gorgeous book!

I saw the post on Book Blogs and knew that I had to come and check you out!

I am now following you and thought I'd let you know that I also review children's books, my blog is fairly new and so far I've reviewed some classics but if you're interested I'd love for you to take a look at my blog!

Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

Claudine Gueh said...

I love the cover of the book and your review is prodding me to take a peep at the book soon. (Too bad I don't qualify - I'm all the way in Singapore.)
But best of luck with this giveaway!


Peachtree Publishers said...

Great responses! I love the post--good idea to screen shot the Cheshire Cheese Cat website! :) Thanks again for everything!

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