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”…
“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.
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.
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.
Until next time…good luck…and happy reading!