The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread
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The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread

4.03 (145,566 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in Kate DiCamillo's Newbery Medal-winning tale. Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other's lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.
With black-and-white illustrations and a refreshed cover by Timothy Basil Ering.
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Product details

  • 0-5
  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 20mm | 226g
  • Massachusetts, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0763680893
  • 9780763680893
  • 7,434

Review quote

The author of Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tiger Rising here shifts gears, demonstrating her versatility while once again proving her genius for mining the universal themes of childhood. . . . I must tell you, you are in for a treat.
--Publishers Weekly (starred review) A charming story of unlikely heroes . . . This expanded fairy tale is entertaining, heartening, and, above all, great fun.
--School Library Journal (starred review) Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul stirring as it is delicious.
--Booklist (starred review) The melodramatic voice of the narrator glides through DiCamillo's entirely pleasing tale . . . And so unwinds a tale with twists and turns, full of forbidden soup and ladles, rats lusting for mouse blood, a servant who wishes to be a princess, a knight in shining--or at least furry--armor, and all the ingredients of an old-fashioned drama.
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) DiCamillo "sets the stage for a battle between the forces of Darkness and Light in The Tale of Despereaux, and the book is a terrific, bravura performance."
--The New York Times Book Review There is a classic charm to this picaresque tale of an idealistic mouse suffering unrequited love for a princess; that and a pace that lends itself to reading aloud will make this novel a favorite among those ready for some gentle questing.
--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books DiCamillo tells an engaging tale . . . Many readers will be enchanted by this story of mice and princesses, brave deeds, hearts 'shaded with dark and dappled with light, ' and forgiveness.
--The Horn Book Soul stirring and charming.
--Booklist Newbery-Honor winning DiCamillo creates the perfect read-aloud with delightful, fanciful characters.
--Child's Best of the Year This old-fashioned tale is overflowing with good and evil, light and dark, scary adventures, and a happy ending. Ideally read aloud.
--Nick Jr. Family Magazine Best Books of the Year Chill winds call for hot cocoa and a good book. The Tale of Despereaux serves up 52 chapters bursting with adventure.
--Washington Parent I give this book the highest rating: five out of five stars.
--Newsday Unexpectedly complex in the relationships between its characters, DiCamillo's fable, engagingly illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering, delivers a carefully orchestrated, but not overstated, testament to the power of love and forgiveness.
--San Francisco Chronicle "Reader, it is his destiny -- just as it is for The Tale of Despereaux to become another timeless classic in the once-upon-a-time genre.
--Orlando Sentinel This charming adventure by the award-winning author of Because of Winn-Dixie is a story of love, courage and following your heart.
--Detroit Free Press Read the book aloud. Few recent texts have been designed for that, with multiple plots ticking on, divided into 52 small chapters. And don't forget the coda, a tiny but deft apologia of the imagination.
--Chicago Tribune This charming fairy tale brims with delightful characters.
--Cleveland Plain Dealer Here once again, loss brings characters together, misfits find a place in the world, and darkness and light swirl together in a not easily divisible mix.
--Star Tribune The Tale of Despereaux "has DiCamillo's modern sensibilities, her wry humor, and crystalline prose."
--Miami Herald The story is just plain fun to read, but it also explores deeper and darker aspects of parent-child relations, including betrayal, the need for forgiveness and the power of love.
--Houston Chronicle Super Summer Reads: The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. A smaller-than-usual mouse falls in love with music, stories, and a Princess named Pea.
--Woman's Day A heartwarming and rewarding read, The Tale of Despereaux cheers uniqueness, boos conformity, urges readers to overlook seeming differences, and inspires hope.
--Teacher Magazine With its old-fashioned, fairy tale qualities and whimsical pencil drawings by Timothy Basil Ering, the book is definitely a departure for DiCamillo, but one readers are sure to love.
--Book Page . . . DiCamillo's new fantasy novel is charming, by turns sad, sweet, and mildly scary.
--Voice of Youth Advocates Sly style and brilliantly-crafted characters will reward the reader . . .
--The Five Owls
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About Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is the author of BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, a Newbery Honor book, and THE TIGER RISING, which was a National Book Award Finalist. Kate DiCamillo says, "A few years ago, my best friend's son asked me if I would write a story for him. 'Well, ' I said, 'I don't normally write stories on command.' 'But this is a story that I know you would want to tell, ' he said. 'It's about an unlikely hero. He has exceptionally large ears.' 'What happens to this hero?' I asked. 'I don't know, ' he said. 'That's why I want you to write it down, so we can find out.' Well, Luke Bailey, three years later, here is the story of what happened to your exceptionally large-eared, unlikely hero." Timothy Basil Ering is the author and illustrator of THE STORY OF FROG BELLY RAT BONE, and he also created the cover image and interior black-and-white drawings for 33 SNOWFISH by Adam Rapp. Of his inspiration for the illustrations in The TALE OF DESPEREAUX, he says, "My mother may have been a mouse in her past life, as I watched her save and help so many mice in our house while I was growing up. The illustrations I've done of Despereaux Tilling are, in a way, my tribute to her." Timothy Basil Ering's artwork has appeared in books, magazines, theater sets, private murals, and fine art galleries.
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Rating details

145,566 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 39% (56,151)
4 34% (49,736)
3 21% (29,930)
2 5% (7,425)
1 2% (2,324)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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