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The Tale of the Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Tale of the Despereaux (original 2003; edition 2006)

by Kate DiCamillo, Timothy Basil Ering (Illustrator)

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8,108420392 (4.09)203
Title:The Tale of the Despereaux
Authors:Kate DiCamillo
Other authors:Timothy Basil Ering (Illustrator)
Info:Scholastic (2006), Edition: 1ST, Paperback, 267 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:Fiction, YA

Work details

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo (2003)

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Showing 1-5 of 418 (next | show all)
This is a fantasy story with several stories embedded inside of one main plot about a courageous young mouse named Despereaux. Despereaux sets out on a journey to rescue a princess who he is in love with after meeting once. Each of the sections of this book focuses on a different character: Despereaux, Princess Pea, Roscuro the rat, and a servant girl named Mig. All of the stories connect together in the end in this adventurous tale of one determined little mouse!

Teaching Connections: 3-6th grade, literature circles, fantasy genre study, cause and effect, inferences, summarizing, predicting, asking questions, making connections, character study, analyzing theme with evidence to support thinking

Website Resources:
Author Site: http://www.katedicamillo.com
Publisher Book Guide: http://www.candlewick.com/book_files/0763617229.btg.1.pdf ( )
  EmmaNicolazzo | Dec 14, 2016 |
This novel definitely measures up with the elements of a good fantasy. I loved how the novel is divided into four books unfolding the layers of the plot from different perspectives. This adds to character development, connecting the characters to one another, and allows the reader to connect to the fantasy. This novel is a great read for children and using as a class read aloud. The novel develops reading strategies, especially questioning, making connections, and elements of literature. The nature of the story itself leads students to think critically and to probe for deeper understanding of moral and ethical issues. ( )
  nkoffler | Nov 30, 2016 |
Brief Summary: Despereaux Tilling is a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. He is an outcast because he does not act like the out mice. His story combines with several other characters: a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. A slow-witted serving girl, Miggery Sow, 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.
Why I loved it: This book reminded me of a grand journey using animals and realistic characters.
How to use in a classroom: ask students to think of a person/animal/ that has a passion that is not the typical.

Award & Description: 2004 The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. 2005 The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award annually recognizes one new American children's book selected by the vote of Vermont schoolchildren. It was inaugurated in 1957
Book Citation (APA): DiCamillo, K., & Ering, T. B. (2003). The tale of Despereaux: Being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. ( )
  meganconser | Nov 28, 2016 |
This is a short chapter book that includes pictures. A young mouse, Despereaux does not fit in with the other mice in his community. When the human queen is killed by a rat, it sets off an adventure of a lifetime for the little mouse who wants to protect the princess he is in love with. I love this book for classroom use. It brings up many dark and difficult subjects in a simple and child friendly way. There are many ways to begin exploring character motivation and traits throughout this book. It would also be a great book to begin discussing the hero's journey. I would most likely use it as a read aloud to promote discussion on the issues involved with the class. This book is also a movie as well as a play. I would use all three of these to being analyzing different ways to tell stories.

This book won the Newberry Medal. The Newberry Medal was the first available to picture books and is awarded to original creative work in books for children. ( )
  jangelique | Nov 23, 2016 |
Despereaux is an odd mouse to his family and fellow mice. He looks odd with his large ears and does not find it strange to speak to humans. When the king (whose wife was killed by a rat falling into her soup!) caught the mouse talking to his princess daughter, he was outraged. So was the mice community. Despereaux is sentenced to the jail underground. When a not so smart little girl ends up at the castle, she is approached by the same rat who killed the queen. He is so enchanted with light, he convinces the little girl to help him kidnap the greatest light he has ever seen, the princess. The girl does as she is told and kidnaps the princess. Brave Despereaux makes his way out of the jail in time to hear about the lovely princesses disappearance. He makes his way back down to the jail to save the little princess and live happily ever after.

I would could use this book as a read aloud with my second graders. The characters in this book would be great to study during our character study. Their traits could be explored further along with the problems they face. ( )
  Kelleighk1 | Nov 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 418 (next | show all)
This funny, original story brings four different strands into a narrative whole, with well-developed fairytale characters. There's Despereaux, the heroic young mouse who would rather read books than gnaw them; Chiaroscuro, a rat living in a dark dungeon, who aspires to a life filled with light; Miggery Sow, a serving girl who longs to be a princess; and, of course, the princess herself, who looks and acts just like the princesses in Despereaux's beloved book of fairytales.
added by kthomp25 | editCooperative Children's Book Center

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate DiCamilloprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ering, Timothy BasilIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malcolm, GraemeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The world is dark, and light is precious. Come closer, dear reader. You must trust me. I am telling you a story.
For Luke, who asked for the story of an unlikely hero
First words
This story begins within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse.
There are those hearts, reader, that never mend again once they are broken. Or if they do mend, they heal themselves in a crooked and lopsided way, as if sewn together by a careless craftsman.
Reader, you must know that an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
I enjoyed the book. I think it would be a good book to read with young children ages 9 and up. The story skips around a lot. Children may benefit from keeping a timeline of events as they read the story, and they will see how it all comes together. I think the idea of forgiveness is major theme of the book, and can be used to help children connect with the concept of forgiveness and what that means to them.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0763625299, Paperback)

Kate DiCamillo, author of the Newbery Honor book Because of Winn-Dixie, spins a tidy tale of mice and men where she explores the "powerful, wonderful, and ridiculous" nature of love, hope, and forgiveness. Her old-fashioned, somewhat dark story, narrated "Dear Reader"-style, begins "within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse." Despereaux Tilling, the new baby mouse, is different from all other mice. Sadly, the romantic, unmouselike spirit that leads the unusually tiny, large-eared mouse to the foot of the human king and the beautiful Princess Pea ultimately causes him to be banished by his own father to the foul, rat-filled dungeon.

The first book of four tells Despereaux's sad story, where he falls deeply in love with Princess Pea and meets his cruel fate. The second book introduces another creature who differs from his peers--Chiaroscuro, a rat who instead of loving the darkness of his home in the dungeon, loves the light so much he ends up in the castle& in the queen's soup. The third book describes young Miggery Sow, a girl who has been "clouted" so many times that she has cauliflower ears. Still, all the slow-witted, hard-of-hearing Mig dreams of is wearing the crown of Princess Pea. The fourth book returns to the dungeon-bound Despereaux and connects the lives of mouse, rat, girl, and princess in a dramatic denouement.

Children whose hopes and dreams burn secretly within their hearts will relate to this cast of outsiders who desire what is said to be out of their reach and dare to break "never-to-be-broken rules of conduct." Timothy Basil Ering's pencil illustrations are stunning, reflecting DiCamillo's extensive light and darkness imagery as well as the sweet, fragile nature of the tiny mouse hero who lives happily ever after. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:50 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The adventures of Desperaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.

(summary from another edition)

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Candlewick Press

4 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763625299, 0763617229, 0763629286, 0763640778

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