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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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7,746405434 (4.11)200
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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» See also 200 mentions

English (402)  German (2)  All languages (404)
Showing 1-5 of 402 (next | show all)
This book was so much better than The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane! I enjoyed it so much more! ( )
  bburton131 | Jun 19, 2016 |
It took me a while to get used to the narrative style of this book.  I almost gave up, but Graeme Malcolm was the narrator and I love his voice, so I stuck it out.  There were a lot of unnecessary asides to the reader from the narrator, and I really didn't like the portrayal of Miggery Sow.  However, I really liked Despereaux as a character and ended up enjoying his portion of the story.  In the end, that was enough for me. ( )
  jguidry | May 31, 2016 |
A wonderful, sad story. ( )
  ethanlu121 | May 2, 2016 |
Summary: The Tale of Despereaux is divided into four sections. The first section is about a mouse named Despereaux who is born in the walls of the Kingdom of Dor. Despereaux is born with his eyes open and large ears, because of his abnormality the other mice question whether he will live or not due to his size. Despereaux learns very quickly that he is not like the other mice, he loves to explore the castle, music, reading, and a princess named Pea. The second section of tale is about the story of a rat called Roscuro, he lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. The third part of the tale is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to begin a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glamorous castle, and, into each other's lives.
Personal Reaction: This was one of my favorite books when I was in elementary school! The texture of the book itself was cool, the outside had jagged edges like you see in the movies. The edges were crinkled like a piece of parchment. This book is the type of book where you have to keep reading and you can’t put it down until you find out what happens!
Classroom Extension Ideas: 1.) Pinpoint scenes from the book and have them explain their version of what they would do if that was them.
2. Have the class decorate the classroom as a scene from the book and explain what happened in the scene and why they chose that particular one.
  Chelsey_Fodder | Apr 21, 2016 |
Despereaux Tilling is a mouse, with the character traits of a mighty, brave human. He faces trials, conflicts, and feels emotions so strong the reader can't help but connect to him. First, the story flowed together very well. The events happened one after the other seamlessly, and the characters interconnected deeply so that every part of the story was connected and therefore important. The flow of the story made it a fast, page-turning read because Despereaux never stops on his journey to save the princess. The author provided character relationships that connected to the backstory of some of the character's, such as Mig and her father, while also creating new situations for the characters to jump into that very well related back to the situations present at the beginning of the story. Overall, Despereaux's character development through the whole story is a large contributing factor to the success of this story. The characters are small, normally not complex creatures with complex lives, feelings and thoughts in this story. ( )
  jcolvi1 | Apr 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 402 (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 editionsconfirmed
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)

» see all 9 descriptions

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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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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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