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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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7,080358508 (4.1)191
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

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The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (2003)


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» See also 191 mentions

English (355)  German (2)  All languages (357)
Showing 1-5 of 355 (next | show all)
This is about a Rat named Roscuro. Roscuro frightens the queen. The queen dies. The princess is now sad and lonely. Because of the tragic circumstances of her mother's death soup as well as rats are banned throughout the kingdom. Despereaux is very smart, and figures out how to get soup back and a kiss from the princess in a lively tale. This has also been adapted to a movie that children enjoy. grade 4-6
  RachelHollingsworth | Feb 27, 2015 |
It is about a mouse who saves a princess.This story takes place in a castle.It all starts with a mouse born in a castle.This mouse meets a princess.Since he met a human he is sent to the dungeon.I liked this book because it is a very good story.I would recommend this book.
  SampsonK | Jan 29, 2015 |
The Tale of Despereaux simultaneously chronicles the experiences of a small mouse, a royal family, a rat and a servant girl. The mouse is different than other mice, he reads, he loves music and he loves a human princess. These differences cause him to be betrayed by his own family and banished from the mouse community to the dungeon, where with the help of a kindhearted jailer he is able to escape death and foil a plot to kill the princess. The royal family is happy until the day a rat from the dungeon, who is enamored with light, makes his way to the main dining area where he ultimately falls into the queen's soup and causes her to die instantly. This causes the princess to loath the rat and form hatred in her heart. The rat retreats to his home in the dark, sultry dungeon and while there encounters a man who sold his daughter into slavery after the death of his wife. This brings us to the servant girl. Mig has been mistreated her entire life. Nearly deaf from abuse and not too smart, she dreams of being a princess. This dream leads her to join the rat in a plan to kidnap the princess and take her to the dungeon. Each character in this book faces a crisis point in which he or she must choose to carry hatred and resentment or offer forgiveness. It is through forgiveness that the princess was saved and the characters were able to live happily ever after. This book is a great example to children that we can overcome any obstacles life throws our way if we choose forgiveness instead of harboring bitterness.

Personal Reflection: This story encompasses so many life lessons. From self-worth to betrayal to forgiveness, the author does an amazing job of expressing how intertwined the lives of the characters are and how the actions of each character affects the others. I love the way the author addresses the reader directly and pulls them even more into the story.

Extension Ideas:
1. Each time the author addresses the reader, stop and discuss the main idea and vocabulary presented. Have students predict what they think will happen next.
2. Discuss the issues presented. Self-worth, Forgiveness and Betrayal. Have students write in their journals about a time they have experienced similar feelings.
3. Ask children if they think their actions affect other people? Use examples from the book to show how the actions of each character affected one or more of the other characters.
4. Talk about the King's laws Were they reasonable? How does our government work? How are laws made in our country? ( )
  jn925584 | Jan 13, 2015 |
A delightful story of a brave small mouse who falls in love with a princess. The humor and the style in which this book is written makes this such a delightful book. ( )
  hobbitprincess | Jan 4, 2015 |
Without reservation I can honestly say that “The Tale of Despereaux”, by Kate DiCamillo, is the best read-aloud book I have ever found. It is the unlikely story of a mouse who loves a princess and the journey he takes. He leads us through a castle and its dungeon encountering unforgettable characters along the way. Periodically the author addresses the reader which is engaging for the reader and listener alike. The dialog welcomes the use of accents making it a fun an entertaining read for kids and adults. ( )
  knitwit2 | Dec 20, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 355 (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.
Last words
(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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:39 -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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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Candlewick Press

5 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763625299, 0763617229, 0763629286, 0763640808, 0763640778

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