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The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo
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The Tale of Despereaux (original 2003; edition 2003)

by Kate Dicamillo, Timothy B Ering (Illustrator)

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8,177432382 (4.1)207
Member:debbyherring
Title:The Tale of Despereaux
Authors:Kate Dicamillo
Other authors:Timothy B Ering (Illustrator)
Info:Scholastic (2003), Paperback, 269 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Newbery Award, Medieval Times

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 207 mentions

English (428)  German (2)  All (430)
Showing 1-5 of 428 (next | show all)
The Tale of Despereaux is about a small mouse named Despereaux. Despereaux is unlike other mice and loves to read. One day he falls in love with a princess named Pea. However, he also breaks mouse law and is sent to the castle dungeon to be eaten by the rats. This would start him on an journey that would change not only his life, but also the lives of many others.

This book is very comical. Told by a narrator, it breaks the fourth wall multiple times. It is very much a modern fairytale. The author uses foreshadowing multiple times throughout the book. The conflicts in this book are character versus self, character versus society, and character versus character. I would recommend this to upper middle school students due to the vocabulary and figuritive language used. This book deals with bravery, social expectations, loss, betrayal, abuse, and abandonment.

Classroom extensions:
1) The class will create a timeline to track events. The story skips around in time quite a bit, so this will be ongoing through the reading of the book.
2) Compare and contrast Despereaux and Roscuro using a Venn diagram.
3) Write a personal narrative about a time you forgave someone or you were forgiven. ( )
  joaplant | Mar 27, 2017 |
Big adventures can sometimes come from small protagonists. This newberry winning chapter book follows a mouse whose name is Despereaux Tilling through his adventure to save a princess from an evil group of rats. This book is good for upper level elementary students due to its length and the fact that its a chapter book. ( )
  AshlynWilliams | Mar 19, 2017 |
A mouse? In love with a princess? How can this be? Despereaux has been a little different since the day he was born. What other mouse was born with their eyes open? Although Despereaux isn't great at being a typical mouse, he is great in his own way. Despereaux is sent down to the dungeon for letting the Princess Pea touch him and speaking to the King. Despite being sent to his death, he makes it out alive only to find out that his love the Princess Pea has been taken down to the dungeon by an evil rat and a maid who just wants to be a princess. What is a mouse to do? Despereaux goes back into the dungeon to find the princess! This story tells us that courage and honor aren't only meant for the large.
  mercedeslillian | Mar 19, 2017 |
Fantasy/ Science Fiction Novel ( )
  Miriahharrison | Mar 12, 2017 |
The main idea in this book was even someone small or different can dream big and achieve anything. There was so much bravery throughout the book and hopeful scenes that keep the reader engaged in the story. In this story, I loved the characters. Despereaux is an inspiration to all people, even though he might not be looked at that way in the book. He is strong and brave and never gave up on his dream, which he achieves at the end of the story. I feel that many students could relate to Despereaux, because he is an outcast. He holds himself high even though others look down on him, which I feel is an important lesson all students should feel they could do. Another character I enjoyed was Roscuro. He was a representation of the evil in the story, but we got to see why he was so evil. We got the before he was that way information which made it easy for the reader to see why he was so evil. Something about the book that I liked was that even though it was a chapter book, there were pictures so that the reader could depict what the characters and the scenes looked like. I liked reading the book while having the illustrations because I feel it helped me connect with the characters more seeing their reactions and their physical features. For example on page 80 we get to see Gregory holding Despereaux while he Despereaux tell’s him a story. We get to Gregory’s reaction which is him grinning and laughing at Despereaux’s nervous response. Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. Even though I am not a huge fantasy fan, I thought this book would be great for students to read and I think they would truly enjoy it. ( )
  liannarossi | Mar 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 428 (next | show all)
The main idea in this book was even someone small or different can dream big and achieve anything. There was so much bravery throughout the book and hopeful scenes that keep the reader engaged in the story. In this story, I loved the characters. Despereaux is an inspiration to all people, even though he might not be looked at that way in the book. He is strong and brave and never gave up on his dream, which he achieves at the end of the story. I feel that many students could relate to Despereaux, because he is an outcast. He holds himself high even though others look down on him, which I feel is an important lesson all students should feel they could do. Another character I enjoyed was Roscuro. He was a representation of the evil in the story, but we got to see why he was so evil. We got the before he was that way information which made it easy for the reader to see why he was so evil. Something about the book that I liked was that even though it was a chapter book, there were pictures so that the reader could depict what the characters and the scenes looked like. I liked reading the book while having the illustrations because I feel it helped me connect with the characters more seeing their reactions and their physical features. For example on page 80 we get to see Gregory holding Despereaux while he Despereaux tell’s him a story. We get to Gregory’s reaction which is him grinning and laughing at Despereaux’s nervous response. Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. Even though I am not a huge fantasy fan, I thought this book would be great for students to read and I think they would truly enjoy it.
 
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.
 

» 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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Epigraph
The world is dark, and light is precious. Come closer, dear reader. You must trust me. I am telling you a story.
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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 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 8 descriptions

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Candlewick Press

3 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763625299, 0763617229, 0763629286

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