Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo

The Tale of Despereaux (original 2003; edition 2003)

by Kate Dicamillo, Timothy B Ering (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,909346525 (4.11)186
Title:The Tale of Despereaux
Authors:Kate Dicamillo
Other authors:Timothy B Ering (Illustrator)
Info:Scholastic (2003), Paperback, 269 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Newbery medal, medieval setting

Work details

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (2003)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 186 mentions

English (344)  German (2)  All languages (346)
Showing 1-5 of 344 (next | show all)
Adorable! ( )
  bookwormam | Jul 8, 2014 |
I loved Despereaux. He is timid, but brave, and a great problem solver. ( )
  Tina_Ervin | Jun 24, 2014 |
Reading The Tale of Despereaux to my children (age nearly 5 and 6) was the best reading experience we have had so far and the first that was a "real" enough book that I'm entering it in my library.

The language in the story is beautiful, the plot keeps you moving along--enough that is predictable that you can follow it, but also many surprises and twists. It is a good introduction to nonlinear storytelling, as each of the successive parts begins earlier than the first and then they all converge together. And the characters are all flawed, but ultimately a combination of hope, forgiveness, storytelling and the metaphorical and literal light win out. But not in a complete happily-ever-after way, but in a complex and mixed way.

In all of these ways, it is a good antidote to the black-and-white good and evil and the happily ever after of Disney. It taught my children about virtues and faults, while fully entertaining all of us.

It looks like most of Kate DiCamillo's other chapter books are a little old for them, but that won't stop me from reading them on my own. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
Beautifully written children's book about courage, hope and forgiveness. Loved how the stories about the three characters blended together to tell a great tale. Enough adventure to keep boys and girls alike interested in the book with strong lessons about being true to oneself, hope and love that serve as a good moral compass. I really enjoyed this story. ( )
  sschaller | May 30, 2014 |
I liked The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. I though the book was interesting especially it's format telling the story of Desperaux, Roscuro and Mig separately and than bring them all together in the final book. I enjoyed how each character had their own sad story Mig being sold by her father for only a pack of cigarettes , Roscuro who escapes the dungeons only to be caught and sent back and Despereaux who is banished to the dungeons for his encounter with the princess. The author does a good job showing us how each responds differently especially Despereaux who perseveres and ion the end saves the princess form Roscuro's vengefulness. The theme of overcoming hardship and bravery is demonstrated well through Despereaux's decisions and actions. ( )
  awhite43 | May 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 344 (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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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)

» see all 10 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
194 avail.
274 wanted
1 pay7 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.11)
0.5 3
1 16
1.5 9
2 58
2.5 15
3 236
3.5 79
4 534
4.5 102
5 630


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

See editions

Candlewick Press

Five editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763625299, 0763617229, 0763629286, 0763640808, 0763640778

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,306,892 books! | Top bar: Always visible