Title: The Tale of Despereaux Author: Kate DiCamillo
Rating: 🍩 (44.5/50)
Recommended for: 3rd-5th graders AR: 4.0 Lexile: 670
Despereaux Tilling is a small mouse with abnormally large ears and a knack for exploring. He loves music, stories, and a Princess named Pea. Roscuro is a rat who lives in darkness and despair, but covets a world filled with light. Miggery Sow is a slow-witted serving girl who harbors one simple, impossible wish. Princess Pea is a beautiful girl who has everything she could ever want but is missing 1 thing. These four characters embark on a journey that will lead them through a horrific dungeon, a glittering castle, and ultimately, into each others lives. What happens next? Or as Kate DiCamillo would say,
“Reader, it is your destiny to find out.”
This book also has a movie (I haven’t watched it yet) and its the winner of the Newberry Honor Award.
Thoughts (for when you’re done reading, contains spoilers)
I thought that this was an awesome book. Every single part had me hooked and completely engaged.
I liked it when the cook let Despereaux try the soup even though she hated mice, but my favorite part was when Desperaux was in the jail with Gregory, whispering a story so he could have some light. I can relate to this, because stories give me light, too. (Except if you’re reading A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Bad Beginning or any Series of Unfortunate Events, for that matter.) Read this excerpt:
Do you remember when Desperaux was in the dungeon, cupped in Gregory the jailer’s hand, whispering a story in the old man’s ear? I would like it very much if you though of me as a mouse, telling you a story. This story. With the whole of my heart, whispering it in your ear, to save myself from the darkness, and to save you from the darkness, too. “Stories are light,” Gregory the jailer told Desperaux.
Reader, I hope you have found some light here.
Isn’t that beautiful? This is a perfect way to end a book: keeping the reader thinking and wondering even when the story is long finished.
My favorite character was Princess Pea. She had everything she could possibly want (except for her mother 😥) but she was still a good person. I particularly admired her empathy and her fortitude in difficult situations. It was a little bit awkward when Desperaux had a crush on Princess Pea. I was happy they ended up being great friends, though. I also really liked Desperaux. He was brave, intelligent, and determined! My love for Princess Pea and Desperaux are probably the same because they’re both such amazing characters.
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