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The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread Paperback – Illustrated, December 8, 2015
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From the Publisher
'Kate DiCamillo has a gift'
– The New York Times Book Review.
Other novels by Kate DiCamillo
A 2001 Newbery Honor Book.
A National Book Award Finalist.
'One reading is hardly enough to savor the rich philosophical nuances of DiCamillo’s story. I think I will go read it again right now.'
- The New York Times Book Review.
A National Book Award Finalist.
And for younger readers, check out these series
Pig hero. Porcine wonder. Fan of toast with a great deal of butter on it. Mercy Watson’s disarming personality and hilarious hijinks are captivating early chapter-book readers everywhere.
Bink & Gollie
Whether exploring the wonders of the state fair, attempting to set a world record, or just relaxing with some pancakes and peanut butter, Bink and Gollie are irresistibly witty, imaginative, and adventurous — just the sort of friends young readers love.
A spin-off series starring favorite characters from Kate DiCamillo’s New York Times best-selling Mercy Watson books.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A charming story of unlikely heroes . . . This expanded fairy tale is entertaining, heartening, and, above all, great fun.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul stirring as it is delicious.
—Booklist (starred review)
The melodramatic voice of the narrator glides through DiCamillo's entirely pleasing tale . . . And so unwinds a tale with twists and turns, full of forbidden soup and ladles, rats lusting for mouse blood, a servant who wishes to be a princess, a knight in shining—or at least furry—armor, and all the ingredients of an old-fashioned drama.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
DiCamillo "sets the stage for a battle between the forces of Darkness and Light in The Tale of Despereaux, and the book is a terrific, bravura performance."
—The New York Times Book Review
There is a classic charm to this picaresque tale of an idealistic mouse suffering unrequited love for a princess; that and a pace that lends itself to reading aloud will make this novel a favorite among those ready for some gentle questing.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
DiCamillo tells an engaging tale . . . Many readers will be enchanted by this story of mice and princesses, brave deeds, hearts 'shaded with dark and dappled with light,' and forgiveness.
—The Horn Book
Soul stirring and charming.
Newbery-Honor winning DiCamillo creates the perfect read-aloud with delightful, fanciful characters.
—Child's Best of the Year
This old-fashioned tale is overflowing with good and evil, light and dark, scary adventures, and a happy ending. Ideally read aloud.
—Nick Jr. Family Magazine Best Books of the Year
Chill winds call for hot cocoa and a good book. The Tale of Despereaux serves up 52 chapters bursting with adventure.
I give this book the highest rating: five out of five stars.
Unexpectedly complex in the relationships between its characters, DiCamillo's fable, engagingly illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering, delivers a carefully orchestrated, but not overstated, testament to the power of love and forgiveness.
—San Francisco Chronicle
"Reader, it is his destiny — just as it is for The Tale of Despereaux to become another timeless classic in the once-upon-a-time genre.
This charming adventure by the award-winning author of Because of Winn-Dixie is a story of love, courage and following your heart.
—Detroit Free Press
Read the book aloud. Few recent texts have been designed for that, with multiple plots ticking on, divided into 52 small chapters. And don't forget the coda, a tiny but deft apologia of the imagination.
This charming fairy tale brims with delightful characters.
—Cleveland Plain Dealer
Here once again, loss brings characters together, misfits find a place in the world, and darkness and light swirl together in a not easily divisible mix.
The Tale of Despereaux "has DiCamillo's modern sensibilities, her wry humor, and crystalline prose."
The story is just plain fun to read, but it also explores deeper and darker aspects of parent-child relations, including betrayal, the need for forgiveness and the power of love.
Super Summer Reads: The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. A smaller-than-usual mouse falls in love with music, stories, and a Princess named Pea.
A heartwarming and rewarding read, The Tale of Despereaux cheers uniqueness, boos conformity, urges readers to overlook seeming differences, and inspires hope.
With its old-fashioned, fairy tale qualities and whimsical pencil drawings by Timothy Basil Ering, the book is definitely a departure for DiCamillo, but one readers are sure to love.
. . . DiCamillo's new fantasy novel is charming, by turns sad, sweet, and mildly scary.
—Voice of Youth Advocates
Sly style and brilliantly-crafted characters will reward the reader . . .
—The Five Owls
About the Author
- Lexile Measure : 670L
- Grade Level : 2 - 5
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0763680893
- ISBN-13 : 978-0763680893
- Product Dimensions : 5.19 x 0.78 x 7.63 inches
- Publisher : Candlewick; Illustrated Edition (December 8, 2015)
- Reading level : 7 - 10 years
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As some reviewers have pointed out, there are some dark and sad elements to the story. There is loss and betrayal and cruelty. If you are uncomfortable exposing your kids to that, you might want to read this yourself before reading it to them, and think about how you will talk about those things. But there is also courage and forgiveness and kindness, and a lot of heart. You should be prepared to take your kids on a deeper emotional and moral journey than you'll find in most children's books, and if you're up for that, this book is a great guide and a brilliant tale.
Our favorite parts were when Despereaux the brave mouse falls in love with the Princess, and he is willing to do anything to save her from the evil rats. There were evil rats, a death in a family and plenty of perfidy in this story. But as the quest goes on, Despereaux becomes a brave mouse. The one thing we would caution to other readers, is that some parts are emotional and could bring you to tears. And sometimes it can be confusing the way the story goes backwards and forwards from the present tense. Would we recommend this book? Yes, if you think you’d like a story about a brave, little mouse who has such a big quest ahead of him. We rate this book at 5 stars.
Top reviews from other countries
This book has a good number of pages - but the writing is large, and the chapters very short which makes for lovely convenient breaks which I like - but be warned; your breaks shall not be very long! I found myself saying `just one more chapter' to myself before I would put it aside for any reasonable length of time! In fact, I was so delighted with this novel, I immediately went to look on Amazon, and purchased another by this same author! Now; you will understand the importance in this for me, when I say that I NEVER do this as a rule - no matter how good the book, and so this really must say something about this fabulous read!
The story is tremendously imaginative and full of atmosphere - little mice scuttling along skirting boards and inside wall crevices - rats in dungeons and so on, and whilst I do agree (to a point) about the little distractions when the author intervenes and talks as to the reader can be a little irritant (for those of you who have complained in their reviews about it) I too have to confess at suffering the same feeling initially, and though it did throw me just a little at the outset, I soon became used to it (quite more than I thought I would) and actually enjoyed that side of it eventually! After all; it's a long long time since anyone read me a story, and so I viewed it that way, and felt after all it was a nice and unique touch from this great children's writer, which made the whole read quite different and a whole new experience for me! I just LOVED the writer's touch when not only did she state that `Despereaux's' mother was a French mouse - but she went on to explain how a French mouse came to be in England! I thought that bit was quite enchanting and lovely!
Absolutely delightful, and I can well imagine many children being totally enthralled and immersed in the adventures of little `Despereaux' - the lovely `shrewish', yet brave little mouse!
LOVED IT - and for the first time in my life, it had me hoping there would be a second book! (normally I don't entertain them) Must say something!
Recommended for ANY age group!