The Tale Of Despereaux: Being The Story Of A Mouse, A Princess, Some Soup And A Spool Of Thread by Kate DiCamilloThe Tale Of Despereaux: Being The Story Of A Mouse, A Princess, Some Soup And A Spool Of Thread by Kate DiCamillosticker-burst

The Tale Of Despereaux: Being The Story Of A Mouse, A Princess, Some Soup And A Spool Of Thread

byKate DiCamilloIllustratorTimothy Basil Ering

Paperback | April 11, 2006

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"Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul-stirring as it is delicious." — BOOKLIST (starred review)

Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other's lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.

From the master storyteller who brought us BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE comes another classic, a fairy tale full of quirky, unforgettable characters, with twenty-four stunning black-and-white illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering. This paperback edition pays tribute to the book's classicdesign, featuring a rough front and elegant gold stamping.
Kate DiCamillo lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is the author of BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, a Newbery Honor book, and THE TIGER RISING, which was a National Book Award Finalist. Kate DiCamillo says, "A few years ago, my best friend’s son asked me if I would write a story for him. ‘Well,’ I said, ‘I don’t normally write stories on comma...
Title:The Tale Of Despereaux: Being The Story Of A Mouse, A Princess, Some Soup And A Spool Of ThreadFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 7.69 × 5.13 × 0.75 inPublished:April 11, 2006Publisher:Candlewick PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0763625299

ISBN - 13:9780763625290

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sorrow, Forgiveness, Light, and Darkness I cherish this touching fairy tale-ish story by the amazing Kate DiCamillo! All scenes are artfully written, exploring meanings of life! A puzzling story with princesses, dreary dungeons, rats, a servant girl, and best of all, an extraordinary mouse...
Date published: 2017-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sorrow, Forgiveness, Light, and Darkness This is another touching fairy tale-ish story by the amazing Kate DiCamillo! All scenes are artfully written, exploring insightful meanings of life! It's puzzling; a story with princesses, dreary dungeons, rats, a servant girl, and best of all, an extraordinary mouse!
Date published: 2017-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Fairytale I love this book. I read it years and years ago, and I fell in love with the story. When my copy falls apart, I'll have to get another sure to buy the novel and not the picture book. Read the book before watching the movie.
Date published: 2017-09-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good I got this book for my daughter and she loved it. Then my son loved it as well. I finally read it and think this one is a good story of the perseverance, courage and believing in oneself. Good read for sure.
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay Slow and awkward wording at times. Not a favourite.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting This book takes you on an interesting little journey through the life of a mouse
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good book! Really good book! I enjoyed reading this one!
Date published: 2016-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The tale of Despereaux I love how Desperaux went to save the princess.Despereaux is was so sad that migs and peas moms are dead.
Date published: 2015-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow! This is a great book i think kate should be alot more popular!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!¡
Date published: 2015-01-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A touching tale I got this when I was in the fourth grade and I still read this--it's a great story. "Desperaux" is a funny, charming tale of a mouse, a princess, soup and a spool of thread. It's a serious, yet touching. I recommend this to people ages ten and up.
Date published: 2014-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Recommended as a teacher read-aloud I use this book in my class of grade 4/5s as a read-aloud. The conversations that result-- about conformity, loyalty, good v bad-- are almost limitless given the right approach. I also recommend reading Jeff Wilhelm on using Guided Inquiry and Action Strategies to deepen comprehension!
Date published: 2013-02-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just average. I read this when I was just an iddy biddy kid. The story was original and kept me interested but there was just nothing that wowed me so this is a solid 3 stars for me.
Date published: 2012-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from As Delicous as a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter day! This book was just fantastic...Kate DiCamillo writes in such a unique and charming voice that it just invites you into the story. The Tale of Despereaux is the story of an extraordinarily small mouse who falls in love with a princess and the consequences of such a relationship. The tale is a simple one but again DICamillo's literary voice is so magical that the tale just leaps off the page into your heart. The story is great for parents to read together with their younger children or for older children looking for a bit of magic in their stories. Just fantastic!
Date published: 2009-12-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Thought-Provoking Read! Readers beware: don't judge this book by the movie, for though the cinematic version was cute, thus book is a highly different matter. In fact, within the first few pages, I was shocked at the directness of the calculating implications about family values, social hierarchy and parental attitudes! Nevertheless, it was a very interesting read, not the least because it provides a picture of the Everyman Underdog from his point of view, and not from that of the usual overlord. As a constant student of literature, I would recommend this book be read with a parent or older sibling in order to explain some of the bluntness of life found within. It is an interesting and excellent work of literature, standing outside of the Children's Literature conventions and for this very reason, is highly worthy of note.
Date published: 2009-09-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Too Sugary Sweet for my Tastes Written in a tradition fairy tale manner this is the story of four characters, two good and two evil (or shall we say mislead). They include a princess, a mouse, a serving girl and a rat. All good ingredients for a fairy tale. We learn the background lives of all four characters then we are told how they met up with each other and created this story which ultimately is about the mouse, being a knight in shining armour, and how he rescued the princess and helped the evil doers as well. I know there are a million reviews of this book and many raves. It also won the Newbery in 2004. It is one of the better Newberys that have won in the 21st century but I wasn't that taken with it. Perhaps I am too grown up and cynical for this type of story but I found it very sickly sweet. Even though I am a great fan of fairy tales I found here that the good were too good and the evil were not all that evil, simply mislead. It is a very fast read so certainly worth the effort. I think girls in particular will enjoy the story but it's a bit too much "honey" for my tastes.
Date published: 2009-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! When I read The Tale of Despereaux, I couldn't stop reading it! It was the most extraordinary, well written and interesting book I have ever read. When I finished the book, I had to tell everyone about it and why it was so good. I recommend this book for people of all ages. I assure you that anyone will really enjoy this magnificent tale about a young mouse who goes on a quest to save his beloved princess. So, read it, and love it!
Date published: 2009-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Something for you and the little ones to read! My 9 year old is currently working on this as his silent reading project and he absolutly loves this book (so far) I read it first to make sure it was a good book for his reading level and I too really enjoyed this novel. The story follows the tale of a smallest mouse Despereaux, his misfortune in the mouse community of being so small with such big ears and the gifts that his different mind and small ears bring to him. The story also follows his princess Pea, the rats of the dungeon and a 12 year old village girl who stumbles into the story. Its a wonderful tale of love, bravery, friendship and kindness. Its something I would love to read out loud as a family or just to my little guy. Its something I am definatly going to go back to @ story time. Also I only just discovered that it is about to become a cinematic adventure so it will be great for the kids to see this little hero on the big screen.
Date published: 2008-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A story with magic This is truly a story of magic. The little mouse Despereaux, with courage and love, embarked on his journey to save his beloved princess. Is this a typical fairy tale? No, far more complicated than that, and far more realistic than that. A story that talks of love, betrayal, choices, dreams, respect and all that is part of being human. Adults and children alike would all learn something special from it.
Date published: 2008-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amesome . I recommend this book for 5 year olds and up its very happy then sad.Its great because in the begining they tells us about the character. in the middle theres a problem and the end the promple gets solved.
Date published: 2008-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Fabulous This book is certainly a page turner. I could not put it down. It would be a great book to read out loud to children by candle light to help create the right atmosphere. This is a story that can be enjoyed by all ages.
Date published: 2008-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Read-Aloud We used this novel as a read-aloud for our grade six class. We used "Literature Circles" as a way to explore the plot, characters, events, and conclusion. Some comments from students were: It made us understand loss and love. We made connections to the characters, and were able to understand ourselves and others at a deeper level. Observing some of the "change of heart" transformations in the antagonists gave us hope and made us believe that we can influence others for good. - Edmonton Alberta Elementary, grade six students
Date published: 2008-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Heart -Warming 'Tail' No matter what people say, this heart-warming tale will warm up any cold hearted person. This little mouse will be your trip to a magical, never-ending fairy tale!
Date published: 2007-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WoW! This marvelous tale leads you through mystery, sorrow and happiness! Enjoy this tale as it unfolds through the chapters with a bowl of soup if you dare! Hopefully soup isn't banned yet or is it?
Date published: 2007-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My teacher is reading this to us This is my most favourite book I have ever read. I want my mom to buy it so she can read it, too
Date published: 2007-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! This book is truly a book like no other. It is a tale about light and dark, about bravery and love. It tells the story of Despereaux, a mouse, who is very small but has large ears. One of the reasons I love this book so much is because it is not about some epic battle between good and evil. It shows how the smallest action, such as the cooking of soup, can change lives. It is the least I can do to express the wealth this book has to share. Whether you are young or old, or, more likely, in between, you will love this book.
Date published: 2006-11-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from not worth buying i dont think this book deserves a newbury award
Date published: 2006-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book ! This is a really cute book - I read it from cover to cover the day I bought it and found the story really charming. It tells three seperate tales that converge into one and revolves around Desperaux the mouse and his quest to help the human princess he falls in love with - a great family read !
Date published: 2006-07-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I adored this tale! I read and bought this on the same day, though it may seem an intimidating size for chldren (at 270 thick pages, it seems longer than it is, as it is double-spaced, has many beautiful black and white illustrations, and chapter breaks are common). Illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering, this John Newberry Medal winner was an absolute treat to read. The chapters, which are quite short, are split among four "books" which move from character to character, and have a wonderful tendancy to talk directly to the reader. At its heart, this is a tale about hope. First, there is Despereaux, a tiny little mouse with big ears, who isn't very mouse-like, and breaks all sorts of mouse rules (especially the big ones: don't talk to humans, and don't let them touch you). When Princess Pea touches his head and says he's cute, this little mouse falls in love. An odd little guy, he has read a fairy tale, and takes it to heart, hoping that there is such a thing as a knight in shining armor, and a happily ever after. The Princess herself is also a vivid and fun character, a young girl who isn't very used to not getting her own way, and has very little malice in her heart, and a whole lot of empathy. The other two characters - Chiaroscuro the rat and Miggory Sow, the oft clouted mostly deaf, overweight servant girl, are both villains and not-villains - it's quite easy to feel sorry for them, to understand their plight, and realize that they, too, have hope. It is a soft little story with some gruesome bits sure to make any child 'ooh' and 'aah' appreciatively, and it is definitely on its way to my nephew, who I think will get a kick out of talking mice swashbuckling with sewing needles, and cauliflower eared serving girls who bumble their way towards a better place. The prose in no way talks down to children by using overly simple languages - there are even passages that suggest the child look up a few words if they don't know them - and I'm always greatful for an intelligently written work. So - do you believe in happily ever after?
Date published: 2006-07-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from So-So This book, like all of those by Kate DiCamillo, was a very easy read. It has a good plot and is quite interesting but I would recommend it for those of you, I'd say, under ten years of age.
Date published: 2006-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Un believable The tale of a daring mouse in his adventures! My whole family LOVED this book. There is not one person I know who read this book and did not like it read it. If you have a heart for a tale that is about a mouse risking his life to save... I don't wan't to spoil the splendor of this book!
Date published: 2006-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from awesome story telling I haven't actually read the book myself..but my son's teacher is reading it to her fourth grade class this year. My son could go on and on about the story. He loves it. I will definetely be picking up a copy.
Date published: 2006-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Unlikely Hero Brings Light Into Darkness A delightful tale of light against darkness. This is a fantasy with surprising depth, dealing with dark issues, yet managing to keep a light and fun tone and feel. Despereaux is about as unlikely a hero as we will ever meet, often reduced to fear and trembling, yet overall showing a rare courage and a winsome belief in life and light. Geared to readers considerably younger than this Grandpa, yet older than my Grandson, this is a tale I look forward to reading to him in a few years. Somewhat difficult to categorize, it was simply a fun and rewarding book to read, well illustrated – and it left me feeling richer – having looked at life with the fresh newness of a child’s vision. Highly recommended, this would be an outstanding book to read aloud within the classroom for elementary age students.
Date published: 2005-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the best book this is one of the best books i have ever read i read it in french i dont like reading in french but reading this book was awsome
Date published: 2005-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best! It is the best book i've ever read. I'd rather read this book then see a movie
Date published: 2005-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from best book ever Im a big hamster fan and dont really like books about mice, but this is awsome. I love how Kate tells the story. It has a great plot and so on and so on! Lets just say its the best book ever!
Date published: 2004-04-23

Read from the Book

CHAPTER ONE: THE LAST ONEThis story begins within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse. A small mouse. The last mouse born to his parents and the only one of his litter to be born alive."Where are my babies?" said the exhausted mother when the ordeal was through. "Show to me my babies."The father mouse held the one small mouse up high."There is only this one," he said. "The others are dead.""Mon Dieu, just the one mouse baby?""Just the one. Will you name him?""All of that work for nothing," said the mother. She sighed. "It is so sad. It is such the disappointment." She was a French mouse who had arrived at the castle long ago in the luggage of a visiting French diplomat. "Disappointment" was one of her favorite words. She used it often."Will you name him?" repeated the father."Will I name him? Will I name him? Of course, I will name him, but he will only die like the others. Oh, so sad. Oh, such the tragedy."The mouse mother held a handkerchief to her nose and then waved it in front of her face. She sniffed. "I will name him. Yes. I will name this mouse Despereaux, for all the sadness, for the many despairs in this place. Now, where is my mirror?"Her husband handed her a small shard of mirror. The mouse mother, whose name was Antoinette, looked at her reflection and gasped aloud. "Toulèse," she said to one of her sons, "get for me my makeup bag. My eyes are a fright."While Antoinette touched up her eye makeup, the mouse father put Despereaux down on a bed made of blanket scraps. The April sun, weak but determined, shone through a castle window and from there squeezed itself through a small hole in the wall and placed one golden finger on the little mouse.The other, older mice children gathered around to stare at Despereaux."His ears are too big," said his sister Merlot. "Those are the biggest ears I've ever seen.""Look," said a brother named Furlough, "his eyes are open. Pa, his eyes are open. They shouldn't be open."It is true. Despereaux's eyes should not have been open. But they were. He was staring at the sun reflecting off his mother's mirror. The light was shining onto the ceiling in an oval of brilliance, and he was smiling up at the sight."There's something wrong with him," said the father. "Leave him alone."Despereaux's brothers and sisters stepped back, away from the new mouse."This is the last," proclaimed Antoinette from her bed. "I will have no more mice babies. They are such the disappointment. They are hard on my beauty. They ruin, for me, my looks. This is the last one. No more.""The last one," said the father. "And he'll be dead soon. He can't live. Not with his eyes open like that."But, reader, he did live.This is his story.______THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering. Text copyright (c) 2006 by Kate DiCamillo. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.

Editorial Reviews

"Forgivness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul-stirring as it is delicious."