272 pages, 7.63 × 5.19 × 0.71 in
April 11, 2006
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0763625299
ISBN - 13: 9780763625290
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
From the Publisher
"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.
About the Author
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 command.’ ‘But this is a story that I know you would want to tell,’ he said. ‘It’s about an unlikely hero. He has exceptionally large ears.’ ‘What happens to this hero?’ I asked. ‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘That’s why I want you to write it down, so we can find out.’ Well, Luke Bailey, three years later, here is the story of what happened to your exceptionally large-eared, unlikely hero."
Timothy Basil Ering is the author and illustrator of THE STORY OF FROG BELLY RAT BONE, and he also created the cover image and interior black-and-white drawings for 33 SNOWFISH by Adam Rapp. Of his inspiration for the illustrations in The TALE OF DESPEREAUX, he says, "My mother may have been a mouse in her past life, as I watched her save and help so many mice in our house while I was growing up. The illustrations I’ve done of Despereaux Tilling are, in a way, my tribute to her." Timothy Basil Ering’s artwork has appeared in books, magazines, theater sets, private murals, and fine art galleries.
"Forgivness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul-stirring as it is delicious."