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Cover image for The tale of Despereaux : being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread
Format:
Title:
The tale of Despereaux : being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread
ISBN:
9780763617226

9780763692797

9781417733224

9780763625290

9780763680893

9781415669921

9780439692687
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
Cambridge, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2003.
Physical Description:
267 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
2004
General Note:
Newbery Medal winner 2004.
Contents:
A mouse is born -- Chiaroscuro -- Gor! The tale of Miggery Sow -- Recalled to the light -- Coda.
Summary:
The adventures of Despereaux 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.
Reading Level:
670L Lexile.

Elementary Grade.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 4.7.

Accelerated Reader MG 4.7 5.0.

Reading Counts! 4.8.
Added Author:
Holds:

Available:*

Library
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JR DIC
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JUV FIC DICAMILLO BOB 2014
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J FICTION - DICAMILLO
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J FICTION - DICAMILLO
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J FIC DICAMILLO 2004
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+ DICAMILLO
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J AWARDS DICAMILLO 2004
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J FICTION DICAMILLO
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J FICTION DICAMILLO
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J FICTION DICAMILLO
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J DiCamillo, K.
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J DiCamillo, K.
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J DiCamillo, K.
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JF DICAMILLO
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JF DICAMILLO
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JF DICAMILLO
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J DiCamillo, K.
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On Order

Summary

Summary

The beloved author of BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE enlightens us with a tale of adventure, despair, love, and soup.

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. And 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, featuring twenty-four stunning black-and-white illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering, in an elegant design that pays tribute to the best in classic children's books and bookmaking traditions.


Author Notes

Kate DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 25, 1964. She received an English degree from the University of Florida. At the age of thirty, she moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and worked for a book warehouse on the children's floor. After working there for four and a half years, she fell in love with children's books and began writing. DiCamillo wrote the 2001 Newbery-honor book, Because of Winn-Dixie, which was adapted into a film in 2005. In 2004, she won the Newbery Medal for The Tale of Despereaux, which was also adapted into a movie in 2008, and for Flora and Ulysses in 2013. Her other works include the Mercy Watson series, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and The Magician's Elephant. She was named the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the Library of Congress for the term 2014-2015.

Kate's title, Raymie Nightingale, mde the New York Times bestseller list in 2016.


Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-With allegorical elements such as quests for love and light, and dangerous encounters that lead to forgiveness and redemption, Kate DiCamillo's novel (Candlewick, 2003) is a multi-layered fantasy. The hero is Despereaux Tilling, a young mouse who is improbably, but deeply, in love with a very human Princess Pea. On the dark side, there's a misguided rat named Roscuro and a serving girl, Miggery Sow, who wishes to be a princess. The traumatic events that shape the lives of these four characters, and bring them all to the brink of disaster, are resolved with some gentle lessons on the power of kindness. DiCamillo creates a special intimacy with listeners by using frequent asides that draw them into the story. Narrator Graeme Malcolm heightens the text's storytelling qualities with a mix of deft accents and appropriate vocal styles. This novel's castle and its denizens are a long way from the down home folks in Because of Winn-Dixie, the author's Newbery Honor book. What remains the same is how well both stories convey the importance of caring relationships. Middle school listeners may find some of the scenarios far fetched, but they'll be inspired by the simple, believable way that good triumphs over evil. This is a solid choice for both public and school libraries.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

The rich timbre of Malcolm's voice proves an appealing invitation for listeners to follow along with this romantic and funny tale of an unlikely hero. Despereaux Tilling, a tiny mouse with very large ears, has always been a misfit among mice. But it is his quirks-which include the ability to read books and tell stories, as well as his undying love for a human princess-that lead Despereaux on a quest that culminates in a most fitting "happily ever after" ending. Malcolm's humorous interpretation of Antoinette Tilling's (Despereaux's French mother) histrionics is fine entertainment. And his Roscuro the rat character delivers slick lines with a Latin flair. With asides directed at listeners and elements of royal intrigue, innocent romance and revenge, this listening experience sometimes recalls the film The Princess Bride. But movie fans or no, listeners will find lots to enjoy here. Ages 7-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Horn Book Review

(Intermediate) Despereaux Tilling is not like the other mice in the castle. He's smaller than average, with larger than average ears. He'd rather read books than eat them. And he's in love with a human being--Princess Pea. Because he dares to consort with humans, the Mouse Council votes to send him to the dungeon. Book the First ends with Despereaux befriending a jailer who resides there. Books two and three introduce Roscuro, a rat with a vendetta against Princess Pea, and Miggery Sow, a young castle servant who longs to become a princess. Despereaux disappears from the story for too long during this lengthy middle section, but all the characters unite in the final book when Roscuro and Miggery kidnap Princess Pea at knifepoint and Despereaux, armed with a needle and a spool of thread, makes a daring rescue. Framing the book with the conventions of a Victorian novel (""Reader, do you believe thatthere is such a thing as happily ever after?""), DiCamillo tells an engaging tale. The novel also makes good use of metaphor, with the major characters evoked in images of light and illumination; Ering's black-and-white illustrations also emphasize the interplay of light and shadow. The metaphor becomes heavy-handed only in the author's brief, self-serving coda. Many readers will be enchanted by this story of mice and princesses, brave deeds, hearts ""shaded with dark and dappled with light,"" and forgiveness. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

Dear reader, light your lamp and listen to the tale of Despereaux, the last mouse born of Antoinette. Born with his eyes open and ears much too large, Despereaux seems destined for early death. A true Renaissance mouse, he can hear honey, read words, and appreciate fine music. But he cannot conform to the strictures of the mouse world. Rodents and humans don't mix, yet he falls in love with the Princess Pea, earning the wrath of all the mice in the castle. The melodramatic voice of the narrator glides through DiCamillo's entirely pleasing tale, at times addressing the reader directly, at others, moving the reader back and forward in time. Never does she abandon the reader in the dungeon with Despereaux, the dark-hearted rats, or the guard and fellow inmate, Gregory. 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. (Fiction. 7-12) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Gr. 3-6. Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul stirring as it is delicious. Despereaux, a tiny mouse with huge ears, is the bane of his family's existence. He has fallen in love with the young princess who lives in the castle where he resides and, having read of knights and their ladies, vows to honor her. But his unmouselike behavior gets him banished to the dungeon, where a swarm of rats kill whoever falls into their clutches. Another story strand revolves around Miggery, traded into service by her father, who got a tablecloth in return. Mig's desire to be a princess, a rat's yen for soup (a food banished from the kingdom after a rat fell in a bowl and killed the queen), and Despereaux's quest to save his princess after she is kidnapped climax in a classic fairy tale, rich and satisfying. Part of the charm comes from DiCamillo's deceptively simple style and short chapters in which the author addresses the reader: Do you think rats do not have hearts? Wrong. All living things have a heart. And as with the best stories, there are important messages tucked in here and there, so subtly that children who are carried away by the words won't realize they have been uplifted until much later. Ering's soft pencil illustrations reflect the story's charm. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2003 Booklist