"Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul-stirring as it is delicious." — BOOKLIST
, "… a terrific, bravura performance". — NY Times
The story of Despereaux Tilling - a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea - has enchanted children and adults around the globe, and won the prestigious 2004 Newbery Medal for author Kate DiCamillo. The Tale of Despereaux
takes the reader back to the timeless genre of fairytales, but with a fantastic modern twist and a wryly witty authorial voice.
This is the story of Desperaux Tilling, a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl with a simple, impossible wish. These 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? Listeners, it is your destiny to find out.
Winner Newbery Medal 2004.
"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.
"In this delightful novel, a tiny mouse risks all to save the princess he loves from the clutches of a devious rat and a slow-witted serving girl. With memorable characters, brief chapters, and inventive plot twists, this fast-paced romp is perfect for reading alone or sharing aloud. Winner of the 2004 Newbery Medal.
Kate DiCamillo has a great talent for presenting some of life’s most sensitive questions to young readers. Her characters struggle with tough issues -- abandonment, death in the family, making new friends, forgiveness -- but with a sense of humor and honesty that carries her audience beyond this struggle, and toward inspiration.