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Despereaux = Tale of Despereaux

by
3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  102,541 Ratings  ·  7,652 Reviews
From the author of "Because of Winn-Dixie" comes a fairy tale full of quirky, unforgettable characters, narrated by DeCamillo's trademark humor and heartbreaking poignancy. Illustrations.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Lectorum Publications (first published 2003)
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Nadia M I certainly have. I read it as a child and it still holds a big place in my hart. This book made me a better person.

I always check to see if mice have…more
I certainly have. I read it as a child and it still holds a big place in my hart. This book made me a better person.

I always check to see if mice have big ears.(less)
Or123 I did not understand this book's ending. The author points out two sides of reality, life, and everything else for that matter, throughout the book -…moreI did not understand this book's ending. The author points out two sides of reality, life, and everything else for that matter, throughout the book - the first of glitter, happiness and "light", and he second of a dungeon, darkness and cruelty. But, she does not end the book with the emphasis on either one of those. Does she try to combine them? Why does she not just choose the "lighted" side? (For example, the rat does change, but he does not come back to the light he once saw at the party).

Although I read many reviews claiming the ending was "happily ever after", I did not think so. While reading, I anticipated (and hoped, I might add) for this kind of ending, but the one presented was very odd in my eyes. I keep thinking Kate Di Kamillo tries to combine the light and the dark - saying that light conquered at the end, but there is still a part of darkness in it. It just doesn't go with the rest of the book, though. Did anyone understand this?(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Claire Greene
Apr 30, 2008 Claire Greene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!
I picked this book up on a whim in the Barnes & Noble because I liked the look of the cover and the jagged edges of the paper that gave it a "classic" feel. I was looking for a new bedtime book to read to my children - 2 and 6 at the time. We like to read a bigger book, one chapter each night - for bedtime stories. I read the description and thought it sounded like a good idea so I went ahead and bought it (which is REALLY unusual for me - I can be a cheapskate!) It is by far some of the bes ...more
Camille
Mar 29, 2008 Camille rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
OK, so now that I've thought about what I really think about this book, I'm changing my rating from 3 stars to 2 stars. There was more that I didn't like than I liked. After hearing a lot good reports about this book, I think I was expecting something different. I liked the idea of the light versus dark. I liked the unlikely friendship between the mouse and the princess. I liked the forgiveness. And I liked that it ended up "happily ever after", for the most part.

I started out reading this book
...more
Jason Koivu
I remember reading books like this or having them read to me as a kid. It was always a frustrating experience, because I never liked when the author would stop the story in order to go back over something. "Yeah, I got it the first time," I would think to myself. Learning, teaching and making sure the kids get it is important, but so is keeping them engaged.

The story itself is only okay. It's nothing terribly exciting and honestly not a lot happens. There's an unusual mouse and he wishes to sav
...more
Kelly
Absolutely enchanting. Full of compassion, sweetness and dreamers, with exquisite word choice and delicate rhythms. The narrator's voice is like a comforting but sharply intelligent grandmother, pushing you to both see and feel with the best of yourself. I started to read this this this morning for work purposes, I finished it because I couldn't put it down.
Apokripos
Apr 10, 2011 Apokripos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids at heart!
Recommended to Apokripos by: the "Voice"
Seeing the Light
(A Book Review of Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Desperaux)


Despereaux Tilling is the most unusual mouse you’lll likely meet. Conspicously small with considerable large ears, he has always been seen as different, an outsider among his own — a mouse drawn to music, fascinated with stories, and breaks the strict rule of their kind by falling in love with a human, the Princess Pea.

Roscuro leads a normal, rotten rat life in the dungeon, his is a world of utter darkness. Until one day,
...more
Debbie Zapata
Jan 26, 2016 Debbie Zapata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saturday
I never knew this was a book. I saw the movie of it on one of my bus trips north. Or maybe it was on the return trip south. Or even both, because I know I saw it twice. I thought the movie was wonderful, but as I say, I never knew it had been a book first. I just stumbled across the title while browsing at my favorite online used book seller one day and thought 'Oh, I have to get this!'

And the book was every bit as wonderful as the movie. Actually better, because I loved the way DiCamillo would
...more
Gloria
Jul 27, 2008 Gloria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Older children, younger teens
Recommended to Gloria by: Teacher
Shelves: young-adult
This book left me with the feeling that this story may not appeal to all readers. There were several important themes addressed in the story, yet little emotional attachment to the characters. The only character that many might relate to is Despereaux himself. He is ‘different’ both physically and emotionally from his peers which at first mostly works against him, though ultimately these unique qualities eventually save the day.

I did really appreciate the way this author drew in the reader in a
...more
Helvry Sinaga
Buku ini saya beli karena covernya mencuri perhatian saya di toko buku. Lama sudah nongkrong di rak buku, akhirnya saya baca karena pingin bacaan yang lebih ringan dan bisa lekas diselesaikan.

Apa yang dikatakan oleh Anthony de Mello, SJ bahwa orang dapat menolak nasihat, tetapi tidak bisa menolak cerita, itu terbukti. Cerita tentang kastil dan kehidupannya. Tentang tikus kastil, keluarga dan komunitas tikus kastil, Raja Philip dan keluarganya, komunitas tikus got, serta sipir dan tahanan bawah t
...more
Elizabeth
Jun 03, 2015 Elizabeth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Um, I really disliked this book. I read it aloud with my #3 and feel like a bad parent for doing so. Poor Miggery Sow- named after a pig, motherless, traded for next to nothing, abused, and then later described as lazy and fat. Crikey. And then there was the author's penchant for describing things to the "Reader" as an aside. Despereaux actually has a small part considering the continuous horrors of the story: evil rats, fair-weathered parents/siblings, the Queen's death, and the no soup decree. ...more
C.B. Cook
Apr 08, 2016 C.B. Cook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not many books make me tear up, but when I got to the end of this one... yeah, I did. Mostly because it's a gorgeous ending, and the author note? Priceless. <3 Always one of my childhood favorites!
Jon
May 30, 2008 Jon rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who appreciate overwrought children's books.
Some children's books are wonderfully odd. Others are just odd.

The story of Desperaux (a mouse who doesn't just want to be a mouse) is told through the eyes of several different characters. As the stories weave in an out of each other, they draw closer together until the predictably improbably ending.

Unfortunately, the characters in the world of Desperaux are all two dimensional; we are repeatedly told how bad the bad guys/rats are, and how good the good guys/mice are, and how clumsy a clumsy
...more
Qt
Apr 02, 2008 Qt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, drama, animals
I listened to the story on tape--the reading undoubtedly added to my enjoyment and appreciation of it.
Monique

Two words to describe The Tale of Despereaux : sweet and heartwarming. In fact, if I were to give it another title, I'd call it A Little Mouse in Shining Armor. ;)

The Tale of Despereaux is the combined stories of three unique characters. Despereaux Tilling is born small, but with huge ears. He is, however, no ordinary mouse, for he can read, he loves stories and music, and he eventually falls in love with pretty Princess Pea. Chiaroscuro, or Roscuro, is a rat who lives in the dungeon, but
...more
nicole
Jul 25, 2008 nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A perfect combination of sweet and dark. Or light and dark, would be a more fitting description, I suppose. And by that I don't just mean that there were good deeds and bad deeds, right and wrong and everyone learned a lesson. Everyone didn't learn a lesson and some people/rats/mice were bad, cowardly, or just plain stupid. This is nothing like Roald Dahl, but they share a quality that I very much appreciate, particularly in children's lit: they let you dislike the unlikeable. Everyone is not ni ...more
Suzanne
Dec 18, 2008 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Roald Dahl fans
Recommended to Suzanne by: Laura Forde
I saw the upcoming movie previews and thought I should read the book. This edition is a slim volume with ragged edged paper and lovely charcoal illlustrations.
It certainly is an original work. Young Despereaux is the youngest mouse, born of a french mouse mother and father. He is the runt, small and undersized with big ears. He was born with his "eyes wide open". These ears allow him to hear things other mice don't hear and his eyes observes things other mice don't see. Thus the adventure beg
...more
Malbadeen
Aug 18, 2008 Malbadeen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Malbadeen by: Sarah
I love this book! I love, love, love this book! Which is something, because I don't typically love, love, love books and most certainly not books about mice. And I'm not a big reader of fantasy/fairy tales But this book: this book I LOVE!
I read the first few chapters of this book several times before actually reading it. I'd see it in the library (where I work) or at home (waiting to be read) or in a teachers classroom and I always felt compelled to re-read the beginning purely for the enjoyment
...more
Rina
Sep 30, 2007 Rina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A talking mouse falls in love with a beautiful princess, and, armed with only a needle, vows to rescue her from the clutches of an evil rat and a dull servant-girl. Admittedly, it sounds a bit (okay, very) trite. That was my mindset too, even after the librarian had gushed on and on about what a wonderful book it was (did she think I was going to read some LITTLE KIDS' fairytale?).

But two years ago, I was waiting backstage during a piano concert, bored out of my mind, when I found The Tale of De
...more
Dimitris Hall


I was thinking the other day: what would you do if you had a negative (and I mean really negative) opinion on a book but by chance happened to come across its author? What would you tell them if they asked you what you thought about their book?

Without the luxury of the internet or reviews or all the other ways we have of expressing a negative opinion on things without having to come into direct contact with their creator, we tend to be more insensitive with our criticism. The medium is the mess
...more
Meagan
Jun 21, 2015 Meagan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just started this two hours ago for the Bibliothon & finished it in one sitting. It's such a cute and entertaining read. I love it just as much this second time than when my mom read it to me years ago.
It is the story of a little brave mouse, a lost rat, a wishful slave girl, and a sweet princess. Their lives all become intertwined. I really liked how the author addressed the reader and told some good ethics to the readers. So when a young reader reads this they are getting a good message t
...more
Nessa
Jan 24, 2009 Nessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A award winning book about a mouse, a love, a rat, and some soup.
Nafiza
Mar 22, 2013 Nafiza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If somebody had tried to tell me a month ago that one of my favourite books read in 2012 would have a little mouse as its protagonist, I would have laughed. I am not big on anthropomorphic characters. I mean, except cats that appear as characters. Those I love but mice and other talking things? Yeah, no, not my thing at all. However, Despereaux calls to mind something warm, something soft, defenseless. Like one of those pictures of kittens that are so plentiful on tumblr. How do you resist?

Anywa
...more
Kayla Edwards
My book club went wild for Despereaux! They loved everything about this book. We had many excellent discussions on why the author would pull away from the story and speak directly to the reader. A delightful tale about how sometimes heroes come in the most unexpected packages.
Liza Fireman
May 09, 2016 Liza Fireman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-from-shelf
Such a charming book. I read it alongside with my daughter, and found it inspiring for it contains many different topics to further discussion. It does have a bit of too much light/dark and good/bad, but in the end DiCamillo does a great job to show that it is not always black and white (or dark and light). I would not try it with kids that are too young since it does have scary parts and meanness (so probably about 8 and up, unless your kids are brave).

A mouse (and a rat) that do not belong wit
...more
Mrs. Reed
My sixth graders came to me raving about this book and insisted I read it, too. I just don't get it. I thought it was tremendously boring. I'm all for taking the tradition of fairy tales and changing them around, but this didn't work for me.

First of all, it was very dark (sometimes literally, as a theme of darkness versus light pervaded the text). There were villains at every turn, and rather scary ones at that. The book suggests that most people are evil--very, very evil--especially to their ow
...more
Stephanie
Apr 22, 2009 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stephanie by: Suzette Bradford

Despereaux is a mouse, one of many in the castle, but he is different from the others. He was born with his eyes open (shocking!), his ears are too big (scandalous!) and he likes to read (unheard of!). Worse, he has fallen in love with Princess Pea and has even spoken to her. This is enough to get him banished to the dungeon where the evil rats dwell. This sets in motion a chain of events that will require Despereaux to be as brave as the knights he has read so much about in order to save the lo

...more
Andrea
Jul 06, 2011 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, this book is a perfect Newberry winner.

Yes, I thought this was a good book. That is not to say, I always thought it was a real pleasure to read. I didn't. The darkness of the dungeons and of the stair and the life of Miggery Sow were not things I wanted to explore, and I didn't often come to this book wanting to delve back in.

I read this book to my kids, and the darkness was really rather dark. I was always surprised the darkness wasn't as dark to them as it was to me. Or, perhaps it was,
...more
Kirsten Blom
Last night I finished this little book about a very unusual and brave mouse. In many ways it's a fine book. The story teller talking directly at you and trying to point out learing moments. The light verus dark part, the friendships, forgiveness vs betrayal and the happy ending.

But there are a couple of subjects in the book I don't like. For one I don't like the part where the writer keeps repeating that the girl Mig isn't smart. And how it's linked to being ugly. 'The ugly girl is the dumb gir
...more
Miguel
This is the BEST BOOK EVER! This book is awesome because I learned to be brave. I also liked The Tale Of Despereaux because it has the rule of three. Another way I liked this book is because the author talks to me.

I learned to be brave because Despereaux, the mouse, saved Pea, a princess. I know it's weird for a mouse to save a princess but they were best friends and you don't just leave a friend behind. I also learned to be brave because Roscuro, a rat, went to light. Roscuro did that because
...more
Weni
Feb 22, 2010 Weni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pelajaran yang bisa diambil dari buku ini:
- Jangan mengatakan pada anak bahwa dia mengecewakan, hanya karena dia berbeda dari anak lainnya, seperti yang terjadi pada Despereaux.
- Jangan melakukan atau mengatakan hal2 yang menyakitkan hati orang lain, karena kita tidak tau dengan cara apa hatinya akan menyembuhkan diri, seperti yang terjadi pada Roscuro.
- Dengarkan dan pedulikan apa keinginan anak, jika tidak ingin anak kita tumbuh seperti Miggery.
- Bahwa kehilangan seseorang yang dicintai bisa m
...more
Beth
Feb 19, 2008 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery
Confession: I finished this book in one day. Why could I read so quickly? Definitely not because of my speed-reading capabilities! It’s because, despite being nearly 300 pages, it is short. :-)

I wouldn’t say it’s a truly compelling read (though it did win the Newbery Award), but it held my attention even if it truly was a book written for children. I read a lot of children’s and young adult books, but plenty of them are meaty enough that I don’t feel sheepish saying I've read them. This one … we
...more
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Around the Year i...: The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo 2 7 May 12, 2016 01:25PM  
Into the Forest: Tale of Despereaux - Spoilers 6 23 Apr 21, 2016 04:43PM  
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Kate DiCamillo, the newly named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2014–2015, says about stories, “When we read together, we connect. Together, we see the world. Together, we see one another.” Born in Philadelphia, the author lives in Minneapolis, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week.

Kate DiCamillo's own journey is something of a dream come true. After
...more
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“There is nothing sweeter in this sad world than the sound of someone you love calling your name.” 874 likes
“Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Tell Gregory a story. Make some light.” 378 likes
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