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The Tale of Despereaux

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  177,533 ratings  ·  10,539 reviews
A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in Kate DiCamillo's Newbery Medal–winning tale.

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
Paperback, 267 pages
Published September 9th 2008 by Candlewick Press (first published August 25th 2003)
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Mali I wasn't really into books in elementary school cause i've never been good at ELA so it was a pain just learning to read. My favorite book at the time…moreI wasn't really into books in elementary school cause i've never been good at ELA so it was a pain just learning to read. My favorite book at the time was Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (Was so happy when the movie came out) and it was 4th grade where my teacher read us the book.
I loved it so much that I read it twice and after that I got into books more though I really got into reading during the 7th grade.
Now I can't get enough XD(less)
Amariah Dixon You may have already read it, but, yeah. It has a sweet ending.

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the moment Despereaux the mouse was born, everyone knew he was different. Born extremely small with strange ears and the only survivor of the litter, his parents weren't sure if he could stay alive. As time goes on, Despereaux becomes quite a curious little critter and begins to question the world around him. He discovers a love for music and falls in love with a lovely princess named Pea. The issue is that Despereaux has gone against the rules put forth by the mouse council by showing hims ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo

The adventures of a mouse named Despereaux Tilling, as he sets out on his quest to rescue a beautiful human princess from the rats.

The novel is divided into four "books" and ends with a coda. Each "book" tells the story from a different character's or group of characters' perspective: Despereaux, Roscuro, Miggery Sow, and finally all of them combined.

عنوانها: «موش کوچولو»؛ «ماجرای دسپرو»؛ «قصه ی دسپروکس»؛ «دسپروکس»؛ نویسنده: کیت دی کامیلو؛ تاریخ نخستین خوان
Claire Greene
Apr 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 best mo ...more
Mar 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. . . tell a story. Make some light.
Jason Koivu
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
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
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. ...more
reading is my hustle
Oct 22, 2011 added it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Poor Miggery Sow; named after a pig, motherless, traded for peanuts, abused, and later described as lazy and fat. Crikey. Also, the author's penchant for describing things to the Reader drove me bananas. Despereaux actually has a small part considering the continuous horrors of the story: evil rats, ambivalent family members, the Queen's death, and the no soup decree. ...more
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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, w
Debbie Zapata
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saturdaymx
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
Dimitris Hall
Aug 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, anti-shelf

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 m
Apr 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Children
3 stars

I remember reading this as a child and enjoying it, though I'm sure it wouldn't be as good as when I'd read it at eleven. Therefore, 3 stars seems good enough.
May 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've now read this for the third time, every time as an adult. This is a book about the power of love and kindness. It is about how we are more alike than we are different. Important ideas to reinforce, and becoming more important by the day.

Highly recommended to kids of all ages and the audio performance is beautifully and sensitively performed.


I loved this book. There are so many great lessons for kids about doing the right thing, being brave, forgiving and having empathy for others. I
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux. What could I not like? It was about a tiny mouse with big ears, ostracized from the other mice, who fell in love with the human Princess Pea. Armed with only a sewing needle, Despereaux bravely goes to battle with the devious rats in the palace dungeon who have stolen her.

I mean, it’s got to be great, right?!!! So I took it on vacation with my six-year-old son to read to him at bedtimes.

Sadly, the story is slow paced and doesn’t cont
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, favorites
For all of us who can still be mesmerized by these magical words: "Once upon a time..." this story defies time and age.

Once again, I picked up a book because of its beautiful cover and although it is mainly intended for children, I found it riveting and magical. I actually feel that, had I read this at a younger age, I would have missed plenty of it's subtlety and lyrical prose. So, definitely a new favourite for me.
Jul 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
R.F. Gammon
My little sister just reread this book and it brought back all my traumatizing and terrifying memories of it and holy crap I hate this book Imma go have nightmares now

(seriously the dungeon scared me SO MUCH)

(this is not a children's book)
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book won the Newberry Medal; more importantly is won the interest (dare I say “fascination”) of our 5-going-on-6 year old. It is a fantasy, and by that I mean that animals talk and have thoughts and desires that are not too different from humans.

The odd mouse, Despereaux, can also read, and read he does. He is fascinated by a story of a knight and a princess and bravery in a quest. He starts to see his world through the lens of that story. He falls in love with a human, Princess Pea, and t
May 19, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the story on tape--the reading undoubtedly added to my enjoyment and appreciation of it.
Michael Finocchiaro
Having loved two previous books by DiCamillo, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures and The Magician's Elephant, I thought that Despereaux would be a sure hit with my daughter. Unfortunately, she found the characters too two-dimensional and found she had no sympathy for either Despereaux ("why is he such an idiot, dad?") or Princess Pea ("she's so stupid, dad!") and rather sympathized with the bad rat, Roscuro ("rats aren't that bad, plus he just wants some light!"). So, although I did fin ...more
Joshua Rigsby
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-fun-modern, kids
I read this with my seven year old. It was fantastic. Expansive vocabulary. Complex characters. A great book.
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it

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
Oct 01, 2009 rated it did not like it
What a terrible book for children! Why did this win a Newberry Medal? Parents selling their children for a chicken and a tablecloth, parents dying and telling their children they don't care about what they want, parents sentencing their children to death because they don't act the way they would like, a mother naming her child Desperaux because he has big ears, a child being beaten to where she is nearly deaf, a mouses tail being cut off, I could go on and on. Also, the author has this annoying ...more
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-school
No. Way. How the heck have I not reviewed this? I mean...I read this literally 4 years ago. I hardly remember anything. I think it's time for a re-read...

Anyways! This book was so cute. I found the book to have a really cool high-stakes adventure, with lovely characters. Loved the life lessons weaved into this book! My friends and I were geeking about this for weeks.

Totally recommend for people who want a light, nostalgic read!
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks-library
This was a pretty good read about a mouse named Despereaux who saves a princess from the rats. Look for this book at your local library and wherever books are sold.
Aug 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Rachel Aranda
This is an absolute treasure of a book. Everyone needs to read this book no matter what their age is because it is absolutely that wonderful of a book. The story seemed so different from what I expected of a fairy tale setting. There was a certain level of darkness to this story that was balanced by the happy moments and feelings Despereaux experiences. This is why I think this book could be read by anyone at any age.

Graeme Malcolm was the perfect choice for this audiobook. It was delightful hea
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who else loves this book 15 33 Dec 05, 2020 05:22AM  
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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

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