From the master storyteller who brought readers "Because of Winn-Dixie" comes another classic, a fairy tale full of quirky, unforgettable characters, with 24 stunning black-and-white illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering. This paperback edition pays tribute to the book's classic design, featuring a rough front and elegant gold stamping.From the master storyteller who brought readers "Because of Winn-Dixie" comes another classic, a fairy tale full of quirky, unforgettable characters, with 24 stunning black-and-white illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering. This paperback edition pays tribute to the book's classic design, featuring a rough front and elegant gold stamping.Read Less
Have you ever thought that mice like to dream about fairy tales? You probably haven't, because mice don't do that. Except for one mouse in particular.
Meet Despereaux Tilling.
Right from his birth, everyone knew he was odd, especially with those huge ears, and his unusually tiny body. But a world needs at least one person--or mouse--to be different than the rest.
Because of his oddities, Despereaux sees more, hears more, and knows more about the human world than any other mouse. All this helps him win the heart of the human Princess Pea, who lives in the castle.
Also in this enchanting story you'll find other characters, all dreaming to have something they can't have, but wanting it more than anything.
What can one tiny mouse with big ears do, to help everyone out?
The only way to know is to read "The Tale of Despereaux".
Feb 19, 2009
A Good Read
Although told in a slightly condescending fashion (to my mind), the author weaves together the events in the lives of each character most convincingly. Definitely an entertaining read, with an extremely old, yet timeless message: 'This above all, to thine own self be true'.
Jan 11, 2009
Maybe there was just too much hype about this book and I expected more. I know I expected a little more of adventures for Despereaux--something more "knightly". But then again, I'm not a kid so my review shouldn't really matter much to the target audience. Still, I want to see the movie. I preferred the illustrations in Edward Tulane more.
Apr 3, 2007
Great for the whole family
Our whole family enjoyed reading this book together. We and our 1st, 4th, and 7th grade children thought it was an enjoyable tale. One I know we'll be reading again!
Publishers Weekly, 2003-11-10 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.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-04-24 In our Best Books citation, PW wrote, "The omniscient narrator recalls Henry Fielding's Tom Jones, assuming a similarly irreverent yet compassionate tone and also addressing readers directly." Ages 7-12. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-06-16 The author of Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tiger Rising here shifts gears, demonstrating her versatility while once again proving her genius for mining the universal themes of childhood. Her third novel calls to mind Henry Fielding's Tom Jones; DiCamillo's omniscient narrator assumes a similarly irreverent yet compassionate tone and also addresses readers directly. Despereaux, the diminutive mouse hero ("The last mouse born to his parents and the only one of his litter to be born alive"), cares not a whit for such mundane matters as scurrying or nibbling, and disappoints his family at every turn. When his sister tries to teach him to devour a book, for example ("This glue, here, is tasty, and the paper edges are crunchy and yummy, like so"), Despereaux discovers instead "a delicious and wonderful phrase: Once upon a time"-a discovery that will change his life. The author introduces all of the elements of the subtitle, masterfully linking them without overlap. A key factor unmentioned in the subtitle is a villainous rat, Chiaroscuro (dwelling in the darkness of the Princess's dungeon, but drawn to the light). Ering (The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone) brings an understated drama to the black-and-white illustrations that punctuate each chapter. His artwork conveys a respect for the characters even as they emit the wry humor of the narrator's voice. The teller of the tale roots for the hero and thus aligns himself with the audience: "Reader, you must know that an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform." In addition to these life lessons, the narrator also savors a pointer or two about language (after the use of the word "perfidy," the narrator asks, "Reader, do you know what `perfidy' means? I have a feeling you do, based on the little scene that has just unfolded here. But you should look up the word in your dictionary, just to be sure"). Reader, I will let you imagine, for now, how these witticisms of our omniscient narrator come into play; but I must tell you, you are in for a treat. Ages 7-12. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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