Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The full title of the book is The Tale of Despereaux being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread. True to the title, the book is very clever and smart. Despereaux is a mouse born in a castle who has the misfortune of being a free spirit among mice. He falls in love with a princess (human) which puts him in disgrace with his fellow mice and his tale ensues. There are counter-stories happening with two other characters—the rat Roscuro and a serving girl named Miggery Sow. All the stories weave together throughout the book and come to a very nice ending.

Kate DiCamillo is an excellent author. She is four for four with me. Three other novels, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Tiger Rising, and Because of Winn-Dixie are very well written, engaging books. She won the Newbery for Despereaux and a Newbery Honor for Because of Winn-Dixie. The elements she used in Despereaux made it just plain fun to read. I was excited to pick it up each day and see what would happen next and how DiCamillo would tell it. I read it with my 9 year-old daughter and she loved it also. I definitely recommend this as a read aloud for families.

I give it an A+.

***The movie is in dollar theaters now. I’m taking my kids this weekend—hopefully it will do the novel justice. Has anyone seen it?


Amanda said...

I couldn't get into this one. The author's voice sounded so condescending to me. I look forward to seeing the movie, though.

Lula O said...

I haven't read this, but I have Because of Winn Dixie. I really liked that one. My daughter is around the same age and would probably like this too.
I heard the movie was pretty good.

Stephanie said...

Do you think this would be a good book to read to me 6-year-old (Katriel)?

Stephanie said...

I meant "my." I sound like a pirate. ARGH!

The Bradfords said...

Avast ye scurvy mate! In my opinion it is a perfect read-aloud book for Katriel's age and reading level. Enjoy!

Stephanie said...

Okay, so I went to the bookstore today to buy a copy, only to find, when I got home (of course) that I had mistakenly bought The Tale of Desperaux Junior Novelization. In other words, the book has been given the Reader's Digest treatment! Is it only me, or does that just seem wrong, wrong, wrong for a children's book?

Am I missing the point here? (Amazon.com says both versions are for 9-12 year olds.)