Bulldog Library

Tale of Despereaux

on April 12, 2013

JF DiCamillo    •    AR Reading Level: 4.7    •    AR Points: 5.0    •    Quiz #70401


Despereaux Tilling is a very small mouse with very big ears.  Since the day he was born with his eyes open, he has been a very different from all of the other mice.  The other mice eat books.  Despereaux reads books.  Other mice run from people.  Despereaux loves a person, a very special person: the Princess Pea.

Chiaroscuro is a rat.  He lives with the other rats in the dungeon’s darkness, but he dreams of a life filled with light.

Miggery Sow is an unfortunate girl who was sold by her father after her mother died.  She did not want her mother to die.  She did not father to leave her.  Sadly, no one has every cared what Miggery Sow wants.

These three will be brought together through a most unexpected series of events.

In The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo has created a beautifully rendered and wholly unforgettable fairy tale.  The characters of Despereaux, Roscuro, and Miggery Sow seem to come to life for the reader.  DiCamillo allows the reader to see the world through the eyes of each of these three characters.  Consequentially, the reader will sympathies each of them – even when their deepest desires cause them to treat the others cruelly.  The details of this book are not quite the same as the details in the movie, but if readers have seen the movie and enjoyed it, they will no doubt enjoy the book as well.  Highly recommended and well worth reading, The Tale of Despereaux is a wonderful book!

Genre: Fairy Tale  •  Interest Level: grades 4-8

2004 Newbery Medal Winner

DiCamillo, K. (2003). The Tale of Despereaux. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.


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