The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-10-19 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 933 user ratings

" Moralistically preachy and the group consensus is "meh" " said.

"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 … well. It’s got that Lemony Snicketness about it, where the author is talking to you and addressing you as “Reader” and encouraging you to look up words (I did look up “perfidy” and learned the meaning of it), and consequently I fly through the fourteen-point font and double-spaced, illustrated pages and then chalk it up to another book read.

Hey, at least I’ve stopped reading Baby-Sitters Club. (Also: Ann M. Martin stopped writing them. Ha!)

If you’re looking for a light way to pass the afternoon or bored in the library, this book is worth looking at, if only for the interesting storytelling technique and the imaginative plot.
" said.

"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 with their peers, that have higher aspirations. And while everybody try to convince them to behave as they should, they know well what they want. A mouse that likes reading, stories and music, and falls in love with a princess. A rat that likes the light, and does not want to be part of the darkness. And a beautiful message that you can do whatever it is that you want, no matter how small you are.
The ability to differentiate between a friend and a foe, and that not everybody always has good intentions, even if they are nice to you. The rats are pretty slimy, but smart.
The happy ending, that is different from an expected happy ending. Because sometimes in real life we get something different than we wanted, and we can still be very happy with it.

DiCamillo is talking occasionally directly to the reader, inviting the reader into the story, half educationally and half sharing a secret.
You'll fall in love with Princess Pea, feel pity for Miggery Sow, be afraid of the rats, and befriend the adorable Despereaux. And for sure, laugh out loud and get a chill too.
" said.

"The first thing that I enjoyed about this lovely little story was a) the whole world revolved around the importance of a good soup and b) DiCamillo's use of authorial intrusion. A story of a literal battle between those in the darkness and those in the light, Despereaux is full of the author's wit and humour with the narrator herself perhaps being one of the funniest. I particularly liked the rich language she uses throughout - no dumbing down her for her readers. I imagine this being a lovely shared read with a class or a personal, snuggled up in bed with your child read too.

" said.

" Way too dark and depressing for a kids' book, and scared me out of my mind when I was younger. " said.

" Lovely, excellent audio. Beautiful, convincing narration. The ending of the story itself seemed a bit abrupt, but I know I would have loved this as a child. " said.

"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 told to them along with this adventurous tale.
I overall really liked this & I can't wait to read it to my niece when she gets a bit older so she can understand and love this story too!
" said.

"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?

Anyway, the story itself is so heartwarming, so unassuming and so guileless that I couldn’t help but be swept away by the heroic quest of one of the least heroic characters I have ever come across in my reading career. Knowing that it is impossible for him and attempting to rescue the princess anyway? That is courage, people. No matter how flashy and beautiful The Invention of Hugo Cabret may have been, I think The Tale of Despereaux wins simply on account of how beautiful the story is. No, no one has been comparing the two, it’s just me.

I urge you to read this for yourself and if you have a child in your life, read it out loud to them. Watch the wonder in their eyes as they follow the adventures of one poor mouse who is condemned at birth and who even loses his tail. Watch them react to the horrible rats, especially the irascible villain of the piece who walks around with a spoon as a hat. This is a beautiful book, a classic really, and should find a home on your shelf in all its illustrated glory. Strongly recommended.
" said.

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