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The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

NO! This can’t be the last page! NO! NO! NO! The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo is a wonderfully sweet tale of a mouse, a princess, a rat, and a bowl of soup. Any reader, whether it’s a full fledged adult to a young child reading their first novel, this will entertain to the fullest extent. I loved this book, and am positive that anybody who picks it up will love it.
This book is about the only surviving mouse of his litter, named Despereaux. He is a small mouse born in a castle, with his eyes open with big ears. Not only does he look strange on the outside, but he also acts and thinks like a human. Soon enough, this gets him into trouble, and Despereaux is sentenced to the dungeon, where the rats live. Down in the dungeon, he learns to overcome the Darkness, avoid malicious rats, and to see the light where there is not.
The best part about this book is that the author brings herself into the readers’ thoughts. Kate narrates with such vibrancy, and challenges the reader in it’s suited moments and plunges deeper into the situation with a sense of intensity. On page 15 is a great example, “But, reader, he did live. This is his story.” Kate DiCamillo brings her opinions and statements into the mix, which gives the book a whole different feel. I also just love the way it is written.

I love how she uses words that make you think about what you just read. It really helps get a better visual of what’s going on and Kate DiCamillo does it well. Words like ‘perfidy’ really bring a scene to life in your head. Kate has amazing talent with bringing wonderful descriptions into the book, without taking away from the story itself. It isn’t distracting or confusing. Each word, every name in the 268 page novel, is strategically planned out; the

name, Despereaux means despair in french. One of the rat characters is named Chiaroscuro, which means, ‘the separation of light and dark’. This is a way that I think the author is showing her intelligence, and she knows what she’s doing.
The Tale of Despereaux is an amazing read and a delightful story. Every word keeps you snuggled into your chair with a blanket late at night. Although this novel is pretty much for anyone and everyone, it best suits Elementary level readers because of the genre and storyline. But otherwise, it’s one of the best fairy tales I’ve read.



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