The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

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What are you: a MAN, or a MOUSE? Wait, hold up for a second. Since when was being a mouse meant being cowardly? Well I assure you, one charming mouse definitely does not fall under such a category. With grape-like ears, a knack for reading, and the body of a golf ball, no one would believe that bravery, wonder, and intelligence is packed in such a creature. “Dear reader, light your lamp and listen to the tale of Despereaux.” –Kirkus Reviews. Explore how outcast Despereaux, a mouse who defies all his expectations, ends up falling for human Princess Pea and a whirlwind of trouble. Whilst inspiring to her knight in shining armor, he may have to fight more for her love, but the not-so-dark forces that plot to foil the kingdom.

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo is a true classic in the art of literature. With stunning illustrations from Timothy Basil Ering, the very format of the text enraptures the reader. The childish yet mature tone for the book is an excellent blend that interests the reader, along with the unique plot and well developed characters. I first read this book in third grade, yet the passion never seems to die (especially when I practically scrambled for book order forms for this novel.) Time over time again, I cannot be ceased to be entranced by the very texture and crisp turn of each page.

I have grown to love and cherish the characters to my heart, for looking back, I see the true meaning and depth they had. “’Once upon a time,’ whispered Despereaux.” (22) “’I think,’ said Roscuro, ‘that the meaning of life is light.’” (88) “’Someday, I will sit on a little white horse and wear a crown and wave. Someday,’ said Mig…” (150) The curiosity of Despereaux, the yearning of Chiaroscuro, and the desires of Miggery Sow flourished the story and also made them very relatable. Despereaux was filled with boundless wonder and sought out to chase it. Roscuro adored the light that all rats were supposed to despise and curse. Miggery Sow dreamt larger than any of the others in the story.

They all had one thing in common: they were personifications of ourselves in reality. Despereaux: being filled with such intense interest in something, that no self-control could chain you back. Chiaroscuro: to want something that others didn’t approve of and being forced to hide your true feelings. Miggery Sow: to simply dream without the restraints of the truth.

This book is surely a weapon of ‘mouse’ destruction—in a good way, of course. I urge you to follow the gang in a thrill-seeking adventure of newfound hopes, love, and bravery! Maybe in the end, you won’t think it’s such a bad idea being a(n) [amazing, truly magnificent] mouse.





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