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The Tale of Despereaux
Cover of The Tale of Despereaux
The Tale of Despereaux
Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread
This is the story of Desperaux Tilling, a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl with a simple, impossible wish. These characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and ultimately, into each other's lives.
And what happens then?
Listeners, it is your destiny to find out.
This is the story of Desperaux Tilling, a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl with a simple, impossible wish. These characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and ultimately, into each other's lives.
And what happens then?
Listeners, it is your destiny to find out.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Listen
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.7
  • Lexile:
    670
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    K - 3

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
About the Author-
  • KATE DICAMILLO lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is the author of The Tale of Despereaux, which won the Newbery Medal, and The Tiger Rising, which was named a National Book Award Finalist.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Despereaux is a mouse who reads stories about knights, loves music, falls in love with a princess, and is sentenced to death for communicating with humans. Graeme Malcolm gives a formal, unembellished reading of the text. In some ways, this fits a story that feels like a fairy tale, and, in other ways, it does little to enliven a story that is somewhat slow paced. Malcolm's voices for the scheming rat Roscuro and the bumbling Miggery Sow are inventive, but his narration doesn't pull any suspense or tension out of the lengthy exposition and flashbacks. There are also many instances of deliberate authorial intrusion that don't work as well in audio as they do on the page. An uneven production. A.F. Winner of the 2004 Newbery Medal; 2004 Audie Award Finalist (c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 16, 2003
    The author of Because of Winn-Dixie
    and The Tiger Rising
    here shifts gears, demonstrating her versatility while once again proving her genius for mining the universal themes of childhood. Her third novel calls to mind Henry Fielding's Tom Jones; DiCamillo's omniscient narrator assumes a similarly irreverent yet compassionate tone and also addresses readers directly.Despereaux, the diminutive mouse hero ("The last mouse born to his parents and the only one of his litter to be born alive"), cares not a whit for such mundane matters as scurrying or nibbling, and disappoints his family at every turn. When his sister tries to teach him to devour a book, for example ("This glue, here, is tasty, and the paper edges are crunchy and yummy, like so"), Despereaux discovers instead "a delicious and wonderful phrase: Once upon a time"—a discovery that will change his life.The author introduces all of the elements of the subtitle, masterfully linking them without overlap. A key factor unmentioned in the subtitle is a villainous rat, Chiaroscuro (dwelling in the darkness of the Princess's dungeon, but drawn to the light). Ering (The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone) brings an understated drama to the black-and-white illustrations that punctuate each chapter. His artwork conveys a respect for the characters even as they emit the wry humor of the narrator's voice.The teller of the tale roots for the hero and thus aligns himself with the audience: "Reader, you must know that an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform." In addition to these life lessons, the narrator also savors a pointer or two about language (after the use of the word "perfidy," the narrator asks, "Reader, do you know what 'perfidy' means? I have a feeling you do, based on the little scene that has just unfolded here. But you should look up the word in your dictionary, just to be sure"). Reader, I will let you imagine, for now, how these witticisms of our omniscient narrator come into play; but I must tell you, you are in for a treat. Ages 7-12.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 10, 2003
    The rich timbre of Malcolm's voice proves an appealing invitation for listeners to follow along with this romantic and funny tale of an unlikely hero. Despereaux Tilling, a tiny mouse with very large ears, has always been a misfit among mice. But it is his quirks—which include the ability to read books and tell stories, as well as his undying love for a human princess—that lead Despereaux on a quest that culminates in a most fitting "happily ever after" ending. Malcolm's humorous interpretation of Antoinette Tilling's (Despereaux's French mother) histrionics is fine entertainment. And his Roscuro the rat character delivers slick lines with a Latin flair. With asides directed at listeners and elements of royal intrigue, innocent romance and revenge, this listening experience sometimes recalls the film The Princess Bride
    . But movie fans or no, listeners will find lots to enjoy here. Ages 7-12.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2004
    Gr 4-8-With allegorical elements such as quests for love and light, and dangerous encounters that lead to forgiveness and redemption, Kate DiCamillo's novel (Candlewick, 2003) is a multi-layered fantasy. The hero is Despereaux Tilling, a young mouse who is improbably, but deeply, in love with a very human Princess Pea. On the dark side, there's a misguided rat named Roscuro and a serving girl, Miggery Sow, who wishes to be a princess. The traumatic events that shape the lives of these four characters, and bring them all to the brink of disaster, are resolved with some gentle lessons on the power of kindness. DiCamillo creates a special intimacy with listeners by using frequent asides that draw them into the story. Narrator Graeme Malcolm heightens the text's storytelling qualities with a mix of deft accents and appropriate vocal styles. This novel's castle and its denizens are a long way from the down home folks in Because of Winn-Dixie, the author's Newbery Honor book. What remains the same is how well both stories convey the importance of caring relationships. Middle school listeners may find some of the scenarios far fetched, but they'll be inspired by the simple, believable way that good triumphs over evil. This is a solid choice for both public and school libraries.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT

    Copyright 2004 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • OverDrive Listen
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Digital Rights Information+
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Burn to CD: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to device: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to Apple® device: 
    Permitted
    Public performance: 
    Not permitted
    File-sharing: 
    Not permitted
    Peer-to-peer usage: 
    Not permitted
    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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