Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Tale of Despereaux

My funny friend Lauren is our book club leader (when she's not performing harmonica solos) and is always recommending some seriously interesting books. While I was in the hospital she brought me the most Amazing Book Ever. And? Get this. It's not even for me! It's for me to read to my kiddos. Let me just say I've never had so much fun reading any other book to my kids.

Dear, sweet internet friends, if you have kids that you still read to, run and buy this book. It's a chapter book, thus no pictures, but it is so captivating that Kale (3-y.o.) screams for "MORE! MORE!" every night. And, of course, Jacob looooves it to the point of being willing to go to bed extra early every night so we can read more than our usual 2-3 chapters (they're short chapters).

It's written by the same author who wrote 'Because of Winn-Dixie' (which, by the way, I also read to the kids and they adored it), but it is SOOOOO much better.

Here is the Editorial Review:

Kate DiCamillo, author of the Newbery Honor book Because of Winn-Dixie, spins a tidy tale of mice and men where she explores the "powerful, wonderful, and ridiculous" nature of love, hope, and forgiveness. Her old-fashioned, somewhat dark story, narrated "Dear Reader"-style, begins "within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse." Despereaux Tilling, the new baby mouse, is different from all other mice. Sadly, the romantic, unmouselike spirit that leads the unusually tiny, large-eared mouse to the foot of the human king and the beautiful Princess Pea ultimately causes him to be banished by his own father to the foul, rat-filled dungeon.
The first book of four tells Despereaux's sad story, where he falls deeply in love with Princess Pea and meets his cruel fate. The second book introduces another creature who differs from his peers--Chiaroscuro, a rat who instead of loving the darkness of his home in the dungeon, loves the light so much he ends up in the castle& in the queen's soup. The third book describes young Miggery Sow, a girl who has been "clouted" so many times that she has cauliflower ears. Still, all the slow-witted, hard-of-hearing Mig dreams of is wearing the crown of Princess Pea. The fourth book returns to the dungeon-bound Despereaux and connects the lives of mouse, rat, girl, and princess in a dramatic denouement.
Children whose hopes and dreams burn secretly within their hearts will relate to this cast of outsiders who desire what is said to be out of their reach and dare to break "never-to-be-broken rules of conduct." Timothy Basil Ering's pencil illustrations are stunning, reflecting DiCamillo's extensive light and darkness imagery as well as the sweet, fragile nature of the tiny mouse hero who lives happily ever after. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition

The kids especially love it because it is filled with wildly interesting characters and I have given each one their own special voice. Despereaux's mother is French ~ she's their favorite. I guess I do a mean French accent because they giggle and roll around in their beds every time it's her turn to speak.

Go check it out. You won't be sorry! The Tale of Despereaux


At 5/17/2006 8:31 AM, Blogger Carol said...

Sounds like a great book for our summer reading out loud. Thanks for the recommendation, Minnie!

At 5/17/2006 8:28 PM, Blogger Leslie said...

Thanks for the reading tip. I am going to get some books for the plane. I also don't think we will have a T.V. for awhile.

For one thing, I don't care for Australian T.V. (well, actually, I don't know if I do or not, so I won't miss it if I don't get started.)

Anyway, we are hoping to read more.

At 9/27/2006 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 9/27/2006 6:55 PM, Anonymous anonymous said...

Sorry that was me on the last post but i read the book and it's very charming and sweet...i recommend it to anyone who haven't read it.

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