Title: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2001
Source: Own, Beach House Discovery
Newbery Winner: 2004
Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three 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. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.
I picked this book up in a book exchange at a rental house. My family went to Costa Rica for Thanksgiving one year (I know! It was awesome!) and the house had a rule - you were welcome to take any book you didn't finish reading, but you had to leave a book in exchange. It was actually a pretty awesome rule. So, I had finished a book (I don't even remember what) and traded it for this little story. It took me all of three or four pages to be completely in love with little Despereaux!
Despereaux has a heart for adventure and more passion in his little heart than most people carry in their entire bodies. This modern-day fairy tale is for the young and the young-at-heart. Beautifully illustrated, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo is an unexpected delight with a deeply moving message - there is power in the light - and you cannot keep that magic for yourself.
This is a book you may be tempted to read quickly, but I would encourage you to slow down and really enjoy it. Take your time and fall in love with each character and the journey that brings them all together. No matter how small you may feel sometimes, Despereaux is proof that the only size that matters is the size of your heart.