Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Tale of Despereaux - Kate DiCamillo

Summary:
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. Excerpt from Amazon.com Review

My Review:
I don't generally browse the kids section of the library for my reading material, or even the young adults section, perhaps to my own detriment, so it was by chance I read this book. Chance being, someone loaned it to me and I was out of reading material (notice a theme?). But of course this was delightful, after all it is a Newbery Medal winner and has been made into a movie, so what was I expecting?

Because this book is a children's book it is "short, and sweet, and too the point," and its success in examining themes of good and evil, guilt and forgiveness, chance and choice in such a condensed format shows the great talent of the author. Although it is a quick read there is a lot of story involved and it is easy to see how it could be expanded to a full length film though it certainly doesn't need the embellishment. Nor does it need the computer animation, for it has the most charming illustrations sprinkled throughout to start your imagination leaving the rest to you.

My Rating: 4 stars.

In One Sentence: Snuggle up and imagine.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I saw this movie and enjoyed it thoroughly, although it was slightly mature for my 3 year old. I think my 6 year old will really enjoy hearing the book, so I will definitely be looking for it at the library. Thanks for the review.

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