Cover image for The tale of Despereaux [being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread]
Title:
The tale of Despereaux [being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread]
Author:
DiCamillo, Kate.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Unabridged.
Publication Information:
New York : Random House/Listening Library, [2003]

℗2003
Physical Description:
4 audio discs (3 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Summary:
The adventures of Despereaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.
General Note:
Unabridged.

Subtitle from container.

Compact disc.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
3-7.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780807220061
Format :
Audiobook on CD

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J FICTION CD Juvenile Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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J FICTION CD Juvenile Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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J FICTION CD Juvenile Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

Kate DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 25, 1964. She received an English degree from the University of Florida. At the age of thirty, she moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and worked for a book warehouse on the children's floor. After working there for four and a half years, she fell in love with children's books and began writing. DiCamillo wrote the 2001 Newbery-honor book, Because of Winn-Dixie, which was adapted into a film in 2005. In 2004, she won the Newbery Medal for The Tale of Despereaux, which was also adapted into a movie in 2008, and for Flora and Ulysses in 2013. Her other works include the Mercy Watson series, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and The Magician's Elephant. She was named the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the Library of Congress for the term 2014-2015.

Kate's title, Raymie Nightingale, mde the New York Times bestseller list in 2016.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-6. Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul stirring as it is delicious. Despereaux, a tiny mouse with huge ears, is the bane of his family's existence. He has fallen in love with the young princess who lives in the castle where he resides and, having read of knights and their ladies, vows to honor her. But his unmouselike behavior gets him banished to the dungeon, where a swarm of rats kill whoever falls into their clutches. Another story strand revolves around Miggery, traded into service by her father, who got a tablecloth in return. Mig's desire to be a princess, a rat's yen for soup (a food banished from the kingdom after a rat fell in a bowl and killed the queen), and Despereaux's quest to save his princess after she is kidnapped climax in a classic fairy tale, rich and satisfying. Part of the charm comes from DiCamillo's deceptively simple style and short chapters in which the author addresses the reader: Do you think rats do not have hearts? Wrong. All living things have a heart. And as with the best stories, there are important messages tucked in here and there, so subtly that children who are carried away by the words won't realize they have been uplifted until much later. Ering's soft pencil illustrations reflect the story's charm. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2003 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

CHAPTER ONE: THE LAST ONE This story begins within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse. A small mouse. The last mouse born to his parents and the only one of his litter to be born alive. "Where are my babies?" said the exhausted mother when the ordeal was through. "Show to me my babies." The father mouse held the one small mouse up high. "There is only this one," he said. "The others are dead." "Mon Dieu, just the one mouse baby?" "Just the one. Will you name him?" "All of that work for nothing," said the mother. She sighed. "It is so sad. It is such the disappointment." She was a French mouse who had arrived at the castle long ago in the luggage of a visiting French diplomat. "Disappointment" was one of her favorite words. She used it often. "Will you name him?" repeated the father. "Will I name him? Will I name him? Of course, I will name him, but he will only die like the others. Oh, so sad. Oh, such the tragedy." The mouse mother held a handkerchief to her nose and then waved it in front of her face. She sniffed. "I will name him. Yes. I will name this mouse Despereaux, for all the sadness, for the many despairs in this place. Now, where is my mirror?" Her husband handed her a small shard of mirror. The mouse mother, whose name was Antoinette, looked at her reflection and gasped aloud. "Toulèse," she said to one of her sons, "get for me my makeup bag. My eyes are a fright." While Antoinette touched up her eye makeup, the mouse father put Despereaux down on a bed made of blanket scraps. The April sun, weak but determined, shone through a castle window and from there squeezed itself through a small hole in the wall and placed one golden finger on the little mouse. The other, older mice children gathered around to stare at Despereaux. "His ears are too big," said his sister Merlot. "Those are the biggest ears I've ever seen." "Look," said a brother named Furlough, "his eyes are open. Pa, his eyes are open. They shouldn't be open." It is true. Despereaux's eyes should not have been open. But they were. He was staring at the sun reflecting off his mother's mirror. The light was shining onto the ceiling in an oval of brilliance, and he was smiling up at the sight. "There's something wrong with him," said the father. "Leave him alone." Despereaux's brothers and sisters stepped back, away from the new mouse. "This is the last," proclaimed Antoinette from her bed. "I will have no more mice babies. They are such the disappointment. They are hard on my beauty. They ruin, for me, my looks. This is the last one. No more." "The last one," said the father. "And he'll be dead soon. He can't live. Not with his eyes open like that." But, reader, he did live. This is his story. ______ THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering. Text copyright (c) 2006 by Kate DiCamillo. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA. Excerpted from The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Last One
This story begins within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse. A small mouse. The last mouse born to his parents and the only one of his litter to be born alive.
"Where are my babies?" said the exhausted mother when the ordeal was through. "Show to me my babies."
The father mouse held the one small mouse up high.
"There is only this one," he said. "The others are dead."
"Mon Dieu, just the one mouse baby?"
"Just the one. Will you name him?"
"All of that work for nothing," said the mother. She sighed. "It is so sad. It is such the disappointment." She was a French mouse who had arrived at the castle long ago in the luggage of a visiting French diplomat. "Disappointment" was one of her favorite words. She used it often.
"Will you name him?" repeated the father.
"Will I name him? Will I name him? Of course, I will name him, but he will only die like the others. Oh, so sad. Oh, such the tragedy."
The mouse mother held a handkerchief to her nose and then waved it in front of her face. She sniffed. "I will name him. Yes. I will name this mouse Despereaux, for all the sadness, for the many despairs in this place. Now, where is my mirror?"
Her husband handed her a small shard of mirror. The mouse mother, whose name was Antoinette, looked at her reflection and gasped aloud. "Toulèse," she said to one of her sons, "get for me my makeup bag. My eyes are a fright."
While Antoinette touched up her eye makeup, the mouse father put Despereaux down on a bed made of blanket scraps. The April sun, weak but determined, shone through a castle window and from there squeezed itself through a small hole in the wall and placed one golden finger on the little mouse.
The other, older mice children gathered around to stare at Despereaux.
"His ears are too big," said his sister Merlot. "Those are the biggest ears I've ever seen."
"Look," said a brother named Furlough, "his eyes are open. Pa, his eyes are open. They shouldn't be open."
It is true. Despereaux's eyes should not have been open. But they were. He was staring at the sun reflecting off his mother's mirror. The light was shining onto the ceiling in an oval of brilliance, and he was smiling up at the sight.
"There's something wrong with him," said the father. "Leave him alone."
Despereaux's brothers and sisters stepped back, away from the new mouse.
"This is the last," proclaimed Antoinette from her bed. "I will have no more mice babies. They are such the disappointment. They are hard on my beauty. They ruin, for me, my looks. This is the last one. No more."
"The last one," said the father. "And he'll be dead soon. He can't live. Not with his eyes open like that."
But, reader, he did live.
This is his story.