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

ISBN-10: 0763617229

ISBN-13: 9780763617226

Edition: 2003

List price: $17.99 Buy it from $1.49
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Description: WINNER OF THE NEWBERY MEDAL! Kate DiCamillo introduces a hero for all time! 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. And what happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out. From the master storyteller who brought us BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE comes another classic, a fairy tale full of quirky, unforgettable characters, featuring twenty-four stunning black-and-white illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering, in an elegant design that pays tribute to the best in classic children’s books and bookmaking traditions. The beloved author of BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE enlightens us with a tale of adventure, despair, love, and soup.

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Book details

List price: $17.99
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 8/25/2003
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 272
Size: 6.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

Kate DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania on March 25, 1964. She is a Newbery Award-winning children's author. As a child, DiCamillo suffered from chronic pneumonia. At the age of five, DiCamillo along with her mother and brother, moved to the small-town of Clermont, Florida for the warmer climate due to her health. DiCamillo graduated from the University of Florida with a minor in English. At the age of thirty, she moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and worked for a book warehouse on the children's floor. 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 a product of her homesickness for Florida and her desire to own a dog. In 2005, Because of Winn-Dixie was released as a film by 20th Century Fox. In 2004, DiCamillo won the Newbery Medal for her book, The Tale of Despereaux. This book was also made into a movie and released by Universal Pictures in December 2008. DiCamillo continues to write and currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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. "Toul�se," 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.
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