The Tale of Despereaux
By Kate DiCamillo
Hi! Do you know anybody who’s just different from most of the people at your school? Well, Despereaux is different, but he’s different from all the other mice.
Yup, that’s right! Despereaux is a mouse. He has huge ears and he doesn’t like to do anything that the normal mice do, like eat crumbs and stuff like that. He would much rather live with the princess. He met the princess one day when the king was playing her a song. Despereaux loved music so dearly, so of course he came out to listen. But something terrible had happened with the queen. A rat fell into her soup and she died of shock. And mice were distant relatives of rats, so the king did not like him. But the princess did. And Despereaux Tilling was in love with Princess Pea.
Next, we have the rat. His name is Roscuro. He is the rat that fell in the queen’s soup. He wanted to see light so badly that he just had to leave the dungeon. But when the princess screamed, “Rat!” he fell into the queen’s soup, out of shock from being called such a nasty name like rat. He then started planning revenge on the princess.
Now we come to a girl named Miggery Sow. When she was very young her mother died and her father sold her to a man for a red handkerchief, a hen, and some cigarettes. Whatever the man made her do, Miggery Sow did it to her very best. But Mig always got punished, no matter what she did – whether she did it perfect, close to perfect, or not perfect at all. Her punishment was clouts to the ear. Eventually, her hearing got worse and worse until a knight came and said that slavery was illegal. So, he took her to work as a servant for money in the princess’s castle. She was given many jobs, but none of them seemed to suit her. The only one that suited her fine was to go feed the prisoners in the dungeon.
Now, we must go back to Despereaux to continue forward. Despereaux got sent down to the dungeon for loving Princess Pea. He eventually escaped, but then Miggery Sow and the rat got together. The rat made a plan for them to take the princess down in the dungeon with them. The rat said that Miggery Sow could be the princess, but she really couldn’t because she didn’t look anything like the princess and the rat was going to keep the princess down in the dungeon forever.
Fortunately, Despereaux overheard the plan. Will Despereaux get there in time to save the princess, or will all be lost and she die down in the dungeon just as her mother died from shock at seeing the rat that fell in her soup? As I always say, read the book to find out!
I recommend this book to readers who love adventure and rodents and any sort of Kate DiCamillo book.
A few helpful things I like to say about the books I read:
“Run and Get Mom” (how I describe the scariness factor): There were a few scary parts, but they were minor.
“Yucky-Lovey Stuff” (how I describe the romance factor): Zero, none, nada.
I give this book 5 wands.
It was great! I couldn’t believe that the story had come to an end when it had. It said that there would be many more adventures of Despereaux and Princess Pea, so I’m hoping that she’ll come out with another book!