The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux

Being the Story of A Mouse, A Princess, Some Soup and A Spool of Thread

Large Print - 2018 | Large print edition
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The adventures of Desperaux 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.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2018
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2003
ISBN: 9781432860394
Branch Call Number: LP DICAM-K
Characteristics: 251 pages (large print) : illustrations ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Ering, Timothy B. - Illustrator


From Library Staff

The adventures of Desperaux 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.

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Sep 04, 2020

I realize that this is a middle-grade novel, so I am definitely not the target audience. Having said that, I feel that a well-told story is appropriate for any age.

I really enjoyed the story, felt the pacing was good, and that the various perspectives of the characters really interesting. The only critique I have is the ending. I am not one for tidy endings and prefer something with a bit more grit. I personally feel that this particular ending teaches that forgiveness does not require any sort of healthy boundaries. That you should offer blanket forgiveness to anyone and everyone who has done you wrong. I would have enjoyed it more if certain characters had been made to face the proverbial music.

This particular edition was illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering, whose book "Frog Belly Ratbone" is a treasured part of my library.

OPL_KrisC Apr 22, 2020

A fun and heartwarming fantasy adventure starring the unlikeliest of heroes: a tiny mouse!

Jun 20, 2019

This is a awesome book about the adventure a little mouse had with the princess he loved. I suggest this book to be for children age 9-13.

ArapahoeMarcia Jan 04, 2019

A fantastic book that is beautifully written. It covers many of life's lessons, such as light vs dark, courage vs defeat. Priceless!

vm510 Sep 10, 2018

I wish there had been more Desperaux! The story is crafted in a way that feels poetic and symbolic, but it kind of lost me after we were introduced to more and more characters.

Jan 28, 2018

I saw the animated film long before reading this short book it was based on. Both are narrated and stylistically the same, but the film expands the story with details that make the plot more polished and the moral clearer (I would say the same of How To Train Your Dragon, by the way). The symbolism of the red thread/cloth/blood in the book is more appropriately replaced by the healing properties of soup in the film. Also, the mouse Despereaux here seems only circumstantially brave compared to the quixotic hero of the film. Regardless, both book and film will be enjoyed by young and old.

Dec 01, 2017

This is one of my favorite Newbery books. With a story divided into three acts (and three narratives), it is a well-crafted tale about one's power of choice and the determination to grasp a dream deemed unreachable.

Feb 26, 2017

Wonderfully written book. The story's a bit weird but ,still, the WRITING!

Sep 23, 2016

The birth of a tiny mouse with giant ears causes a stir within the walls of a castle. Not expected to survive, Despereaux eventually grows and learns to read, becoming fascinated with a fairytale about a knight who rescues a princess. Little does he know that he is soon to have a life-changing encounter with a real princess, with unforgettable results. At turns tragic and hilarious, Despereaux's story is destined to become a classic. Also available in ebook and audiobook formats. There is a graphic novel version as well as a movie based on this story. Also available in French, in audiobook, in graphic novel form as well as a DVD movie version.

Jul 27, 2016

A beautifully written story of courage, hope, deceit and empathy - great for upper elementary through adults.

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Add Age Suitability
OPL_KrisC Apr 22, 2020

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Jan 11, 2020

snprch794 thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Jan 28, 2018

humbleworm thinks this title is suitable for 5 years and over

May 12, 2017

LisaMabley thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

yellow_hornet_37 Mar 08, 2017

yellow_hornet_37 thinks this title is suitable for 5 years and over

Feb 03, 2016

violet_pony_769 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jun 28, 2014

ririshres2 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Mar 04, 2014

orange_buzzard_64 thinks this title is suitable for 4 years and over

Jun 04, 2013

Keep_On_Rockin thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Feb 10, 2013

StaceyLB thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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Jun 13, 2015

Despereaux looked for a long moment into Mig's small concerned eyes and then there came a blinding flash and the sound of metal moving through air as Mig brought the kitchen knife down, down, down. Despereaux felt a very intense pain in his hindquarters.

Feb 10, 2013

"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."

Nov 04, 2012

"A rat is a rat is a rat"

Jul 04, 2012

 "What Cook was stirring was...soup. Soup, reader! In the king's own castle, against the king's law, right under the king's very nose, Cook was stirring soup!" (224).


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Feb 10, 2013

This is a book with different stories about mice, rats, a princess and a very unfortunate girl who was sold by her father. These stories intertwine in order to tell a tale about a mouse who disappointed his mouse community and fell in love with a princess and lived happily ever after.

Megi2001 Aug 04, 2012



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