Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (5/5 stars)

I have read a number of DiCamillo books and loved most of them.  I decided to read this book because my son got the movie and I was interested in reading the book before I saw it.  It was a wonderful book!

This book tells the tale of three "people".  Despereaux, a mouse that is too different to be accepted, whose path leads him to fall in love with a human princess.   Despereaux is cast to darkness for his differences.  The second person is Chiaroscuro, a rat who yearns for the light but makes his home in the dungeon.  Then there is Miggery Sow (Mig), a girl whose leads a miserable life and will do anything to become a princess.  All of their fates are intertwined.

This was a great story.  DiCamillo, as usual, does a wonderful job of making the story come alive.  She is just a great story-teller in the most classical sense.  All of the characters are interesting and engaging.  There are a number of morals reinforced through the story.  It is a quick read for an adult, but well worth it.  I really didn't find anything to complain about in this book.

Unlike "The Elephant's Magician" I think younger children could really get into this story.  In fact I started reading it to my three year old son and he didn't want me to stop.  I am pretty sure he doesn't understand all the different messages the story is delivering, but he can get into the story of a young mouse fighting for his Princess. 

I think this is my favorite of all the DiCamillo books that I have read.  People of all walks of life and ages should read this book.  It is a wonderful story.

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