- Reading level: Ages 9-12
- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick; Library Binding edition (August 25, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763617229
- ISBN-13: 978-0763617226
- List Price: $17.99
- I finished this book on June 3
See, Despereaux is a tiny mouse, really tiny, with these great big ears, who lives in a castle. He doesn't want to be like other mice, he's not interested in hunting for crumbs, or scurrying, or even nibbling paper. In fact, he is much more inclined to read the romantic tales in the library than to eat them. So, of course, I want to snorgle Despereaux, despite the fact that he's a fictional mouse. Also, I love talking animals. But that's the problem, Despereaux talks to the beautiful Princess Pea, worse, he falls in love with her. This sets all the other little meeces' knickers into a twist and they banish tiny Despereaux to the dungeon to be eaten by rats (oh no!) From there, the story splits off and introduces us to a few different characters who all play a part in Despereaux's tale.
My favorite scene is where Despereaux is trying to tell the king something and he won't listen. The king basically puts his hands over his head and says "Nah nah, I can't hear you..." like a child, which I found hilarious. Not to mention that he has outlawed soup and rats, which, you know...makes perfect sense and is not at all crazy.
Another great part of the story is DiCamillo's voice. She talks to the reader, and even encourages the reader to go look up words, which I think is fantastic (I will not tell a lie, my dears, I had to look up a word). There are also sweet illustrations of the tiny mouse, the mean rats and the beautiful Princess Pea done by Timothy Ering. Anywho, the book was great, and it's one of mine for the challenge. I will definitely be reading more of Ms. Camillo's work in the future.