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The Tale of Despereaux | [Kate DiCamillo]

The Tale of Despereaux

This is the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in darkness but covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl with a simple, impossible wish. 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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

What is it about mice? Ever since Aesop paired a little rodent with a mighty lion, mice have been the stars of literature. Stuart Little, the gallant Reepicheep of the Narnia books, the heroes of Redwall - mice all.

Now comes Despereaux, and he does his fore-mice proud. This is a wistful story that is given a properly dreamlike reading by Graeme Malcolm. You can imagine him sitting by a crackling fire as he tells the tale of a misfit, sensitive mouse who falls in love with a princess and finds his place in the world.

At 3-1/2 hours long, this is the perfect listen for a family trip. It's the kind of story that parents will appreciate for the lessons it imparts - and children will cherish for its memorable adventures of a determined mouse.

Publisher's Summary

This is the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in darkness but covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl with a simple, impossible wish. 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.

And what happens then?

Listener, it is your destiny to find out.

Click here to see a full list of Newbery Medal Winners and Newbery Honor Books.

©2003 Kate DiCamillo; (P)2003 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What the Critics Say

  • Newbery Medal Winner, 2004, Most Distinguished American Children's Book

"A charming story of unlikely heroes....With a masterful hand, DiCamillo weaves four story lines together in a witty, suspenseful narrative that begs to be read aloud....This expanded fairy tale is entertaining, heartening, and, above all, great fun." (School Library Journal)
"Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul stirring as it is delicious." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (372 )
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4.3 (100 )
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4.5 (95 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kimberly Elkins Park, PA, USA 02-28-04
    Kimberly Elkins Park, PA, USA 02-28-04 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "A fabulous family adventure!"

    My sons, 13 & 9, and I loved this book! It kept us coming back everytime we got in the car to find out what happened next. All the key elements to make it a classic adventure - suspense, heroic deeds, damsels in distress, knights in shining armour, and evil villians. If you like stories that begin "once upon a time....", give this one a listen. The story of a mouse, a princess, soup and a spool of red thread......

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen San Francisco, CA, USA 03-26-04
    Ellen San Francisco, CA, USA 03-26-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    141
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    24
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    Overall
    "Not for grown-ups"

    Some children's books charm people of any age. This is not one of them. While it may be good for youngsters (as another review suggests), my husband and I found it a little dull. If you're a grown-up looking for a mouse story, I instead recommend "Time Stops for No Mouse", also offered by Audible, which we found to have both greater complexity and charm.

    24 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Lubbock, TX, United States 07-18-08
    Ann Lubbock, TX, United States 07-18-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    "Flawless!"

    Finally an authoress who writes for the literate child, unafraid of vocabulary and more than capable of weaving an engaging tale. The naration is flawless!!!!!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Millwood, NY, USA 12-25-09
    Stephanie Millwood, NY, USA 12-25-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "Great story, well narrated"

    This story is so wonderful and so wonderfully well written. I love how the author makes the reader, or in this case listener part of the story. The narrator is fantastic. He reads clearly and dramatizes the voices so well. Both my 4 and 7 year olds love it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Lexington, KY, USA 10-18-09
    Ann Lexington, KY, USA 10-18-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    1
    1
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    "Delicious through and through"

    A wonderful story, masterfully performed by Graeme Malcolm. Even my stoic husband would stand riveted, spoon in hand, or still dripping from the pool, whenever I had this on, not even trying to pretend he had some other reason for standing in the middle of the living room, other than listening to this story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Tulsa, OK, United States 05-31-09
    Terry Tulsa, OK, United States 05-31-09 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
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    "The Best"

    Story and Reading, both exceptional!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Brooklyn, NY, USA 03-28-08
    Mary Brooklyn, NY, USA 03-28-08 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Wonderful to listen to!"

    I loved listening to this! The narrator for this book was absolutely wonderful to listen to, and the story was great. The narrator was amazing at giving every character their own distinct voice. Very enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane joliet, IL, USA 02-13-05
    Diane joliet, IL, USA 02-13-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Grandmothers must have"

    I found this to be an enchanting Fairytale. The characters are charming and noble, the story is written in a way to cause suspense, and the morals true. Very delightful and inviting, this was a fun break from heavier books with a sweet light heartedness that appealed to me as an adult. I enjoyed the narrators style and learned a lot from listening to how he handled the various characters. After listening to this Newberry Medal author, I went right out and purchased the hard cover version to read aloud to my own grandchildren.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Garden Grove, CA, USA 01-08-05
    Jean Garden Grove, CA, USA 01-08-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
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    3
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    "Graeme Malcolm was perfect person to narrate!"

    This book has an unusual style of narration. Kate DiCamillo has the narrator speak directly to the audience, to ask them thought provoking questions, as if it was a tale told at their bedside.


    As a 5th grade teacher, I have decided to make this a classroom read aloud. It is at times challenging with the way Ms. DiCamillo presents 3 timelines converging. That jump in sequence of events may need to be explained to younger readers/listeners. Yet it is well laid out, contains enriching vocabulary, and at times requires higher-level thinking or analysis. The story is not overly complex. In addition, it has many elements of other fairy tales. But, those elements only add to the charming way she has the characters and plot unfold.

    Is this a book for the parents? No. Would I buy it just for me? No.
    But I do believe it is a captivating and worthy listen/read for someone who is 9-14. Furthermore, it is a good book for a family to enjoy together. Listen and discuss the points or thoughts the narrator directs at the reader/listener, write a continuation of other tales, or just let it stand on it own as an enjoyable way to spend 3 hours. This book offers many ways to be enjoyed. It was well worth the investment.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Cayce, SC, USA 06-02-04
    Stephanie Cayce, SC, USA 06-02-04 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    168
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    568
    59
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    3
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    "Adorable!"

    This story is adorable and uplifting and the narrator is wonderful! He gives the characters a good voice and just does a fabulous job overall.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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  • Alexina
    Northallerton, United Kingdom
    5/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Charming and amusing story"
    If you could sum up The Tale of Despereaux in three words, what would they be?

    Charming, touching and amusing.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Tale of Despereaux?

    Despereaux in the dungeons.


    What about Graeme Malcolm’s performance did you like?

    The accents were fantastic - particularly Despereaux's mother.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both


    Any additional comments?

    A wonderfully old-fashioned tale of love and the battle between good and evil. My three children aged 11, 9 and 7 loved it along with my husband and I. A cracker!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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