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Editorial 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

Critic Reviews

  • 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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    511
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    168
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    70
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    26
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    14

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    340
  • 4 Stars
    76
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    334
  • 4 Stars
    81
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    8
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    7
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • wellread
  • San Francisco, CA United States
  • 01-28-16

Great Performance

What did you love best about The Tale of Despereaux?

The narration and love the narrator told the story. Definitely listen to this.

What did you like best about this story?

Could be enjoyed all ages

Which character – as performed by Graeme Malcolm – was your favorite?

Desperaux

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

nothing

Any additional comments?

nope<br/>

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

It was amazing and adventerous

Would you listen to The Tale of Despereaux again? Why?

I would because it was such a good book

Who was your favorite character and why?

Roscuro because he made me laugh

What does Graeme Malcolm bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It brings more adventure and excitment

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When lester saw his son again

Any additional comments?

This is the best book I have ever read and listened too

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent story. Excellent narration

Great story for children and amazingly well narrated.
We were riveted and sad when it was finished

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

My kiddos loved it!

Downloaded on a whim,but will never regret the decision. We loved it and will probably re-listen.

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review 1

I had no expectations of the author only of the fact that it is a Newberry Award Book. I did like the idea of the narrator addressing the "listener" as it did seem to bring me in a little closer. Personally, I wasn't thrilled with the story and its magic, but I do think my elementary students will love the 'rats, dungeon, and the ugly peasant girl Meg'.

The narration was lovely; an easy voice to listen to.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A story of love, hope, and forgiveness

"Not all stories are of sweetness and light" the narrator says. As such, this story is a reflection of life, and the delicate balance of light and darkness that is part of the human experience. Graeme Malcome is a captivating story teller, drawing you in as he speaks directly to you "the listener ".

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Wonderful

Great! My child loved it and I did too! Narration is soothing and a great story teller.would recommend to ages nine and up!

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  • Story

Wonderful book!!

We loved it!! My 10 year old and my 12 year old enjoyed it very much!! Excellent narration!! Incredible descriptions!!

  • Overall
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  • Story
  • J
  • 04-17-13

Complete Satisfaction

What made the experience of listening to The Tale of Despereaux the most enjoyable?

The vocabulary and heartwarming characters, and its beautiful narrations.

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

It made me want to laugh at every word and cry at every sentence. Every single word this author used was ingenious and captivated me to the point where I believed entirely that I would weep at even the happiest ending.

Any additional comments?

There are those books and movies that make you want to cry and laugh and makes your insides twist and flutter at the same time. This is one of those books. Trust me.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Brooke
  • Memphis, TN USA
  • 12-30-12

Better read as a book than an audiobook.

Would you try another book from Kate DiCamillo and/or Graeme Malcolm?

This story becomes cumbersome when listened to. I believe it would be better to read in a traditional book. I became very tired of hearing the expression 'gaw' (or 'caw') from one of the main characters. It became extremely distracting. The story line is difficult to follow in the four books when listening instead of reading traditionally.

Would you be willing to try another book from Kate DiCamillo? Why or why not?

I would rather read her books in the traditional fashion.

What does Graeme Malcolm bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He did a good job of using different voices for the characters, but some of them sounded a bit odd or stilted at times.

Did The Tale of Despereaux inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to write more.

Any additional comments?

I always think that books are better than the movies that are made of them, but in this case, I found the movie story line much more compelling and intriguing. This story, experienced as an audiobook, was slow and cumbersome in many points. It felt disjointed and difficult to follow. <br/><br/>I do love the character of Despereaux and find him intriguing and inspiring.