The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

Genre: Fantasy, Young-Adult

Publication: September 9th 2008 by Candlewick Press

Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three 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. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.


This book is cute, shorty and snappy. It’s really not my usual type of book and I’m definitely not the age group this book is directed at! Still, it was enjoyable nevertheless. And how can you not love this cute little mouse…?

“He was ridiculously small. His ears were obscenely large. He had been born with his eyes open. And he was sickly. He coughed and sneezed so often that he carried a handkerchief in one paw at all times. He ran temperatures. He fainted at loud noises. Most alarming of all, he showed no interest in the things a mouse should show interest in.”


I haven’t actually watched the film, but reading the book makes me want to definitely pick up the film.

The book is hard to sum up in words. There are lots of cure pictures dotted through the book to keep your interested engaged, and I’d say it would be nice to sit down with young children and read to them or have them read so their interest can be maintained by the pictures. I have to say, it’s been a very long time since I read a book that had pictures in and it was a pleasant experience.

The book is broken down into four parts, for the last part and the first part, this book probably borders more of the five star rating, whilst the middle two parts were more of a three to two stars. I just didn’t enjoy them as much.

Book The First

A Mouse is Born

The first part and the last part follow Despereaux more and I find him so inexplicably cute that I couldn’t help but smile. And I felt like part four had a much more action packed scene with the drawing to the close of this tale which engaged my attention enough.

Book the Fourth

Recalled to the Light

Part Three I abhorred the most.

Book The Third


The Tale of Miggery Sow

I was incredibly sick of hearing about Miggery and her personality and character really just annoyed me. She was stupid and I really couldn’t feel hardly any sympathy for her even though she’d had a bad life, I just didn’t find her to be a likeable character. That would probably be my only part of the tale that I didn’t enjoy and couldn’t stomach it.

Overall, I found the novel to be enjoyable and cute. It’s a quick read at around 200 pages with pictures and I think if you like animals and children’s fantasy then you’ll probably like this book!

4 books



Filed under 2008 Publication, 4 Books, Candlewick Press, Fantasy, Kate DiCamillo, Paperback, Young Adult

6 responses to “The Tale of Despereaux

  1. I haven’t watched the film so it’s perfect for me to pick up the book first. It definitely sounds like a cute read! Great review, Livvy. 🙂

    • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

      I just got told not to watch the film, so definitely pick up the book! haha. Thank you! 🙂

      • I was just about to say that the film wasn’t as good (but that’s rarely the case anyway huh?!). I did love the book though! I love also how Kate DiCamillo takes some big words and explain them in the book – great educational read with strong moral teaching 🙂

        • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

          Yeah, generally is!
          Yes, she does. I thought that was really good for the younger readers. An educational read for once! 🙂

  2. That mouse is adorable with it’s too big ears! I’m always a sucker for the runt and underdog of the story. This sounds really cute even if it wasn’t for your age group. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Great review. 🙂

    • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

      I know!! Definitely so in my case, it’s nice to see those expected not to do well, succeed! 🙂

      It was definitely cute and who says we have to read everything pointed at our age group? haha. 🙂

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