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    Original Essays | July 14, 2015

    Joshua Mohr: IMG Your Imagination, Your Fingerprint

    When I was in grad school, a teacher told our workshop that if a published novel is 300 pages, the writer had to generate 1,200 along the way. I... Continue »
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      All This Life

      Joshua Mohr 9781593766030


The Tale of Despereaux


The Tale of Despereaux Cover

ISBN13: 9780763617226
ISBN10: 0763617229
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: None
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Only 1 left in stock at $4.95!





This story begins within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse. A small mouse. The last mouse born to his parents and the only one of his litter to be born alive.

"Where are my babies?" said the exhausted mother when the ordeal was through. "Show to me my babies."

The father mouse held the one small mouse up high.

"There is only this one," he said. "The others are dead."

"Mon Dieu, just the one mouse baby?"

"Just the one. Will you name him?"

"All of that work for nothing," said the mother. She sighed. "It is so sad. It is such the disappointment." She was a French mouse who had arrived at the castle long ago in the luggage of a visiting French diplomat. "Disappointment" was one of her favorite words. She used it often.

"Will you name him?" repeated the father.

"Will I name him? Will I name him? Of course, I will name him, but he will only die like the others. Oh, so sad. Oh, such the tragedy."

The mouse mother held a handkerchief to her nose and then waved it in front of her face. She sniffed. "I will name him. Yes. I will name this mouse Despereaux, for all the sadness, for the many despairs in this place. Now, where is my mirror?"

Her husband handed her a small shard of mirror. The mouse mother, whose name was Antoinette, looked at her reflection and gasped aloud. "Toulèse," she said to one of her sons, "get for me my makeup bag. My eyes are a fright."

While Antoinette touched up her eye makeup, the mouse father put Despereaux down on a bed made of blanket scraps. The April sun, weak but determined, shone through a castle window and from there squeezed itself through a small hole in the wall and placed one golden finger on the little mouse.

The other, older mice children gathered around to stare at Despereaux.

"His ears are too big," said his sister Merlot. "Those are the biggest ears I?ve ever seen."

"Look," said a brother named Furlough, "his eyes are open. Pa, his eyes are open. They shouldn?t be open."

It is true. Despereaux?s eyes should not have been open. But they were. He was staring at the sun reflecting off his mother?s mirror. The light was shining onto the ceiling in an oval of brilliance, and he was smiling up at the sight.

"There?s something wrong with him," said the father. "Leave him alone."

Despereaux?s brothers and sisters stepped back, away from the new mouse.

"This is the last," proclaimed Antoinette from her bed. "I will have no more mice babies. They are such the disappointment. They are hard on my beauty. They ruin, for me, my looks. This is the last one. No more."

"The last one," said the father. "And he?ll be dead soon. He can?t live. Not with his eyes open like that."

But, reader, he did live.

This is his story.

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Average customer rating based on 7 comments:

ZoriBeth, January 19, 2010 (view all comments by ZoriBeth)
One of my two favorite books of all time, The Tale of Despereaux is a work of art disguised as a children's book. Simple, funny, elegant, and heart-wrenching, it is the perfect blend of darkness and light which we reflects that absurd miracle we call life. (Yet another case of "Don't judge a book by its movie.")
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(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
Jonathan, January 10, 2010 (view all comments by Jonathan)
I've read The Tale of Despereaux out loud twice now, once to my wife and then three years later to my five-year-old, and both times I was amazed by the depth of the story and the beauty of the writing even while describing very ugly things. Yes, it's a children's book about talking mice, and yet sometimes it felt more real than a lot of adult fiction that I've read in the past decade. I will certainly be reading it again to my daughters when they're older, and I'm sure that each time they (and I) will discover something new.
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(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
ethanelephant, December 17, 2008 (view all comments by ethanelephant)
I'm reading this book at school. And I already wanted to read it so bad. I'm so glad my teacher picked this one out! We're almost done with it, and I wanted to buy it, it's so good. Whenever we stop reading a chapter I am so tense. I wish we could just read the whole book in like a week. I hate having to stop reading each day!
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(6 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Dicamillo, Kate
Candlewick Press (MA)
Ering, Timothy Basil
Ering, Timothy Basil
DiCamillo, Kate
Cambridge, Mass.
Animals - Mice Hamsters Guinea Pigs etc.
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - Fantasy
Fairy Tales & Folklore - Single Title
Fairy tales
Juvenile materials
Action & Adventure
Children s-General
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Tale of Despereaux
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
August 2003
Grade Level:
from 2 up to 7
24 x 21.38 x 6.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Children's » Animals » Mice, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, etc.
Children's » Awards » Newbery Award Winners
Children's » General
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Middle Readers » Newbery Award Winners
Young Adult » Fiction » Newbery Award Winners

The Tale of Despereaux Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Candlewick Press (MA) - English 9780763617226 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Reader, I will let you imagine, for now, how these witticisms of our omniscient narrator come into play; but I must tell you, you are in for a treat."
"Review" by , "Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul stirring as it is delicious....Ering's soft pencil illustrations reflect the story's charm."
"Review" by , "[E]ntirely pleasing....[A] tale with twists and turns, full of forbidden soup and ladles, rats lusting for mouse blood...and all the ingredients of an old-fashioned drama."
"Review" by , "This expanded fairy tale is entertaining, heartening, and, above all, great fun."
"Synopsis" by , From the author of Because of Winn-Dixie comes a fairy tale full of quirky, unforgettable characters, narrated with DeCamillo's trademark humor and heartbreaking poignancy. Illustrations.
"Synopsis" by ,


Kate DiCamillo introduces a hero for all time!

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 others lives. And what happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.

From the master storyteller who brought us BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE comes another classic, a fairy tale full of quirky, unforgettable characters, featuring twenty-four stunning black-and-white illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering, in an elegant design that pays tribute to the best in classic childrens books and bookmaking traditions.

The beloved author of BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE enlightens us with a tale of adventure, despair, love, and soup.

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