‘The Tale of Despereaux’ is written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering. The adventure starts with Despereaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, a Princess who he loves, a servant girl who longs to be the princess, a jailor, and a rat determined to bring them all to ruin. Despereaux was put in mouse prison for coming in contact with a human Princess. Despereaux Tilling followed the music played by Princess Pea’s father into her room where he was reading her a story. Despereaux loved the Princess the moment he saw her. He goes to the Royal Library to find a book on love and so on.
But one of the mice finds this out and complains to the mouse council who decides that he should go to prison. There he meets a rat who wanted to rule the kingdom all by himself and he meets Gregory the jailor who has been in prison for ages. Despereaux tells him about the world above, and in turn the jailor tells him about the Royal family and about the tragedy that happened to the Queen. On hearing this, Despereaux pines for the princess more and more, and he promises to get out and meet her. The rest of the story is about how he gets out and fulfills his wishes.
I recommend this book to readers between the ages 8 and 12 as they would enjoy it.
A few other books by Kate DiCamillo – Because of Winn – Dixie, The Magician’s Elephant, The Miraculous Journey of, Edward Tulane, The Elephant Rising.
Reviewed by Aditi Nair, VII A