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The Tale of Despereaux
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About the Author

Kate DiCamillo lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is the author of BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, a Newbery Honor book, and THE TIGER RISING, which was a National Book Award Finalist. Kate DiCamillo says, "A few years ago, my best friend's son asked me if I would write a story for him. 'Well, ' I said, 'I don't normally write stories on command.' 'But this is a story that I know you would want to tell, ' he said. 'It's about an unlikely hero. He has exceptionally large ears.' 'What happens to this hero?' I asked. 'I don't know, ' he said. 'That's why I want you to write it down, so we can find out.' Well, Luke Bailey, three years later, here is the story of what happened to your exceptionally large-eared, unlikely hero." Timothy Basil Ering is the author and illustrator of THE STORY OF FROG BELLY RAT BONE, and he also created the cover image and interior black-and-white drawings for 33 SNOWFISH by Adam Rapp. Of his inspiration for the illustrations in The TALE OF DESPEREAUX, he says, "My mother may have been a mouse in her past life, as I watched her save and help so many mice in our house while I was growing up. The illustrations I've done of Despereaux Tilling are, in a way, my tribute to her." Timothy Basil Ering's artwork has appeared in books, magazines, theater sets, private murals, and fine art galleries.

Reviews

DiCamillo "sets the stage for a battle between the forces of Darkness and Light in THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX, and the book is a terrific, bravura performance." --New York Times Book Review, The The author of BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE and THE TIGER RISING here shifts gears, demonstrating her versatility while once again proving her genius for mining the universal themes of childhood. . . . I must tell you, you are in for a treat. --Publishers Weekly (starred review) A charming story of unlikely heroes . . . This expanded fairy tale is entertaining, heartening, and, above all, great fun. --School Library Journal (starred review) Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul stirring as it is delicious. --Booklist (starred review) The melodramatic voice of the narrator glides through DiCamillo's entirely pleasing tale . . . And so unwinds a tale with twists and turns, full of forbidden soup and ladles, rats lusting for mouse blood, a servant who wishes to be a princess, a knight in shining--or at least furry--armor, and all the ingredients of an old-fashioned drama. --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) There is a classic charm to this picaresque tale of an idealistic mouse suffering unrequited love for a princess; that and a pace that lends itself to reading aloud will make this novel a favorite among those ready for some gentle questing. --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, The DiCamillo tells an engaging tale . . . Many readers will be enchanted by this story of mice and princesses, brave deeds, hearts 'shaded with dark and dappled with light, ' and forgiveness. --Horn Book, The Soul stirring and charming. --Booklist Newbery-Honor winning DiCamillo creates the perfect read-aloud with delightful, fanciful characters. --Child's Best of the Year This old-fashioned tale is overflowing with good and evil, light and dark, scary adventures, and a happy ending. Ideally read aloud. --Nick Jr. Family Magazine Best Books of the Year Heart-stopping and heartwarming. . . . The perfect read-aloud. --San Francisco Chronicle Chill winds call for hot cocoa and a good book. THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX serves up 52 chapters bursting with adventure. --Washington Parent I give this book the highest rating: five out of five stars. --Newsday Unexpectedly complex in the relationships between its characters, DiCamillo's fable, engagingly illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering, delivers a carefully orchestrated, but not overstated, testament to the power of love and forgiveness. --San Francisco Chronicle Despereaux . . . stands shoulder to shoulder with such legendary literary mice as E.B. White's Stuart Little and Margery Sharp's Bernard and Miss Bianca. "Reader, it is his destiny -- just as it is for THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX to become another timeless classic in the once-upon-a-time genre. --Orlando Sentinel This charming adventure by the award-winning author of BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE is a story of love, courage and following your heart. --Detroit Free Press Read the book aloud. Few recent texts have been designed for that, with multiple plots ticking on, divided into 52 small chapters. And don't forget the coda, a tiny but deft apologia of the imagination. --Chicago Tribune This charming fairy tale brims with delightful characters. --Cleveland Plain Dealer Here once again, loss brings characters together, misfits find a place in the world, and darkness and light swirl together in a not easily divisible mix. --Star Tribune THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX "has DiCamillo's modern sensibilities, her wry humor, and crystalline prose." --Miami Herald The story is just plain fun to read, but it also explores deeper and darker aspects of parent-child relations, including betrayal, the need for forgiveness and the power of love. --Houston Chronicle SUPER SUMMER READS: THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo. A smaller-than-usual mouse falls in love with music, stories, and a Princess named Pea. --Woman's Day A heartwarming and rewarding read, THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX cheers uniqueness, boos conformity, urges readers to overlook seeming differences, and inspires hope. --Teacher Magazine With its old-fashioned, fairy tale qualities and whimsical pencil drawings by Timothy Basil Ering, the book is definitely a departure for DiCamillo, but one readers are sure to love. --Book Page . . . DiCamillo's new fantasy novel is charming, by turns sad, sweet, and mildly scary. --Voice of Youth Advocates Sly style and brilliantly-crafted characters will reward the reader . . . --Five Owls, The

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