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Book Review: The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo


Ask a little girl what you want her to be, she’ll probably tell you she wants to be a princess. Ask a little boy what you want him to be, he’ll probably want to be a superhero. Ask a prisoner what he wants, he’ll answer freedom. People will probably laugh at them for being so ambitious, but hey, aim high, right?

It’s a sad reality that some people are not even given the chance to try and work for their dreams at all. A slave girl might be laughed at for wanting to be a princess. A pipsqueak is ridiculed for wanting to be a hero. A rat is disowned for being attracted to the light.

Kate DiCamillo, author of the widely popular Charlotte’s Web, takes her fable writing to a whole new level with The Tale of Despereaux, the story of three unlikely individuals with very unlikely dreams whose fates are intertwined.

Our fearless hero is a tiny mouse by the name of Despereaux, who was considered a runt by his family and is constantly being chastised for his odd behavior. He likes going to libraries, but instead of gnawing on books, he enjoys reading the stories. From the stories, he learns about knights in shining armor and considers it his personal quest to be able to rescue a princess. Despereaux meets and befriends Princess Pea, the princess whom he is sworn to protect

Roscuro is a dungeon rat who has always lived in the darkness of a dungeon buts craves a life in the blinding light. Roscuro is the suspect of an incident which caused a chain of events leading to the death of the Queen and the banning of soup in the kingdom.

Miggery Sow is the unfortunate servant girl who has been sold to the castle by her own uncle. She receives the honor of serving the princess and the privilege of living in a castle. Except she wants so much more than that.

Their stories converge in the most unlikely situation. Roscuro helps Miggery Sow feel like a princess, so they strike a deal. Despereaux, after being caught fraternizing with humans, is sent to the dungeon for execution, but instead, he escapes and fulfills his heroic destiny.

The Tale of Despereaux is a very colorful telling of a common theme: embracing oneself. The three main characters of the story show readers that one can defy the odds no matter how unlikely they may seem.


Written by:

Paula Apolonio, a book worm and theater enthusiast, she hopes to one day pen an international bestseller.

**Disclaimer: Image is not ours. Credit to their respective owners.

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