The Tale of Despereaux
Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Threadby Kate DiCamillo (Author), Graeme Malcolm (Reader)
“This is the story of Desperaux Tilling, a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl with a simple, impossible wish. These 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.
And what happens then? Listeners, it is your destiny to find out. ” (listen a sample here.)
So begins Graeme Malcolm, in his deep, rich voice as he narrates the story of a tiny mouse born with extraordinarily large ears. Malcolm’s narration is inviting and appealing. His voice has the quality of drawing you in and keeping you there with his story. His narration is nuanced and almost lyrical as he moves from one character to another and smoothly transitions his style accordingly. With such powerful opening paragraph and superb narration, we were HOOKED!
There are four important central characters to this story, but the story begins with the birth of Despereaux Tilling, the mouse.
Despereaux Tilling is a small but smart mouse with large ears. But it wasn’t the ears that were his problem, it was his intelligence. Because like all other mice, Despereaux, wasn’t interested in just eating things and hiding away.. Despereaux wanted to read and become an adventurer. Little does he know that his love for finer things, will lead him to fall in love with a real princess, get him thrown into a dungeon full of evil rats and finally put his love and honor to test in a dangerous situation.
This is also the tale of a slow minded girl called Miggery Sow who has been “clouted” so many times on her ears that she is nearly deaf. Miggery is a peasant girl whose one dream is to be a real princess on day. Her ambition will take her on a comic yet frightening journey into the dungeons where she will need to decide who is a friend and who is a foe.
Then there is the tale of the Princess Pea. A clever little girl who has lost her mother to an accident caused by rats. From the day her mother passed away, rats and soups (which was her mother’s favorite food) were banned in the kingdom. Princess Pea will be tested for her kind and forgiving heart and her love for all things good.
And finally there is the villain, the rat named Roscuro, who like Despereaux was “different” than the other rats, but in a more evil way! He will find a way to take his revenge, but you must read this tale to know how and why!
In this tale of intrigue and adventure, the paths of these four characters will cross in the most unusual way. Kate DiCamillo masterfully weaves this tale of desire, honor and love! Ultimately you cannot but help fall in love with these characters. You will truly find yourself in an adventure to seek the truth amidst treachery, deceit and temptations.
A classic tale NOT to be missed!