Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread
by Kate DiCamillo
What a wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL book! I just posted two lukewarm (closer to ice cold) reviews and I'm so glad I get to post this one as well. I think this book is pure genius. Perfection in writing. It is so simple, but so powerful at the same time. The narrative voice is delightful. The characters are beautifully developed. The language is lyrical. But the thing that makes this work outstanding is its plot. The only other author that I have seen weave together people, places, times and even objects in such perfect harmony is Charles Dickens. But Despereaux is a children's book. I can't wait to read it to Sarah. I think she'll be ready for it soon. There are some heavier moments in it. Maybe another year or so.
One of the things I loved most about this story is the way characters and human nature are explored. It shows how all people (or even mice and rats) have good and bad, light and dark mixed in them. I think a story where you can feel for and empathize with the "bad" guys is so much more powerful and poignant. We can all relate. We've all had difficult trials. Hopefully we choose to make ourselves into heroes (and heroines) instead of giving into our darker natures.
After reading this book I had to fight the urge to throw my writing notebook into the rubbish. I wish I could create something as beautiful as this book! Nothing I'm working on right now even comes close. Despereaux is an amazing book! (Did I already say that?) It even won the Newbery Medal. Read it.
P.S. Anyone seen the movie?
P.P.S. Anyone else crave soup after reading this?