Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Desper - O

The Tale of Despereaux:
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?


Launi said...

i so loved this book too! and for that reason i don't think i want to see the movie. rarely does the movie version live even halfway up to my expectations. and yes, it made me crave soup, but you know me, when do i not crave soup? :)

Rochelle said...

I just finished this one last week! I think 'delightful' sums it up perfectly. My favorite part was when the narrator said, "Now reader..." So clever. I loved your review. I can't wait to see the movie.

SoniB said...

I saw the movie and thought it was very cute. I've decided that you have to see the movies before you read the books . . . books are always better. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the fun review.

Grandma L. said...

I read this book to my 2nd graders a couple of years ago and they loved it.

Tiffany said...

Hey, I actually read this book. And I read the book before the movie. The movie is quite different than the book. Similar stories, but taken in different directions. I enjoyed the book!