Author: Kate Dicamillo
Country: US (April 2006)
Genre: young adult, fairy tale
I really wanted to like this story. After all, the main character, Despereaux, pulled at my heart. From the moment he was born he was a bit misunderstood by his mouse family - a young little thing with big ears and a love for music and reading! And then, he does the most horrifying thing ever: he speaks to a human! The human, of course being the princess in the title, Princess Pea. Despereaux falls head over ears (?) for this young princess, promising to honor her forever.
At this point (what is referred to as book one) in the novel, I'm hooked. I can't wait to find out what happens to my little mouse friend. But then Dicamillio changes the story on me, stressing that one must go back in time sometimes to move forward. What? But I was just getting attached.
In book two we are introduced to a couple of other important characters - Roscuro, who adores light and soup, and Miggery Sow, a daft and slightly deaf peasant who desperately wishes to become a princess.
All three character become intertwined in this somewhat confusing fairy tale. I didn't like how I had to stop and start up again my relationship with Despereaux. I felt it was choppy and although I saw how the puzzle came together in the end, I just did not like the style of the writing.
Tale of Despereaux won the Newberry Award in 2004 and I wonder what I missed. I'm rather impartial to the whole tale.