Despereaux Tilling is a very small mouse with big ears. He is fascinated with light, captivated by the sweet sound of music, and he breaks the very strict behavior rules of his world by falling in love with a human being, the Princess Pea. Not only did he fall in love with the Pea, but he allowed himself to be seen and even touched by her. The other castle mice are outraged by his behaviors, even (or especially) his own family, and the consequences of “being different” are very grave indeed. In the story that ensues, Despereaux becomes a most “unlikely hero.”
Kate DiCamillo received the Newbery Award for this beautifully written adventure story told with such heart. The Tale of Despereaux has been on my class library shelf for a long time, and many students have read my copy. Now I understand why. What a delightful read for young and old!
After finishing it, I started looking for information on Kate DiCamillo and discovered that the book is being made into an animated movie that is due to be released in December of 2008. It has an outstanding cast for the voices of the characters: Emma Watson plays the Princess Pea; Matthew Broderick is Despereaux; Dustin Hoffman is Roscuro; Sigourney Weaver is the narrator; and other characters are played by Christopher Lloyd, Robbie Coltrane, William H. Macy, Kevin Kline, Stanley Tucci, Ciaran Hinds, and Tracey Ullman! With a cast like that, and the wonderful story by DiCamillo, it’s going to be a fabulous movie!
So when I discovered the movie connection, I decided to count this fun little book as one of my reads for Callista’s Book-to-Movie reading challenge. I’ll be first in line next December to see the movie!