“The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo
I don’t think there’s a more adorable book on any shelf anywhere in the world than Kate DiCamillo’s 2003 chapter book, “The Tale of Despereaux.” This sweet little tale – of a tiny mouse, the princess he loves, an evil rat, a daft serving girl, and a whole lot of soup – couldn’t be more touching, more charming, or better to read aloud.
Yep, I read this one aloud to my one-year-old. Thanks to DiCamillo’s writing voice, which is tailored perfectly, to young readers, this book is perfect to read to another. Our omniscient narrator stops to address the reader, asking questions about the things that are happening and words that have appeared, and it’s no surprise to me that this Newberry Award winner is also one of the National Educators Association’s “Top 100 books for Children.”
With unforgettable characters, an interesting four book structure, and enough lessons about honor, friendship, family, and following your dreams to fill a hundred books, I’m so glad I became one of DiCamillo’s readers.
You know, I advocate giving books for Christmas. This one would be perfect. I’m just throwing that out there in case you needed some inspiration.
Side Note: I had no idea DiCamillo was also the author of “Because of Winn-Dixie.” Clearly, this is a writer who appreciates young people and the adventures that books can take them on.