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  • The Tale of Despereaux

  • Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread
  • Written by: Kate DiCamillo
  • Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
  • Length: 3 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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The Tale of Despereaux cover art

The Tale of Despereaux

Written by: Kate DiCamillo
Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
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Publisher's Summary

This is the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in darkness but covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl with a simple, impossible wish. These characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and ultimately, into each other's lives.

And what happens then?

Listener, it is your destiny to find out.

©2003 Kate DiCamillo (P)2003 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What the critics say

  • Newbery Medal Winner, 2004, Most Distinguished American Children's Book

"A charming story of unlikely heroes....With a masterful hand, DiCamillo weaves four story lines together in a witty, suspenseful narrative that begs to be read aloud....This expanded fairy tale is entertaining, heartening, and, above all, great fun." (School Library Journal)
"Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul stirring as it is delicious." (Booklist)

Featured Article: The Best Family Audiobooks for All Ages

Sharing stories with your loved ones is an amazing bonding experience. You may remember having a book read to you when you were a child and the magic it brought into your life. By listening to an audiobook with your family, you can offer that same experience to your own children. Whether you’re looking for a fun story or a learning activity, this list has some of the greatest family audiobooks by bestselling authors. Relive some of the stories that you loved as a child with your own kids or discover new ones to enjoy together on long trips or in the comfort of your own home. Here are the top family audiobooks for all ages.

What listeners say about The Tale of Despereaux

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Cozy up with a mug & the magic of Despereaux

A wonderful tale with a beautiful ending. Hope, tragedy, redemption and forgiveness interwoven with an unlikely hero and the captivating force of beauty upon the inner workings of the soul. A delight for all ages. Narrator is excellent.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Worth the re-read

As someone who doesn’t turn to reading as their first choice of entertainment, this was the one book I remember reading multiple times as a kid. In an attempt to get into the habit of reading as an adult, I decided to try this audio book for some easy listening.

Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely an elementary school level book with its writing style and pace, but I can’t help but to love its simplicity. So many emotions are clearly portrayed and explained throughout this book; joy, hate, sorrow, empathy, longing, and grief, which aren’t always explored in children’s novels. The chapters are short (I love when that happens) & the story is easily digestible.

This book doesn’t try to be anything it’s not - at it’s core it’s just a story about a mouse who falls in love with a princess and it’s just as good as I remember it being close to 15 years ago.

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