Title: The Tale of Despereaux
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Rating: 3/5 stars
The Tale of Despereaux is really 3 stories in one that all intertwine around one central character, the Princess Pea, at the end. It is the story of Despereaux Tilling, an uncommonly small mouse who was born with his eyes open and who has uncommonly large ears and who falls in love with the Princess Pea; it is the story of the rat Chiaroscuro, who discovers the joys of light even though his place should be in the dungeon and learns a great hatred for and wishes for revenge on the Princess Pea; and it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted servant girl whose greatest wish in the world is to be just like the Princess Pea.
I was intrigued by this book after a friend recommended DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, which is a beautiful cathartic tale of love and loss. The Tale of Despereaux just doesn't seem to have the same impact on me. Ultimately, it is a story of forgiveness and redemption, but it all seemed a little too mannered and forced for my taste. Perhaps in the right hands, this story would be perfect, but I found it lacking in any real substance. It's not a bad tale, but not perfect.