There are so few rereads left in the year, yet, I couldn't miss rereading Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux. (I first reviewed this one in September 2007). I've also made a point of rereading Because of Winn Dixie and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.
I tend to like talking-mice books. I tend to like animal fantasy when it's well done. And in The Tale of Despereaux it is very well done. DiCamillo is a GREAT author. She is. She has a way with words, with phrasing things just so that happens to appeal to me. She's a good, solid storyteller. Her characters are always unique and memorable. That is definitely the case with The Tale of Despereaux.
Do you have a favorite Kate DiCamillo book?
“Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Tell Gregory a story. Make some light.”
“There are those hearts, reader, that never mend again once they are broken. Or if they do mend, they heal themselves in a crooked and lopsided way, as if sewn together by a careless craftsman. Such was the fate of Chiaroscuro. His heart was broken. Picking up the spoon and placing it on his head, speaking of revenge, these things helped him to put his heart together again. But it was, alas, put together wrong.”
“Reader, you must know that an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform.”
“Once upon a time," he said out loud to the darkness. He said these words because they were the best, the most powerful words that he knew and just the saying of them comforted him.”
“Despereaux looked at his father, at his grey-streaked fur and trembling whiskers and his front paws clasped together in front of his heart, and he felt suddenly as if his own heart would break in two. His father looked so small, so sad.
"Forgive me," said Lester again.
Forgiveness, reader, is, I think, something very much like hope and love - a powerful, wonderful thing.
And a ridiculous thing, too.
Isn't it ridiculous, after all, to think that a son could forgive his father for beating the drum that sent him to his death? Isn't it ridiculous to think that a mouse ever could forgive anyone for such perfidy?
But still, here are the words Despereaux Tilling spoke to his father. He said, "I forgive you, Pa."
And he said those words because he sensed it was the only way to save his own heart, to stop it from breaking in two. Despereaux, reader, spoke those words to save himself.”
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews