Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

I will admit, I read this book purely because of the movie that is coming out. I like to read the book before seeing the movie, as it is near impossible, in my opinion, to do it the other way around.

So what did I find in this Newberry winner? For one, I sense that this story continues on levels that I didn't even perceive on the first read through. If I wanted to, I could read this book three more times in a row, and get more from it each time. The symbolism between the characters and events in this book and real life are everywhere. At deeper levels, it is more about good vs. evil, and the choice that we all have to choose between them. Read it one more time and you will get insights about those who would entice us to choose one way or the other, and how there are both good people that want us to choose evil and how there are bad people that would have us choose good. Irresistible, isn't it?

Well, I'm not going to do that. I chose to read it because it was a good story, suitable for children. And it delivered on that level as well. There is a little mouse who falls in love and has to stand up to mean rats to save her. That is just a plain good story.

My only criticism: The writing style spoke directly to the reader at times, and I am not fond of that practice. It is similar in style to the Series of Unfortunate Events series, although very dissimilar in feeling. It wasn't horrible, but I don't think that it helped the story get the job done.

Date Completed: 11/17/2008
Rating: 4.3


Jillian said...

Well I'm glad the books are good, because halfway through the movie I opted to take care of the twins out in the hall. Yep, I thought it was that good... but maybe I'll have to give the book a try.