I wanted to begin this post with a favorite passage from Kate DiCamillo's Newbery Award Winning book, but there were too many. How could I possibly pick one...or two...or twenty!
Besides, you already know the story...scrawny, big-eared mouse gets rejected by his family, falls in love with a princess, sent to a dungeon amid an overwhelming love for Princess Pea. Villaneous rats, "death by soup," a silly, reactionary king, blah, blah, blah. So, I won't go into that.
I do want to mention my only problem with this book. I became so enthralled with the writing, I had to remind myself of the story. About two-thirds through, I began to make comparisons to...dare I say it? Oh, why not? To Kill A Mockingbird. There. Call me crazy, but that's how the perfectly-tuned voice of DiCamillo struck me.
Despereaux is not only a great book for young readers, a great book for parents/grandparents to read to young ones, if you're an author, or planning to be one, read this book and study the ease, the wit, the charm and the total connection with the reader.