Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Tale of . . . That French Mouse

[The latest happy flower to appear in our yard.]

This afternoon we finished The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo.  Wow.  What a lovely little book!  Okay, it's not that little.  It's 270 pages.  270 pages of loveliness.  The full title of the book is "The Tale of Despereaux being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread."  From the moment I said the word "princess," Chloe was hooked.  (I was hooked from the moment I said the word "soup."  Mmmmm.)  I really, really looked forward to reading this book every night.  This was the first book that we've read that I knew nothing about and I was eager to see what would happen next.  The narrator's voice is delightful and each character has it's own distinct way of speaking.  For this reason, it wasn't the easiest book to read aloud.  It takes a great deal of concentration and acting skills.  (Good thing I trained for this, eh?)  I imagine it would be a great book to listen to on tape during a long car ride. 

As for the movie, I thought it was weird.  But what do I know?  The kids really liked it and when it was over I asked if they liked the book better and they said absolutely not.  Then they said they never liked the book, ever.  (Sometimes my kids are liars.  They definitely liked this book, but not as much as they liked Narnia.)  There were some major plot differences and extra/unnecessary characters in the movie.  The animation was alternately pretty and odd.  I've been trying to decide if I would have liked it if I hadn't read the book first.  I probably would have liked it as much as any other children's movie.  Did I mention my kids loved it?  L-O-V-E-D it.

We're moving to Neverland next week.  I'm so excited!

10 Wisecracks:

Tammy and Alvin said...

I totally agree with your assessment. Wonderful book, disappointing movie. By the way, how long do you read each night? You are bookin' it through these books (pun intended). We read Miriam one chapter, definitelt a slower pace than you.

Wendy said...

I didn't think the movie was so great, so I didn't want to read the book but now I think I will! Thanks!

Anne said...

Scotty said he didn't like the book, but he was lying. The first time I'd heard of it I listened to the audio--it's AMAZING. Pretty much made me cry.

melissa said...

I KNEW it! Now I wish I had saved it for our upcoming road trip.

Why are our kids such liars?

Tammy, we usually read three chapters of this book. We read for 15-20 minutes.

elizabeth said...

You have inspired me! I am reading charlotte's web with Lilly and i will continue to copy your idea.
p.s. I did not like the movie either

Heather said...

I agree with your assessment too!

I laughed out-loud at the part in this post when you said sometimes my kids are liars. Yeah, mine too, hehehe. :D

These pictures are so stinkin' cute!! I love the pretty orange flowers with her beautiful hair! :)

Nicole said...

Dude. Those beautiful flowers are daylilies. How did you end up with an amazing yard?!

I'm taking notes on these book posts. I will be pretending there IS no movie for this one. Mwahahahahaha!

Elise said...

I really liked The Tale too! Great characters. Fairy tales are just fabulous.

allyn said...

this book was recommended to me by my intense reader friend. i read it out loud to the kids at night. they were fully engrossed, then any time i read the words "reader" from the narrater, aron was say it in a loud, sarcastic way. i guess that word annoyed him. we got the movie, but i didn't really watch it with the kids. they seemed to enjoy it.

peterpan uses "british" words from the early 20th century. just a little warning. grab a dictionary for those ones the kids don't quite understand.

Andrea Lee UptonRowley said...

I agree with you on the movie. It was okay, but not GREAT!
I will have to try the book with my kids. It sounds like it was a hit.