Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux is the award-winning story of an unlikely hero, who is bound by his promise to honor a bereaved princess. Despereaux Tilling is a tiny mouse born with open eyes and oversized ears, and, much to the dismay of his family, a desire to read books, rather than nibble their pages. Growing up in a castle, music moves him to address the monarch, and profound love prompts him to swear allegiance to the princess, whose mother dies when a rat falls into her soup. Feeling threatened by his unorthodox ways, the Mouse Council consigns him to the dungeon to be eaten by rats. Gregory the jailer delivers Despereaux to freedom, in exchange for a whispered story. But when a vengeful rat and a misguided servant girl kidnap Princess Pea, Despereaux must return to the dark depths of the dungeon, a noble knight armed with only a sewing needle, to rescue his love, repeal the law against soup, and return the kingdom to its former luminescent glory. Despereaux’s tale is a humorous, hopeful, and heartening tome for anyone who has ever found salvation in a satisfying bowl of soup or a scintillating story.