Movie Wednesday: The Tale of Despereaux

Movie Wednesday The Tale of Despereaux

The sunny kingdom of Dor is famous for its soups, the favorite food of the king and queen and their daughter Princess Pea. But everything changes when a rat called Roscuro falls into the queen’s soup in the middle of a banquet. The terrified queen dies of a heart attack, and the devastated king outlaws both rats and soup.

Dor becomes a dark and gloomy place, and Pea becomes very lonely… until she meets a talking mouse named Despereaux. He wants to be a hero. He is so brave that his family are worried about him. And he has very big ears indeed.

Pea and Despereaux become friends. Maybe together they can convince the king to let people cook soup again and make Dor a happy place once more. But if Despereaux’s family discover that he’s been talking to humans, he’ll be cast into the castle dungeons forever…

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Published in 2003, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo won the Newbery Medal and is widely loved by children and adults. In 2008, an animated film loosely based on the novel was released, starring the voices of Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, and Emma Watson.

Discussion Questions

  • If you’ve read the original novel by Kate DiCamillo, how do you think the film compares?
  • Is there a message to this film? If so, what is it? Reading is good for you? You can be a hero no matter where you come from? Eat lots of soup?
  • Can you spot any similarities between the story and other fairy tales? For example, is Princess Pea a reference to The Princess and the Pea?
  • Which characters change throughout the story and which ones don’t? Give examples.
  • Does the film work as a computer animation? Can you imagine it working better told through a different medium? Explain your answer.

Additional Resources

Soup Recipes

Tale of Despereaux Book Club

The ArrowLearn language arts with the Tale of Despereaux Arrow!

The Arrow is the monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel (you purchase or obtain the novels yourself). It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

Writer’s Jungle Webinar: Dec. 10, 2017

Writer's Jungle Free Webinar
FREE Writer’s Jungle Webinar

December 10, 4:00 PM ET

Hey hey, ho ho!

I’ve scheduled another “Getting to Know the Writer’s Jungle” webinar and I scheduled it for a Sunday afternoon! YAY! That way I hope many of you can make it live.  I’ll share about each chapter in The Writer’s Jungle and the activities you will do with your children. I’ll also answer your questions—any about writing and language arts you might have!

Get the word out! I won’t be doing another one until much later next year. And yes, there will be a discount offer at the end for Live Attendees (only). 🙂


Look at all the places we can hang out!

2018 Speaking Schedule 

Spring 2018 Class Registration is OPEN

Brave Writer 2018 Spring Writing Class Registration is OPEN

Spring Registration is NOW OPEN!!

Secure your spot in our spring online writing classes.

We have an improved registration system for spring classes! EVERYONE is starting from scratch so even if you have usernames etc from past classes—forget them. Clean slate time!

If you have any difficulties registering contact us asap at Put URGENT in the email and a phone number if you want a call. We’ll be ready to help!

Can’t wait to work with you and your kids!


Brave Writer 2018 Spring Writing Class Registration is OPEN

Leaving a Beauty Mark on the World with Joules Evans

Podcast S3E12 Joules Evans

Every homeschool faces a crisis of some kind. Some of us get the diagnosis that alters the rest of our lives. Today, on the Brave Writer Podcast, I welcome my friend and homeschool comrade Joules Evans. Joules faced that life-changing diagnosis in the middle of her homeschooling journey. She talks to us about the brave shifts she and her family made and where they are today.

Don’t miss this podcast! It’s tempting to avoid facing our mortality. Yet being compassionate and prepared is a gift we give ourselves and others. I’m excited for you to meet Joules!

Also, I’m giving away her signed book on Instagram today (ends Wed 9:00 AM ET)! Come enter to win!

Episode 12: Joules Evans

Joules Evans is the mother of three grown kids whom she homeschooled all the way to the end of high school. All three are doing big brave things in the world. Joules, herself, is a breast cancer survivor. Her diagnosis shattered the taken-for-granted life she and her family had created and forced them to recreate their homeschool and their lives. Join me for an especially important episode.

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Would you post a review on iTunes for us? You’ll help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey when you do. Thanks in advance!

Friday Freewrite: Milky Way

Friday Freewrite Milky Way

If you had a spaceship that could travel at light speed, where in the Milky Way would you go and what might you do once you got there?

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.