I think it's because I was raised on The Secret of Nimh, Cinderella, and Redwall, but I love mice stories! When I saw the movie poster for Despereaux I was so excited because Despereaux's animated character was so cute! I decided to read the book after I saw the movie.
As usual, the movie and the book differ a lot. Now that I read the book, I'm disappointed about what the movie changed. I think that most of the movie changes didn't really add to the story, but such is life in Hollywood!
The reading level for this book says ages 7-12. That is quite a spread, but about right. The book reads more like a story book, but the pictures are in your head instead of on the page. The chapters are short and pretty episodic, which is really great for middle-grade readers. DiCamillo brings out a lot of real-life themes through this cute story--love, hate, revenge, ambition, uniqueness, perserverance, and forgiveness--which explains why she got a medal for this!
As a children's book, The Tale of Despereaux, is cute, sweet, fun, and quick. I felt like it was a little below even my general reading level taste for children's novels, but I still really enjoyed it