Katrina Elizabeth "Kate" DiCamillo (born March 25, 1964) is an American writer of children's fiction for all reading levels, usually featuring animals. Her 2003 novel The Tale of Despereaux and 2013 novel Flora & Ulysses each won the annual Newbery Medal recognizing the year's "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." Because of Winn-Dixie was a runner-up (Newbery Honor Book) in 2000.
The Tale of Despereaux (2004)
- The world is dark and light is precious. Come closer, dear reader. You must trust me. I am telling you a story.
- Despereaux looked down at the book, and something remarkable happened. The marks on the pages, the "squiggles" as Merlot referred to them, arranged themselves into shapes. The shapes arranged themselves into words, and the words spelled out a delicious and wonderful phrase: Once upon a time
- Despereaux did not know it, but he would need, very soon, to be brave himself.
- Reader, you may ask this question; in fact, you must ask this question: Is it ridiculous for a very small, sickly, big-eared mouse to fall in love with a beautiful human princess named Pea?
The answer is... yes. Of course, it's ridiculous.
Love is ridiculous.
- Despereaux marveled at his own bravery. He admired his own defiance. And then, reader, he fainted.
- "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Tell Gregory a story. Make some light."
- If the rat had not looked over his shoulder, perhaps his heart would not have broken. And it is possible, then, that I would not have a story to tell. But, reader, he did look.
- There are those hearts, reader, that never mend again once they are broken. Or if they do mend, they heal themselves is a crooked and lopsided way, as if sewn together by a careless craftsman.
- When you are a king, you may make as many ridiculous laws as you like. That is what being a king is all about.
- And hope is like love... a ridiculous, wonderful, powerful thing.
- Say it, reader. Say the word "quest" out loud. It is an extraordinary word, isn't it? So small and yet so full of wonder, so full of hope.
- Reader, nothing is sweeter in this sad world than the sound of someone you love calling your name. Nothing.
Flora & Ulysses (2013)
- There is no predicting what kind of sentences you might say, thought Flora. For instance, who would ever think you would shout, "You're going to vacuum up that squirrel!"?
- Chapter One: A Natural-Born Cynic, p. 7
- Not much goes on in the mind of a squirrel.
Huge portions of what is loosely termed "the squirrel brain" are given over to one thought: food.
The average squirrel cogitation goes something like this: I wonder what there is to eat.
- Chapter Two: The Mind of a Squirrel, p. 10
- Her mother called to her. She said, "Where are you going, Flora Belle?"
Flora didn't answer her. She never answered her mother when she called her Flora Belle.
Sometimes she didn't answer her mother when she called her Flora either.
- Chapter Four: A Surprisingly Helpful Cynic, p. 12
- That was the thing about tragedy. It was just sitting there, keeping you company, waiting. And you had absolutely no idea.
- Chapter Eight: Helpful Information, p. 20
- Anything could happen. Together, she and Ulysses could change the world. Or something.
- Chapter Twelve: The Forces of Evil, p. 39