The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux


Kate DiCamillo

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Tale of Despereaux can help.
Merlot is one of Despereaux’s older sisters. When Despereaux is little, she attempts to teach him how to nibble paper in the library. But like Lester and Furlough, Merlot believes that mice should act in very specific ways—so she’s aghast when Despereaux seems to be speaking to the paper and refuses to eat it (unlike most mice, Despereaux can read the story in the book he’s supposed to be eating). This leads her to believe that Despereaux is mentally unwell.
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Merlot Tilling Character Timeline in The Tale of Despereaux

The timeline below shows where the character Merlot Tilling appears in The Tale of Despereaux. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...Despereaux down on a makeshift bed. The older mouse children gather around their new brother. Merlot, a sister, says his ears are too big, and a brother named Furlough says that... (full context)
Chapter 3
Conformity Theme Icon
Next, Merlot takes Despereaux into the castle library. Light streams in through the tall windows, but Merlot... (full context)
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
Merlot is shocked and confused. She says their father is right, and Despereaux isn’t well. Once... (full context)