Current Episode: The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Tale of Despereaux is bittersweet, gruesome, enchanting, and thought-provoking. This book won the Newberry Medal in 2004 and draws heavily on ancient and medieval sources, but has a modern emphasis on forgiveness and second chances. Check out the show notes for three lesson plans that go with this story.

Previous Episodes:

1 – Aesop’s Fables
2 – Cinderella Part 1 – Early Tales
3 – Cinderella Part 2 – Perrault and the Brothers Grimm
4 – Little Women Part 1
5 – Little Women Part 2
6 – Hatchet
7 – The Sneetches
8 – Little Red Riding Hood
9 – Much Ado About Nothing
10 – The Rainbow Fish
11 – Peter Pan
12 – The Nutcracker
13 – Animal Farm
14 – Charlotte’s Web
15 – Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH


TQ Townsend has always loved reading stories to children, and talking about them with her friends. A native of Los Angeles, she holds degrees in History and English Literature.

The Children’s Literature Podcast is a grown-up discussion of children’s books, aimed not at kids but at grown-up book lovers, teachers, parents, and maybe even a few savvy teenagers. This podcast looks into the background and cultural context of a story, helping educators and parents to deliver deeper understanding to the kids they teach. With each episode you’ll find lessons, activities, and fun that can bring a story to life whether it’s being read at home or taught in the classroom.

If you have a comment about an episode or a suggestion for a book to be discussed, please send a message to [email protected]. Please indicate if you are willing to have your letter shared on the podcast.