Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ages 6+

Tumtum & Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall
Stories by Emily Bearn
Pictures by Nick Price

Deep inside the broom cupboard of Rose Cottage, two mice live in great style.

Tumtum and Nutmeg lead cozy and quiet lives, secretly looking after Arthur and Lucy, the disheveled human children of the cottage, never dreaming that so many exciting adventures will soon find them. But when evil Aunt Ivy, a squeamish schoolteacher named Miss Short, and pirating pond rats threaten the safety of those they hold dear, the courageous pair will stop at nothing to save the day.

In three thrilling tales with charming illustrations in every chapter, Tumtum and Nutmeg--along with the valiant efforts of veteran hero General Marchmouse, Ms. Tiptoe's bouncing ballerina army, and a team of caged gerbils--prove that small-size mice can have world-size hearts.

I loved this book. I mean, really really loved this book. It made me want to be a little kid again so my mom could read it out loud to me. There are several books she read to us that will always stick with me. Among these are Mother West Wind by Thornton W. Burgess and The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban. I would say as far as qualities of a great read-aloud go, Tumtum and Nutmeg is right up there with these two. The stories have so much charm and low-key humor to them. They're not knee-slapping, laugh out loud funny so much as very quirky. I really liked the fact that the good and bad characters have very well-defined roles, and they stick to them. Aunt Ivy, Miss Short, and the pond pirates got what was coming to them in the end- nothing grisly of course, but enough for the reader to feel the satisfaction that justice has been served. And I, for one, love happy endings!

This would be a really great read-aloud for any parent to read their child from age 5 up. (Depending on the particular child's attention span, of course). It may just be too wordy for some of the younger kids. I think a child up to age 10 or 11 would enjoy this book, so if you have kids between ages 5 and 11, this is the family read-aloud for you. But let me warn you right now, watch out for General Marchmouse. He is always getting into trouble! He's also one of the characters that made me laugh the most.

Rating: Buy it!


  1. this sounds really cute. i love stories about mice. i can't wait intil karl's old enough for me to read to him.