Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tumtum & Nutmeg

Tumtum & Nutmeg

Written by Emily Bearn
Illustrated by Nick Price
Published in 2008

Mice in children's books have always fascinated me.  For some reason, they become beloved characters that we root for.  In reality, I would never be able to share my living space with them, and shiver at the thought of them.  I am extremely grateful for the fact that I have never seen one in my house, and I hope I never do.  One of my friends (whose reading taste I trust completely) recommended Tumtum & Nutmeg, and we have come to adore these two little mice.  Isn't it a strange thought to love mice?  

Tumtum and Nutmeg live in a snug little house named Nutmouse Hall (complete with 36 rooms!), which is located in the broom cupboard of Rose Cottage.  Rose Cottage is owned by Mr. Mildew and his two children named Arthur and Lucy.  Mr. Mildew is a widower, and an inventor.  Unfortunately for the children, the house has not been kept up on, and Mr. Mildew is always busy working on his inventions.  Rose Cottage is a mess!

Tumtum is a very generous and calm kind of mouse who likes to eat and read.  Nutmeg is a little more tense, but very kind and thoughtful.  She assumes a motherly role towards Arthur and Lucy, and wants to do everything she can to take care of them and improve their living quarters.  The two mice sneak into the attic where the children sleep in order to make improvements, and clean up the place.  All is going well until Aunt Ivy enters the picture.  Aunt Ivy is enemy to all mice, and does everything that she can to get rid of them.

Interestingly enough, everything that Aunt Ivy does to remove mice from Rose Cottage is exactly what I would do.  Her actions seem so much worse, however, when she is trying to harm two mice as sweet and caring as Tumtum and Nutmeg.  You can't help but dislike her, especially when she poisons Tumtum!

The Nutmegs friend, General Marchmouse, is summoned to save Tumtum and rid the house of Aunt Ivy.  Will he succeed?  You'll have to read it to find out!

Adventure always seem to be just around the corner with Tumtum and Nutmeg, and especially General Marchmouse.  Emily Bearn has written a total of nine books depicting their adventures, and every one that we have read is delightful, charming, and fast-paced.  One chapter was never enough for a sitting!  Illustrations by Nick Price are frequent and add to the delight.

Perfect for:
Read-aloud: Preschool/Early Elementary
Independent Reading: Middle/Late Elementary

Happy reading!


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