Friday, April 17, 2009

Tumtum & Nutmeg: Adventures beyond Nutmouse Hall by Emily Bearn, illustrated by Nick Price

In the first story, two little mice named Tumtum and Nutmeg become helpful fairies for two neglected children and with the help of General Marchmouse, defeat a Dahlesqe and horrific mouse-hater, Aunt Ivy.

In the second story, General Marchmouse ignores their wise warnings and is captured and taken to the school, where he is imprisoned with wild gerbils. But Nutmeg - and a group of pogo-ing ballerina mice - save the day.

In the third story, the General's impulsive adventuring once again lands him in trouble, when he and Tumtum and Nutmeg are captured by rat pirates. But with the help of the two children, who believe Nutmeg to be a good fairy, they manage to escape.

These little stories are a mixture of Borrowers and Redwall for the younger crowd. They tend a little towards the cute, an unavoidable trap when you're dealing with anthropomorphic mice, but will be quite enjoyable for younger children, especially those who may have enjoyed Jill Barklem's Brambly Hedge and aren't quite ready for Borrowers or Redwall.

Verdict: Unfortunately, the length of the collected stories will probably discourage a lot of young readers and the separate volumes aren't available in the US at this time. I wouldn't recommend the collected volume as you'll need to booktalk it individually, explaining that it contains separate stories.

ISBN: 978-0316027038; Published April 2009 by Little, Brown; Borrowed from the library

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