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Tumtum & Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall Hardcover – April 1, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 2–4—Rose Cottage is a modest abode "rife with clutter and chaos." But behind a broom-closet door, hidden by a heavy chest of drawers, lies a 36-room mansion, home to Tumtum and Nutmeg Nutmouse. The retiring animal couple takes great pleasure in helping absentminded Mr. Mildew and his motherless children, who live in the cottage, in small ways—darning socks, rewiring heaters, and patching shoes. But a visit by the Mildews' odious Aunt Ivy turns the quiet couple's life upside down after the woman spots them on the upstairs landing. A full-blown mouse attack ensues, requiring the assistance of neighboring General Marchmouse and his mouse battalion. Adventure upon adventure follows, including trouble at the local school and an encounter with pirate rats (who are hindered by liqueur-filled chocolates). Before long readers know just what to expect from Bearn's characters: a can-do attitude and bustling efficiency from Nutmeg, even-tempered consideration from Tumtum, and from the General, an inflated ego and childlike impulses. The author provides enough twists and turns to keep the excitement high and fills her story with delightful details (outside of an occasional "earwig en croute," the mice nibble on piles of tasty homemade cakes, scones, and gingerbread, all described). Rustically framed pen-and-ink drawings appear throughout, adding panache to the presentation. This British import is as satisfying as high tea, and a perfect choice for competent young readers.—Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal
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From Booklist

Evocative of classics like The Borrowers and The Wind in the Willows, this mouse tale should appeal to children who like to imagine little creatures operating behind the scenes. In a small cottage in England live Mr. and Mrs. Nutmouse (aka Tumtum and Nutmeg), who reside in a grand house inside a broom cupboard. Twisting the usual human-animal dynamic, Bearn presents the mice as faring better than the human family and trying to help the sweet-natured girl and boy. (Their mother has died and their father is an eccentric inventor.) The three old-fashioned adventures here recount the daring rescues, not-too-scary hostage dramas, and close escapes that ensue when human and animal worlds collide. Bearn draws the situations with amusing particulars, including human foibles for man, mouse, gerbil, and rat, and drums up plenty of suspense as Tumtum and Nutmeg are forced to suspend their cozy lifestyle to save their friends and themselves. Price’s black-and-white illustrations capture the Nutmouses’ goodheartedness and the humans’ dampened circumstances in a cheerful, rustic style. Grades 2-4. --Abby Nolan
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 900L (What's this?)
  • Series: Tumtum & Nutmeg (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316027030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316027038
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading this to my 6 year old boy/girl twins. They loved it. I loved. Perfect to read to both genders. I am an avid reader and am working to instill a love of reading in my children - this was an excellent start. They were a little disconcerted when we started as there are only black & white illustrations (which are beautiful) and they are not on every page like they were used to, but I explained how reading a well written story should put the images moving in your mind. My son was was very excited the other night exclaiming to me, "Mom - I see it all in my head!"

Buy it. Snuggle up and read it to your children!
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Format: Hardcover
In the tradition of many a Great Mouse tale (Geronimo Stilton, Ralph S. Mouse, Stuart Little, The Rescuers, etc.), TUMTUM & NUTMEG is a prime example of old-fashioned storytelling where cute-as-a-button animals talk, adults are buffoons, and the promise of bonafide adventure makes the story worth telling --- and hearing. A collection of three mini-stories full of unlucky captures, heroic escapes and a whole lot of scampering, Emily Bearn's debut works on all fronts.

In the first story entitled "Tumtum & Nutmeg," Bearn sets up the concept for the series simply but with just the right amount of whimsy and suspense to draw in youngsters. Two gangly kids (nerdy Arthur and slightly bossy Lucy) live with their widowed, disheveled dad (an inventor) in a decrepit old house called Rose Cottage. Little do they know that Tumtum and Nutmeg, the delightful Mr. and Mrs. Mouse, have also made the ramshackle cottage home --- in the 36-room lavish miniature mansion, called Nutmouse Hall, hidden behind the bookshelves in the broom closet.

The two worlds, human and mouse, peacefully coexist under one roof like they always have --- Tumtum and Nutmeg tidy up the kids' attic room at night to help out; Arthur and Lucy think a fairy is responsible for the good deed --- until trouble strikes one day. Arthur and Lucy's curmudgeony, mice-fearing Aunt Ivy comes to visit, and all hell breaks loose --- including a rat poisoning, a surprise attack by an army of mice with the Napoleonic General Mousemarch at the helm, and Aunt Ivy's ultimate emotional breakdown (reminiscent of Aunt Spiker or Aunt Sponge from JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH).

The next two stories, "The Great Escape" and "The Pirates' Treasure," are equally as enjoyable --- and entertaining.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a fabulous collection that is sure to be a classic! I read this book aloud to my children and we devoured it! We can't wait to see the next adventures Tumtum and Nutmeg will embark upon! This book should be on every family's bookshelf alongside Wind in the Willows, Charlotte's Web and the like. It is exquisitely written and wonderful fun! We highly recommend it!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter is 5 years old and I have been searching for cute, old fashioned chapter books to read to her. This is a wonderful book. It is over 500 pages long, but it is three stories in one book. They are called Tumtum and Nutmeg, The Great Escape and The Pirate's Treasure. There are beautiful black and white pencil illustrations on almost every other page or so, so little ones still get an occasional picture to keep them occupied and engaged. This is the first book in the Tumtum series. I believe there are two more separate books, called The Rose Cottage Tales, which also includes 3 stories and finally Trouble at Rose Cottage.
This book includes fun adventures of two mice who live in a huge house inhabited by a human family. Boys and girls will love these books.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We purchased this book for my daughter,who is 9 ,for Christmas. It is full of adventure and characters she loved to read about. Once she started the book she did not want to put it down. Lots of good clean fun with nothing too scary or bogged down with teenage issues like boys and parental rebellion. Highly recommend.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a 3-in-1 book, which starts with ..., and also includes The Great Escape and The Pirates' Treasure. The Nutmouses - Tumtum and Nutmeg - live in a mousehole in the home of the Mildew's, and they interact (via written letters) with the Mildew children, Arthur and Lucy. Although the children are aware of the Nutmouses, they know them to be fairies, not mice, and have never actually seen Tumtum and Nutmeg. The two mice come out at night to do chores for the children in their neglected household. They also spend time in Lucy's dollhouse and Nutmeg, in particular, spends a lot of time cleaning and cooking around her own mousehole too. The mice are fun and smart, and their words are charming and very British, especially if you're an American who is reading this. I actually found the text to be a bit above the children's level and felt this book would be great for 4th grade and up to about middle school; although even adults can enjoy it, as I did. The book is also very long. Although each story is only about 100-120 pages the book is about 460 because the three stories are combined. To a child, it might look daunting. The first story is a general introduction to the children, the mice, and where and how the mice live - they also have a mini-adventure when the children's aunt Ivy tries to poison and kill them. This is where General Marchmouse enters - he's a friend of the Nutmouses and eagerly gets involved with trouble and battles. He is featured in the next two stories as well; in fact, he is the main character. I think the Nutmouses are a great pair and I'd love to read more about them and their own adventures with the children; General Marchmouse isn't that interesting. The children, Arthur and Lucy, do not really have a big part in the book so it's mainly a book of mouse adventures.
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