Gr. 3-5. Nurse Matilda is a combination of Mary Poppins, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and TV's Super Nanny. The three tales of Nurse Matilda's entanglements with the Brown family, which were published individually in the 1960s, might have languished in out-of-print purgatory were it not for a "major motion picture," entitled Nanny McPhee,
inspired by the stories. American readers, even those "of a certain age," may not be familiar with the Nanny tales, but there's lots to warm up to, including Ardizzone's lively ink drawings, over-the-top events, and the arch, yet understated, British tone ("I understand that your children are exceed
ingly naughty"). And so the Brown children are, mixing up mischief and a bit of violence. One of Brand's funny conceits is that the children are too numerous to be counted, with new ones continually being named. Still, by the third section, in which the children play havoc with several elderly ladies, the bad behavior seems gratuitous and belabored. The book's popularity in the U.S. will probably be tied to the movie's.^B Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Christianna Brand had a number of different occupations, including model, dancer, shop assistant, and governess. Brand herself admitted, "I write for no reason more pretentious than simply to entertain." She died in 1988.
Edward Ardizzone wrote and illustrated about twenty books for children and edited and illustrated two volumes of classic fairy tales over the course of his fifty-year career. He also wrote five books for adults and illustrated more than 150 books by other authors. He died in 1979.