Tumtum & Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall

Emily Bearn, Author, Nick Price, Illustrator , illus. by Nick Price Little, Brown $16.99 (504p) ISBN 978-0-316-02703-8

Bearn makes her debut with a trio of comfortingly old-fashioned tales about a pair of kindly mice, living in a forgotten broom closet in dilapidated Rose Cottage, home to Arthur and Lucy Mildew and their father. Tumtum and Nutmeg's residence—Nutmouse Hall—is as splendid as the Mildews' home is forlorn, and the good-hearted couple secretly takes on the task of putting, and keeping, the cottage in order. Unexpected adventures ensue: in each of the stories the decidedly nonadventurous mice rescue friends and defeat enemies, always putting themselves in great danger and emerging victorious. Very British in setting, tone and supporting characters (a blustery mouse general, an elegant elderly ballet mistress and her troupe of young ballerinas, greedy pirate rats), the stories are filled with descriptions of good food, cheering fires and warm beds. Price's black-and-white line drawings have a scratchy, comic air that brings a welcome edge to the gentle storytelling. While some may find the adventures on the quiet side, the sympathetic characters, enchanting setting and quickly paced plots will hold readers' interest. Ages 6–9. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/06/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
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