Mr. and Mrs. Nutmouse, or Tumtum and Nutmeg as they call each other, live in a warm, tidy 16 room house in a disused broom cupboard in Rose Cottage. They have a wonderful life, but for the children of Rose Cottage (Arthur and Lucy) life has been miserable since their mother passed away. So Tumtum and Nutmeg take it upon themselves to make the children’s lives more pleasant, leading the children to believe that a ‘Fairy of Sorts’ has been helping them. During one particularly cold, miserable winter, their horrible Aunt Ivy arrives. And Aunt Ivy HATES mice. When she discovers there are mice in the house, she concocts a plan to get rid of them. Tumtum and Nutmeg are no longer safe to help Arthur and Lucy. But then, enlisting the help of a retired mouse army general, they hatch a plan of their own….
A cross between The Borrowers, Charlotte’s Web and Spiderwick Chronicles, the Tumtum and Nutmeg books (there are 5, including a Christmas book) are absolutely brilliant! Bearn has created a story filled with humour, charm, adventure, intelligence, wit, excitement…in short, it has all the makings of a classic. The language is not ‘dumbed-down’ and the plot line and characters are clearly well-thought. The reading age is for 7 to 10 years, but they make the perfect read aloud stories for younger children.With excellent writing and charming, poigniant black and white illustrations throughout, I can’t recommend these books highly enough.
Reviewed by Mary Esther Judy