Monday, October 26, 2009

Tumtum and Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall

by Emily Bearn
ISBN: 9780316 027038

This collection of three stories is about two mice who live in a rather nice mouse house inside a human house. I enjoyed reading about the mouse adventures. While clean, I did feel that the stories were a little too involved and too dark for my 7 year old daughter. I think when she's in third grade she may appreciate them more.

The first story tells us about the mean human Aunt who hates mice and wants to kill them. The mice prevail in the end but they have to call on other helpers within the rodent community.

The second story tells us about a rat friend who is caught and taken to school by the children who live in the house. Terrible things are about to happen to the rodents at the school because the teacher doesn't like them.

The third story is about the mice going on a camping/boating adventure. The evil pirate rats try to keep them prisoner but they prevail in the end.

I guess I would have preferred for at least a couple of the human adults in the book to be kind and supportive of the animals. We have the dad who is absent-minded and hardly takes care of his kids, the aunt who actively hates the mice, the teacher who isn't overly malicious but still mean, and the custodian who is willing to kill the whole lot of rodents rather than set them free. There are nice adults in this world!

Recommended with reservations

How do you feel about children's books with negative attitudes toward adults? Are parents and authority figures really as bad as these books say?

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