This was a book I happened upon by chance. We were moving, and my roommate wanted to give it away to charity. While we were waiting for our friends to come and help us move our stuff, I was standing among the mess of suitcases and bags, I picked it up, and read the first one or two pages.
I just knew then and there, that I’m gonna enjoy this one, so I asked my roommate to let me have it. It has been my bedtime story for a while, and my sleep was more peacefull after reading the adventures of these two lovely characters.
Tumtum and Nutmeg are two mice, living in Nutmouse Hall, in the broom cupboard of Rose Cottage. Their humans are the Mildews, Mr. Mildew and his two children, Arthur and Lucy. I’ve read that the author, Emily Bearn came up with the plot after she saw two tiny mice scuttling across the floor, then disappearing behind the skirting next to the cooker.
You know how usually we have two sets of grandparents, and we like one of them a little bit more than the other. I imagine Tumtum and Nutmeg as a loveable couple of grandparents. Their adventure begins when they decide to help the human kids living in Rose Cottage (They live with their father, who at times is busier with his inventions, than mending the heater, for example). You cannot help giggling when you imagine these two little creatures cleaning the children’s room with their little tools, then sitting down for some tea in the doll’s house. Mr. Nutmouse is particularly fond of tea, of course.
Every good story has it’s villain of course, and in this case it’s Aunt Ivy, a woman with a deep fear of mice. Tumtum and Nutmeg find themselves treatened, and they need to figure out a way to get rid of this despicable woman.
The impersonation of the mice makes the story funny quite often, and the other thing I love about it is that it’s a story that stands for kindness towards others.
I find it to be well written, I would definitely read it to my class, if I’d still be a teacher. It stands out how, when they needed to use Arthur’s high visibility vest, it was OK to cut it to pieces only because Arthur wasn’t able to use his bike anymore. Or how after frightening Aunt Ivy three times, it was decided that going on would be cruel, so it was not continued.
According to The Sunday Times it is “Told simply, with charming detail, this old-fashioned and well published story …will delight children who are of an age to relish secret friends and a cosy world in miniature.” I would just add that grown ups with a big heart and big imagination will enjoy it just as well.
“Oh, Tumtum. I do hope we don’t have any more adventures,” Nutmeg said plaintively. “I don’t feel I’m quite cut out for them.”
Well, personally Nutmeg, I can’t wait to read about your next one! 😀
For more stuff about Tumtum and Nutmeg you can go to: http://www.tumtumandnutmeg.co.uk/index.htm. You can even find some of Mrs. Nutmouse’s recipes. 😀