What a crazy month we’ve had so far–celebrations, projects, goodbyes, and disappointments. Life keeps on surprising us. And we’re grateful to face it all together. I sure started the month with a lot of blogging ambitions. My reading goals are still going well. I’m loving reading so much to start the year. But finding uninterrupted time to sit down and blog is difficult. So I take what I can get tonight.
I’m thrilled to be sharing my review of two story collections that I read aloud to our kids over the last several months. We absolutely love Tumtum and Nutmeg and devoured all 6 of the stories in these collections. Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall and The Rose Cottage Adventures are both collections of 3 novellas about the delightful and endearing mice named Tumtum and Nutmeg. Perfect for reading aloud, these stories quickly became favorites at our house.
- These took us a good amount of time to read. They are not short books. But they are really fun for young listeners to enjoy. There are pictures in each chapter and the stories are so fun to read. It helps that they are 3 separate stories per collection so you don’t have to keep plots and characters straight for the entire collection.
- I don’t like mice. And I don’t want Tumtum and Nutmeg living in my broom cupboard. Yet I can’t help but love these two mice and their adventures.
According to Goodreads, “Deep inside the broom cupboard of Rose Cottage, two mice live in great style.
Tumtum and Nutmeg lead cozy and quiet lives, secretly looking after Arthur and Lucy, the disheveled human children of the cottage, never dreaming that so many exciting adventures will soon find them. But when evil Aunt Ivy, a squeamish schoolteacher named Miss Short, and pirating pond rats threaten the safety of those they hold dear, the courageous pair will stop at nothing to save the day.
In three thrilling tales with charming illustrations in every chapter, Tumtum and Nutmeg–along with the valiant efforts of veteran hero General Marchmouse, Ms. Tiptoe’s bouncing ballerina army, and a team of caged gerbils–prove that small-size mice can have world-size hearts.”
And about the second collection: “Tumtum and Nutmeg just want to live out their comfy lives in peace, unbothered by anything as distracting as an adventure. But the holidays are upon them, and it seems to be the time of year when Arthur and Lucy, the disheveled human children of Rose Cottage, and bumbling veteran hero General Marchmouse are most likely to get into trouble. Tumtum and Nutmeg want to make things right, but first they’ll have to outwit a wicked mouse named Purple Claw, face a crazed circus ringmaster, and even save Christmas!
In three delightful new adventures, Tumtum and Nutmeg prove that big heroes come in tiny packages.“
As I think these stories are perfect for reading aloud to the youngest of listeners, I thought I’d focus my review on why these stories make such great read alouds.
- Nutmeg and Tumtum are fantastic protagonists. They are likable, they work hard, they are kind, and they help others. They feel like tiny parents for Arthur and Lucy. We loved hearing about their home and life in Rose Cottage and how they are able to help the children. We want to try many of Nutmeg’s recipes and write her letters. We want to find treasure for them and hope they can help Santa at our house one day. It was so fun that Nutmeg called herself a “fairy of sorts” to the children. We love fairies at our house so that was a big hit. In short, Nutmeg and Tumtum are endearing and so delightful!
- The characters are memorable and fun. I love the ways we get to know the characters and follow along on their adventures. We love Arthur and Lucy and how Nutmeg helps them in secret. They get more involved in her adventures as the stories progress which was fun. The General is quite naughty overall. My kids were sometimes very surprised with how much trouble he gets into. But it’s fun to talk about ways we could help him get out of trouble. Each story has other characters that play a part in the plot: Baron Toymouse, a band of pirate rats, Aunt Ivy, Mr Goldtail, and more. These are not always likable characters but the contrast makes the stories more exciting.
- Clever Stories. I loved all the details of each story from the descriptions of their meals at Nutmouse Hall to the ways they tidy the children’s attic bedroom, Baron Toymouse’s nursery, and the search for the rogue circus mice. It was fun how the mice are a part of the human world and connect with the children. But they also have their own world that they live in and defend. In some stories, Arthur and Lucy are working together with Nutmeg even though they never see her. Some of our favorites were when they find the lost treasure at the seaside or when they build a rescue boat for Nutmeg when she’s trapped on the island in the pond and when they try to find the lost circus bus in the village. It’s very clever how the stories connect the human and mouse worlds.
- Easy to read aloud. This book is perfect for reading aloud. The chapters are fairly short so it’s easy to read a few in one sitting. There are darling pictures throughout the stories that show the adventures happening. That’s a must for us when picking read alouds–pictures are so fun! And the stories teach good lessons and morals for young readers.
We absolutely loved the adventures of Tumtum and Nutmeg. Often we all wanted to find out what happened next and would read several more chapters than I thought we would in one sitting. The characters are darling and the stories are so sweet. We highly recommend Tumtum and Nutmeg!
What are some of your favorite read alouds?