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Gentle, warm humour makes this adventure a treasure for kids; BOOKS CHILDREN'S BOOK The Pirates' Treasure By Emily Bearn. Egmont, pounds 5.99.

Byline: Jayne Howarth

There are some stories that children love because they are fast paced, wacky, modern and bright.

But Emily Bearn has produced characters and stories that evoke a different age.

They are tales that are set in a time of innocence in the vein of the Brambly Hedge stories.

Tumtum and Nutmeg are mice that live in Nut mouse Hall (the broom cupboard of Rose Cottage), who look out for the children who live in the cottage with their inventor father In this third adventure by Bearn, Nutmeg insists they embark on a camping trip after overhearing the children say they are to camp by a stream.

After sneaking in the rucksacks, they expect to have a quiet night away.

But they didn't account for the rum bustious General Marchmouse, who spots his friends in the nettles.

Their quiet night away to ensure the children are safe is suddenly turned into an adventure and they are whisked downstream in the Bluebottle boat, to discover an island, named Pirate Island, that Marchmouse insists must be explored.

It is a gentle read par excellence and quite different from the myriad modern tales.

The humour is warm and gentle, the characters hark from an age that is unrecognisable today (there are very obvious gender roles), but somehow the stories work for today's audience.

They are intelligently written and sweet without being sickeningly so and the illustrations by Nick Price complement the writing brilliantly.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 27, 2009
Words:242
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