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Nurse Matilda: The Collected Tales (Nurse Matilda #1-3)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,995 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
Mr. and Mrs. Brown were forever having trouble with their numerous and incredibly naughty children . . . until the day Nurse Matilda entered their lives.
First published nearly fifty years ago, Nurse Matilda and its two companion books-Nurse Matilda Goes to Town and Nurse Matilda Goes to Hospital-have charmed readers ever since. Now the inspiration for the major motion pict
Hardcover, 382 pages
Published March 3rd 2005 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 02, 2014 Corinne rated it did not like it
I read the Nurse Matilda books one morning because I was curious how they related to the movie Nanny McPhee. I expected something similar to Mary Poppins or the American Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. The first book does have at least a little overarching plot--Nurse Matilda comes to work for them, grows gradually less ugly as the children learn to change their behavior bit by bit, and then has to leave when they grow to love her. The children (of which there are an unknown number) have very inventive ways ...more
The Brown children are possibly the worst rapscallions you’ll ever meet outside of a jail cell; these tales of their antics wear a little thin after the first few chapters. You long for them to get a good hard spanking. What they get instead is Nurse Matilda, a magical woman who is able to hoist them with their own petards with just one rap of her big, black stick.

No, she doesn’t hit them although you find yourself wishing for it. The Brown children never seem to learn to behave; they just bide
Emily Collins
Aug 30, 2012 Emily Collins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essential
My mom loved Nurse Matilda when she was little, and technically the copy I read was one that she found years ago once they started printing it again and she recognized it as her much beloved book. It goes along well with my current fascination with the UK, and my overall love of old fashioned children's stories.
Nurse Matilda is a book about a nanny who comes to look after extremely naughty children (in this case, the Brown children), and teach them how to behave, through the use of her magic bla
Kaitlyn Lew
Nov 18, 2012 Kaitlyn Lew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is basically about 7 kids who grew up with no mother. Their mother died when they were all young. Since their father is always working, the kids have been growing up with several different nannies that they all somehow scare away. They have scared away about 18 different nannies already. But one magical nanny knocks on their door, and her mission is to teach the 7 children how to listen, respect others, and everything kids should do. The magical nanny, Nanny McPhee, uses her magical ca ...more
May 10, 2008 April rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 2008
Nurse Matilda disciplines bad kids. That's what this book is about. What makes it interesting is HOW she does it.

The kids in these books aren't evil, but they're pretty badly-behaved. Most of their hijinx are actually fairly harmless; it's just that they're causing trouble with such consistency and in such great quantity that it's hard for other people to handle.

Enter Nurse Matilda, the ugliest woman alive, whose punishments generally force the children to become the victims of their own pranks
Tracy Terry
Apr 02, 2014 Tracy Terry rated it it was ok
Comprising three books - 'Nurse Matilda', 'Nurse Matilda Goes To Town' and 'Nurse Matilda Goes To Hospital' - within this one edition. The stories form the basis of the Nanny McPhee films starring Emma Thompson.

Written in the mid nineteen forties I think it fair to say that this is a quintessentially English novel about a middle class family with a brood, a very big brood, of the most unruly children who, having seen off several nurses and nannies, are desperately in need of Nurse Matilda who s
Sep 17, 2014 Roberta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
"Once upon a time there was a huge family of children; and they were terribly, terribly naughty..."

Mrs. Brown is rather trusting of her children, their angelic faces convincing her that they couldn't be that bad, could they? (Mr Brown has his doubts...)

When the nurse maids, and the governesses lose their patience and all give notice at the same time, Nurse Matilda comes to the rescue with her nose like two potatoes, and her black boot-button eyes, and her very large black stick.

The style is remi
Kimberly Ann

This is three books in one: "Nurse Matilda", "Nurse Matilda Goes to Town", & "Nurse Matilda Goes to the Hospital" from which the Nanny McPhee movies were based upon.

Utterly delightful and full of humor..... When your children are naughty and out of other Nanny or Nurse will care for them... You call upon Nurse Matilda.... Ugly as an Ogre and Sly as a Fox..... with a thump of her magical stick, children learn not only the words: "Please" & "Thank-you"; they learn to get out o
Alanood Almarar
Nov 19, 2011 Alanood Almarar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantasy and magical story written by Christuanna brand about a father of seven very naughty children. He loves his children but ,he is unable to raise them alone, after their mother died. The father bought them twelve nannies but the children managed to get rid of eachone faster and better. Their father thought there is no solution. But, once a creepy deep voice said, "the person you need is Nanny McPhee."
Nanny McPhee teaches them five lessons, by using magic . she changes the family's
Aug 24, 2010 Kirstin rated it it was ok
Shelves: library
After the large and ever-growing brood of Brown children terrorize their nannies, tutors, nurses, governesses, and maids with their horrible behavior (although their mother believes them to be misunderstood angels), the help quits en masse, declaring that only Nurse Matilda could sort out those children. Every staffing agency in town agrees — there’s no one left to help, but Nurse Matilda.

And, oh! Nurse Matilda is quite a handful herself. Only able to work where she’s needed but not wanted, she’
To wind up our summer, I decided that we needed a more frivolous read to give us a break from our trek through Narnia. With Nanny McPhee Returns hitting the movie theaters in August, and the original movie set to re-release on DVD in August as well, I decided that would be a good choice for us. (I'm not planning on taking the girls to this one in the theater - we'll wait for DVD - but I am planning a fun family movie night with the first movie hopefully this weekend now that we've finished the b ...more
Aug 14, 2008 Carmine rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: as a read aloud or kids who like humor
I had read the first book a long time ago and picked it up again recently on the search for something light and humorous. First, I love pretty much anything illustrated by Edward Ardizzone (the Little Tim books especially) and was naturally drawn to the cover. I was surprised to learn that Ardizonne and Brand were actually cousins and that the Nurse Matilda stories were based on stories their eccentric grandmother would tell them. The books were published in the 1960s, but feel much older being ...more
Jul 27, 2011 Aimee rated it did not like it
So...I saw the clip at the end of the Nanny McPhee movies that said they were based on the Nurse Matilda books by Christianna Brand, so I thought I'd check them out. The stories are a bit different from the movies which I love! (Hello, Colin Firth - at least in the first one). I was reading these hoping that I could read them aloud to the students this year, but I'm not sure. There are some laugh out loud parts, some parts that would take a lot of explanation (English words and phrases), and som ...more
Apr 13, 2015 Deb rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-readers
Because these stories were written in the mid-60s, they are alot simplier than what the kids read today. That being said, I enjoyed the first of the three stories. But after the first, the stories are the same. Kid misbehave, Nurse Matilda bangs her stick, Kids continue to repeat a set behavior, Nurse Matilda bangs her stick again, Kids have learned a lesson. Over and over and over again. Boring!!!
Lea Williams
Mar 31, 2015 Lea Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very cheesy but fun book to read. The children do everything they can to cause trouble and the nanny comes in and teaches them how to behave. My favorite quote the Nanny says is "when the children don't want me but need me I will be here, but when the children want me but do not need me I will leave."
Efin Marifatika
Feb 03, 2013 Efin Marifatika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What's on your mind when u're living in the peace family then entering to the crowded family?
ohh, that's the condition happened to the enormous Nanny, Nanny McPhee.
The whole of the story is so awesome, amusing and imaginative..
it raises to the landscape of the family that lived a father and his three daughters and four sons. His wife passed away long ago. The father couldn't guide his children - he surrendered.

The ugly and strange nanny came to their house. The roar was SILENT. There was no nois
Sam Gilbert
I only read this because I saw the movie and it was not horrible. The books were ok as well except for the interchangeable last chapters. I did not appreciate having to read the same ending three times in a row with just minor changes for the particular circumstances of that particular book.
Jen Jen
Jul 13, 2008 Jen Jen rated it liked it
I'm not sure why I didn't enjoy this book more than a "3". It has many of the fun elements of a good English novel- naughty children, a stern but fair governess and a little bit of magic. Nurse Matilda sets out to teach the children some etiquette lessons and each chapter is a story about one of the lessons the children need to learn. While some of the lessons were rather tricky, like teaching the children to say "please" by making them nearly destroy themselves, however, I found the door shutti ...more
Deidre(Dee) ~ Johnny's Grandma ~
This book was the very first version of the story of a Nanny called Matilda, who looked after a huge family of naughty children. I have to say, that I preferred Emma Thompson's version, called Nanny McPhee.
Molly Sparber
Dec 21, 2015 Molly Sparber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
absolutely brilliant!! I couldn't stop reading it...totally blown away. I definitely recommend this. Aaaahhhh!! I loved it!!
Ella Pyne
If you ever wanted to know the stories behind the movies, this is the book for you! Simple but nice story.
Jan 31, 2015 Suzi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Generally a good book not massively like the films but you can see where the ideas came from. I enjoyed it quick Light hearted read and never did work out how many children there were
Dec 09, 2013 Angelica rated it liked it
Shelves: classics, adventure
Nurse Matilda inspired the movie Nanny McPhee. Nurse Matilda comes to take care of the Brown children who were very naughty. Christinna Brand really brings Nurse Matilda to life by detailed description such as "She was very ugly-the ugliest person you ever saw in your life!" "Her hair was scraped into a bun, sticking straight out at the back of her head like a teapot handle; and her face was very round and wrinkly, and she had eyes like two little black boot buttons."

This book is wonderful for k
Parts of this I loved, but overall I didn't like how it was written and I read it aloud to my children, and would not recommend it as a read-aloud because of the run-on sentences that just keep meandering and then changing topics and then returning back to the original topic but you have to read it all over again to remember what was said at first again (Yes I made this all one sentence on purpose to explain my point) so it's just hard for kids to follow and they didn't like it either although w ...more
Jun 07, 2015 Jojo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful book. It a feel good book for the young and old.
May 24, 2010 Joy rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
First, I have to admit I read these stories after watching the movie version, Nanny McPhee. The stories are funny, enjoyable, and completely fantastical. Could children really be this naughty?? Could one couple really have that many children?? (I did start keeping track of how many children they had but eventually gave up). However, once you've read the first tale you pretty much know the plot for the other stories. Overall, the charm exceeds the repetition. On a side note: I refuse to read thes ...more
Since this was the basis of Nanny McPhee, I decided to read it before I go see the movie. The first book was the best, since it detailed the coming of Nurse Matilda and the children’s first lessons. The other two books were repetitive: Nurse comes, the children don’t recognize her at first, they’re awful, they’re good, they dream they’re running away, they cry to Nurse for help, and everything’s back to normal. The escapades the children undertake are clever, and the descriptions of The Baby’s l ...more
Laurel O'Boyle
I love the movies. The book is just OK.
Carol Hall
the two movies are better. if reading to a child wait at least 6 months between tales. they are pretty much the same after the first.
Feb 27, 2011 Natalie rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, junior-books
Not much of a read. It might have been ok had she stopped with the first story but after that it just becomes ridiculously weird. The movie made from it (Nanny MacPhee), was odd but a cute story. This one had so many children that you never even got to know any of the characters well. The kids also got into trouble so often that you wonder why "Nurse Matilda" wasn't there in the first place watching them. Anyway, I can't say that I would really recommend it but it is a little interesting to read ...more
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Bad British Children 2 10 Apr 25, 2013 12:36PM  
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Christianna Brand (December 17, 1907 - March 11, 1988) was a crime writer and children's author. Brand also wrote under the pseudonyms Mary Ann Ashe, Annabel Jones, Mary Roland, and China Thomson.

She was born Mary Christianna Milne in 1907 in Malaya and spent her early years in India. She had a number of different occupations, including model, dancer, shop assistant and governess.

Her first novel,
More about Christianna Brand...

Other Books in the Series

Nurse Matilda (4 books)
  • Nurse Matilda
  • Nurse Matilda Goes to Town
  • Nurse Matilda Goes to Hospital

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