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Nurse Matilda (Nurse Matilda #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  588 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
Nurse Matilda Collected in this omnibus volume are three original Nurse Matilda tales--the inspiration for "Nanny McPhee," starring Emma Thompson (who wrote the screenplay) and Colin Firth, set for release by Working Title/Universal Pictures in March. A governess uses magic to reign in the seven ne'er-do-well children in her charge. Illustrations. Full description
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published November 7th 2005 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published 1964)
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Alex Farrand
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
Nurse Matilda is about the LARGE Brown family, who have mischievous, and rowdy children. There were so many children that I couldn't even count them all, and forgot all their names. This book takes place during a time where their were nannies, and nurse maids who took care of the children day and night, but this group of children scared off all the help that Mr. and Mrs. Brown hired. Eventually, Mr. and Mrs. Brown couldn't hire any more staff for their lovely children, and were told to seek the ...more
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Funny, delightful, wholesome, old-fashioned and just perfectly well suited for children! we chose to listen to this one from audible and I am so glad that we did because the narrator was phenomenal! this was a lunchtime book of hours for three days and every day there were groans when it was time for me to turn it off. A keeper!
Oct 04, 2015 rated it liked it
It's interesting to read YA books written a long ago--you can see how styles have changed over time.

Nurse Matilda, is an old fashioned story about a family coping with naughty children. Brand never tells you how many children they are and she changes their names frequently. Not one child is developed as a character but neither is anyone else. The parents are colorless and unremarkable except for their utter cluelessness. The servants are many and equally undistinguished. Aunt Adeliade has some s
May 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Didn't love it. This was one of those books that comes to mind when I think of Shaw's quote: "Never give a child a book you wouldn't read yourself." Sorry, but this was a better movie ("Nanny McPhee"). I'll take "Mary Poppins" thank you. There were some nice bits, but I couldn't connect with the characters - they didn't behave in a plausible way. It just didn't click for me.
Tirzah Eleora
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I love the movie that is based off of this series, but I'd heard from several sources that the books weren't as good. I read it mostly because it has been sitting on my bookshelf for years, and I wanted to know if it was worth the space it's been taking up. Even with these pretty low expectations they were disappointing.

The "characters" in these books are complete nondescript and we are told little more about them other than their names and most obvious trait. Nurse Matilda has a magic stick sh
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Brown children are the most ill-behaved, mischievous, naughty little children in all the world, and the only nanny who can possibly control them or teach them any manners is Nurse Matilda. With her magical walking stick, Nurse Matilda teaches important lessons like going to bed when you're told, not chomping your food, closing doors after yourself, and putting on your best clothes when you're told. Only the insane magical situations the children find themselves in could possibly teach them t ...more
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
Cartea este foarte comică, dacă ţinem cont de perioada în care a fost scrisă (1964), când a învăţa cele şapte lecţii ale bonei Matilda era un deziderat pentru toţi copiii. În ziua de azi probabil că nimeni nu mai vrea să-şi înveţe copilul să facă ce-i spun părinţii sau să respecte reguli legate de ora de culcare, de trezire sau de conduita la masă, dar e şi mai probabil că părinţii nu iau masa separat de copii şi nici nu-i pasează bonelor şi servitoarelor, ignorând tot ce se petrece cu ei şi în ...more
Jo Oehrlein
Jul 22, 2012 rated it liked it
These stories are the basis of the new movie Nanny McPhee (which I haven’t seen), which is billed as the new Mary Poppins. The book is a bind-up of 3 books: Nurse Matilda, Nurse Matilda goes to Town, and Nurse Matilda Goes to Hospital. The children in the books are horribly, horribly bad and the parents believe their children are darlings. Nurse Matilda combines Mary Poppins’ sternness with Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s remedies of exaggeration (curing by making you do the same thing many times). It’s a ...more
Nevada Libert
Dec 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
i only got half way in to this book but it was just to naughty for me. i think it needs to be written better, i was expecting it to get better and for the children to learn better manners,

Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
I'm sure I read this because of the Ardizzone illustrations---seems I also bought this book many years later because of those illustrations with no memory of having read this in 1982!
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
I wanted to love this book, but my daughter seemed to really like it as I read it aloud to her. There was something about the long sentence structures, oddly-placed commas, tongue-twisting words, and overall organization of the plot that made it very difficult to stay engaged with the story. I would not recommend it as a read aloud book to children (my daughter is in second grade, for reference), and it's not something I would read for my own personal enjoyment.
Amy A.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Read this out loud to my 11 year old, as one of a series of books that inspired the Nanny McPhee movies, which we love. We enjoyed parts of it and I still love the idea of the nanny getting more beautiful and pleasant as the kids get more obedient and kind, it's such a cute story line, but I think this is a case where the movie may actually be better than the book.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story is a delight in itself, but also demonstrates Emma Thompson's brilliance at adaptation. It's not quite like the film, but the film does capture Nurse Matilda's spirit as portrayed in the book.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Other than some minor tweaks, it is pretty much Nanny McPhee. I quite enjoyed it. It would be worth a second listen later.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fun, simple tale.
Nov 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Very cute, but incredibly, the movies were better. Emma Thompson doesn’t get enough credit for her screenwriting.
Kent Steven
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
please let me read this story..
Laura Hamilton
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Some parts of this book are hilarious...there are SO many children, and they are so naughty, and their particular misdeeds. My kids and I really enjoyed those aspects.

What I didn't love was not getting any backstory Where did the nanny come from? Where did she get these incredible powers? She just disappears at the end, too, no real explanation. Not satisfying. The first book is the best, the next two are derivative and a bit repetitive. Worth reading though!
Sep 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
A couple of months ago, I was watching Nanny McPhee,. I realised that while I knew the film was based on the Nurse Matilda stories of Christianna Brand I had never read them. I finally found a second hand copy of the collected tales, illustrated by her cousin Edward Ardizzone, and I read them with enormous enjoyment. Of course, the film changes many of the details of the stories; Mr Brown is not a slightly hopeless, hardworking undertaker; instead there is an incredibly fecund Mr and Mrs Brown w ...more
Gláucia Renata
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
A família Brown possui inúmeros filhos e os mais arteiros que se possa imaginar. Não há mais babás que queiram trabalhar para eles, a não ser Matilda, muita feia com seu nariz batatoso e seu dentão horrendo. Será que ela conseguirá corrigi-los? E que método empregará? Leitura infantil de qualidade, boa para ler com os filhos em voz alta, boa pra gente mesmo em silêncio.

""E, justo quando os Brown estavam rezando para que ela continuasse sua corrida louca, fez exatamente o que as cabras sempre faz
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Nurse Matilda. It is not in any way called Nanny McPhee, but it is quite good. Basically, the Brown children are very naughty so Mrs. Brown hires Nurse Matilda to sort them out. When she arrives, they are being simply horrid, and Nurse Matilda thumps her stick and they all have to keep doing whatever naughtiness they're doing until it becomes simply awful and they're immune to doing it again. For example, they eat too much porridge and jam and buns and bad-for-you things at breakfast, and Nurse ...more
Aug 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Nurse Matilda is about a family of many, many children that are mischievous and get up to no good. The parents of these children, Mr and Mrs Brown hire many nurses, governesses and maids but one day the children’s naughtiness goes too far and they all decide to leave. Now, as this has happened so many times none of the agencies who supply these nurses, governesses and maids, can find people who are willing to help take care of these children.

After Mr and Mrs Brown are recommended to find and emp
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This children's series (three books) is something I had ordered several years ago, never having heard of it, and I've just read this first book in the series. Nurse Matilda gets called in to help a family when the children are 'out of control.' That is certainly the case in the Brown family. They have many, many children (they don't say, but I listed them and got 27). They have a kind mother who never disciplines them and a staff that is constantly changing. When the children are particularly ba ...more
Mar 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read_to_kids
Light and fluffy comedy and more than a bit surreal at times. Written in the 60s, it echoes the style of a much earlier book. Magical Nurse Matilda arrives at the home of the Browns to help teach their innumerable children to behave properly. The repetitive narrative makes this a good read-aloud for younger children. The weirdness and understated humor might be better appreciated by older children (and grown-ups who appreciate those things).

The penultimate chapter, in which Nurse Matilda wraps u
Nov 03, 2011 rated it liked it
i liked this book, although i liked the movie Nanny McPhee better. in the book there were so many children, and we (readers) never really met any of them. we didn't know who they were, what they liked to do... i felt like they were just names that the author liked and wanted to put into the story. in the movie there was only seven children, so it was a lot better to understand and have actual feelings for the characters. and i like the idea that in the movie the father needs to find a wife becau ...more
Dana Salman
I suppose I expected a bit more from Nurse Matilda, although I knew her as nanny McPhee before I started reading. She ends all the children's mishaps in the same way; by using a reverse-phsycological magic that makes it so that they cannot stop what they're doing. Admittedly though, the children's antics were entertaining, but of course if they'd been my kids I'd beat them all to a pulp (but I'd probably make an exception to the Baby [why doesn't C.B give it a name to call by, for God's sake?:]) ...more
Kathleen Behrendt
These charming British stories, published in 1946, feature Nurse Matilda, an atrocious nanny with a magical walking stick who is the last resort for desperate parents. Nurse Matilda ultimately teaches children good behavior by showing them the down side of their bad behavior. The author uses many British words, such as nappy, treacle and Swedes, that might need some explaining.

Recommend this book to readers in third grade and up - even adults will enjoy this book. Recommend this to readers who l
Anne Homeschooling-Mama
Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a homeschooling read-aloud with the kids and I was chuffed at how much they enjoyed it. The ladybaby collapsed in giggles a few times, and even chickabid laughed out loud, especially at the antics of the Baby.
If you can get hold of it, the original Nurse Matilda is the best. A poor imitation of recent years is Nanny McPhee, but if the book is anything like the movie it's not really like Nurse Matilda at all. As always, read the book first and *then* see the movie.
Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
Some parts were really very funny -- the children are so horribly naughty. It is told in highly British manner, mostly satirical in tone, but there are sweet moments too. All in all I enjoyed it, but this is an extremely rare instance in which I prefer the movie version. I endorse the changes that Emma Thompson made to the plot, in adapting it for the "Nanny McPhee" film script, especially to the character of Evangeline.
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a cute classic series. I hadn't seen the movie, so I wasn't sure what to expect. It's basically a compilation of short stories that are only loosely tied together. Other children's books that I've read from the same time period seem to follow a similar format. I loved how Nurse Matilda uses the children's own naughtiness to teach them a lesson about how to treat others and the proper way to behave.
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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 Goes to Town
  • Nurse Matilda Goes to Hospital
  • Nanny Mcphee: The Collected Tales of Nurse Matilda
“Once upon a time there was a huge family of children; and they were terribly, terribly naughty.” 1 likes
“The Agency was doubtful, because they had already sent a lot of nurses and nannies and governesses to Mr. and Mrs. Brown's family. 'The person you want,' they said, 'is Nurse Matilda.” 1 likes
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