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Nanny McPhee Returns    by Emma Thompson order for
Nanny McPhee Returns
by Emma Thompson
Order:  USA  Can
Bloomsbury, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

In this second Nanny McPhee adventure, the indomitable woman comes to the aid of the Green family. Mr. Green is off fighting in World War II and he's left behind his wife and three children, Megsie, Norman and Vincent, to manage the family farm.

If their life isn't difficult enough already, two rich and spoiled London cousins, Celia and Cyril, are sent to live on the farm. From the get go, the children don't get along and a raging battle ensues until Nanny McPhee arrives to sort things out.

Then there is the additional complication of Uncle Phil. A part owner of the farm, he's pressuring Mrs. Green to sell the place to help pay off his gambling debts which have become quite troublesome.

Of course there are further difficulties, such as runaway pigs, the problem of finding the funds to harvest the barley crop, and the huge German UXB (unexploded bomb) that lands in the field and threatens to blow everyone to Kingdom Come if someone doesn't defuse it!

Nanny McPhee will remain with the family until everyone (namely the children) have learned the five important lessons she intends to teach them. In case you have forgotten they are: 'Stop fighting. Share nicely. Help others. Be brave. Have faith.'

Once the lessons have been mastered and the family's other little problems have been dealt with, Nanny McPhee and her companion, a jackdaw named Mr. Edelweiss, will be off. Obviously, it will take some time to do all of this and you'll love every minute of following how it is accomplished.

Along with some delightful illustrations and a section of color photos from the movie production, you'll find a film diary that Emma Thompson kept during the period the movie was being filmed. Frankly, I found it to be a bit of a distraction at times but it was often amusing and the actress/author does give some idea of the complications that can make film production a trial.

Also, you can always skip over the diary parts if you wish and read them later. There's a glossary of movie maker terms, too.

Intended for children eight years of age and older, I think any accomplished, younger reader can handle this story. It is funny, moves quickly and has some very likeable characters. Don't worry; even if you have seen the movie already, you'll still find this an excellent read!

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