1,473 Pages


Brief Summary

A family with too many children can't discipline them all. Nurse Matilda comes to help their unruly brood using her magical abilities.


Mr. and Mrs. Brown had too many misbehaving children. Their children would always scare off the new nannies, who would tell Mr. and Mrs. Brown that they needed to get Nurse Matilda. Finally, Mr. and Mrs. Brown agreed to get Nurse Matilda and she appeared at their house. They told her seven things that the children had issues with, and Nurse Matilda considered these things the seven lessons the children must learn.

Whenever the children wouldn't listen to Nurse Matilda, in any of their lessons, she would thump her stick on the floor. This caused the children to have to do everything that they were doing, so they became unhappy and caused an even bigger mess than before. Each time, the children had to admit that they had to ask Nurse Matilda to make it stop, without forgetting to say "please." Each time, Nurse Matilda would let them stop and would clean up everything.

The children go through such events as facing being arrested for cannibalism, almost being taken by their Great Aunt Adelaide Stitch, and fighting their staff. Eventually, they go through lesson seven in a nightmare that accumulates all the past events. When the lesson is finally learned, the children lose their Nurse Matilda, who had looked ugly but is now beautiful to them, and gain many toys.

The stories from this book and the book's two sequels are the basis for the Nanny McPhee movies.

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Parental Guidance

  • Reading Age: 7
  • Reading Aloud Age: add your suggested read-aloud age


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