With their father away on a trip to New Zealand and Mrs. Coverlet, the house-keeper, suddenly summoned home, the three Persever children are faced with running things themselves. And they do. Money is no problem for Toad Persever, the baby of the family, when he discovers that his tortoise cat, Nervous, was not meant to be a mama, but is in fact, a fabulously valuable male. And then there is his magic food formula, which for a while, at least, keeps the three children busy and rich. Practical Molly takes over the cooking and the three children thrive on her unvaried menu of hamburger. And Malcolm, the oldest, feels generally contented except for occasional twinges from his ""very complicated"" conscience. This really funny book establishes the Persevers as a welcome addition to that repertoire of favorite literary families who are neither too good nor too bad, but always full of hilarious surprises.