By actual count there are only four children in this family, but it seems like a lot more. There are: 14-year-old Oliver, who likes to collect animals; Lucy, who is always wandering vaguely off; her 12-year-old twin Hamish, who rushes and stumbles about; and Henrietta, the most orderly one of the bunch even though she is only 10. They are only slightly supervised by their widowed mother who is even more up in the clouds than Lucy. The family has been invited to live with their Uncle George, a fussy old bachelor with a big old house full of antiques. In their bumbling ways the children wreak havoc in the house (their stupidity seems incredible--for instance, Hamish tries to repair his uncle's viola with cellophane tape). With their fumbling around, they manage to knock down one of the kitchen walls, where they find a valuable old violin. The book is sort of a four-ring circus with each child carrying of his own escapades at once. Since there is virtually no story line at all, the book depends mainly on the running gags. Much of the humor is frightfully British and is not likely to appeal much to an American audience.