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In all the years that Elinora Gassbeek has been matron of the Little Tulip Orphanage, not once have the very strict Rules for Baby Abandonment been broken. Until the autumn of 1886, when five babies are left in outrageous circumstances:
One in a tin toolbox.
One in a coal bucket.
One in a picnic hamper.
One in a wheat sack.
And finally, one in a coffin-shaped basket.
Those babies were Lotta, Egg, Fenna, Sem and Milou.
And although Gassbeek might think they're 'unadoptable', they know their individuality is what makes them so special - and so determined to stay together.
Then a most sinister gentleman appears and threatens to tear them apart. The gang decide to make a daring escape, fleeing the frozen canals of Amsterdam for an adventure packed with puppets and pirate ships, clock-makers and cruel villains - and with only a scrap of a clue to guide them.
But is their real home - and their real family - already closer than they realise?