A good, quick read for kids who want a fun adventure story that's not too scary. This first volume left several plot hooks for later books, but was a self-contained story.
At the start of the story, young Nathaniel has spent three years being raised by a governess, after the mysterious disappearance of his parents. Much to his surprise, he finds that not only does he have a living aunt, but that his family has spent centuries exploring and documenting the natural world, and much that the rest of the world thinks is un-natural or non-existent.
Dodos, mysterious strangers, gremlins, phoenixes, Bedouins, amphibious biplanes and obnoxious camels all play a part in this strange and clever story. I look forward to the sequels.