Eleven year old Lily is a lot like me, or at least has my same thoughts about the future. Her favourite hobby is doodling her dream home that she'll live all alone in, with no kids to screw up. She's thought this through from her three annoying siblings: 3 year old Pixie, and 6 year old twins Baxter and Bliss. Pixie is the typical three year old who can't yet draw or talk properly but wishes she could, Bliss is a scaredy-cat who's afraid of even a hint of scariness, and Baxter is the average big yap muscle boy who doesn't know when he's rude or not. After a mix-up in phone messages with their babysitter after their mother decides to take a vacation to Sweden to follow a man she met at a pub recently, Lily ends up shooing the babysitter away for fear of abuse (and personal distaste.) But when the phone is hung up, she doesn't realize what she's just done: She has to take care of her three kids for a week. Maybe even more, as her mom was not quite clear on how long she'd be gone. Think of the first thing that pops into your head to tell Mom, or Mum, and it's messed up. How's Lily supposed to feed them, keep them busy, and make sure their secret isn't revealed, with no money and limited food?
I may not have made it sound scary, but it really is. Jacqueline Wilson knows what a very little kid can be like. A lot of games are made up on the spot, most involving going outside to this magical park that from it's description is as big as a conservation forest near the picket fences. These games and fun play sequences will not only delight readers, especially girls from what I can imagine, but will help little kids play outside. I never really thought of strangers as the enemy, but they are in this movie. What would you do if you saw four kids by themselves in a park? It's hard for me to say what I would do. One thing's for sure: what I was looking forward to in this book the most was when Lily would have to do a stunt in order to protect her children, but as I was reading, I doubted that it would actually happen. It did. A movie critic I follow daily, Nell Minow, says she loves heist movies as much as anybody. She also likes it when the thief gets a proper punishment. I say different. And apparently, Jacqueline did, too.
Lily basically goes from an annoyed girl to a strict but caring and emotional mother, and while it may sound very upsetting, which it is, especially for all the kids about not being able to see their mum, especially Lily, this book is still rather calming yet still a dreamy page turner. Every chapter is around twenty-four pages, and in some books, long chapters annoy me. This one didn't in any way. There was a part of the book that makes Lily resort to having them go out into the wilderness and camp, forging around. I felt like I read a milestone in kid's books when I put this book down. It's cute, heartwarming, character gripping and changing, kids will find a voice they recognize as their own through any one of the four troublemakers, and no, it will not make you a bossy boots.