This is a lovely story. I'm particularly drawn to stories in which older people and kids are friends, which is something you almost never see in TV or movies (where the old are generally mocked). And it's nice to read a story in which the family is quite average and normal. The children are fairly realistic and I really enjoyed reading of their adventures. Sadly, children aren't really allowed to have these kind of free and potentially dangerous adventures any more. Another author who writes stories in which there is an equal friendship between young and old is L. M. Boston, who wrote the Green Knowe books.