Way back in the autumn of 1880, five babies are discovered at the Little Tulip Orphanage in most unusual circumstances. Those babies are Lotta, Egbert, Fenna, Sem and Milou. The vile matron calls the children 'the unadoptables' but this talented gang of best friends know that their individuality is what makes them so special - and so determined to stay together. When a sinister gentleman tries to get them in his clutches, the children make a daring escape across the frozen canals of Amsterdam, embarking on an adventure packed with pirate ships and puppets. But is their real home - and their real family - already closer than they realise?