Mary and Jean Wallace are on a boat going to Australia to go live with their father. One night the ship begins to sink, and Mary instantly thinks of the Snodgrass babies, who she has often taken care of on the ship. She wakes up Jean, and they go rescue the Snodgrass twins, Elisha and Elijaj, who are 20 months and their little brother, Jonah, who is 4 months. They go to a lifeboat right before the boat goes down. Mr. Arlington gives them his baby, Ann Elizabeth, saying he will be back with his wife, but he is too late. Jean and Mary are alone with the babies. In the lifeboat, Jean finds food for them all. Then one day, they find a desert island where the babies drink coconut milk and the girls have bananas and clams.
One day Jean is walking, and she finds big foot prints with only 4 toes on the left foot. When Jean tells Mary, they are very scared but finally, they go exploring. They find a man named Mr. Peterkin who has goats and hates kids. He agrees to let them clean and cook for him for one bucket of goat's milk a week. Finally, he starts to like them and brings them extra milk. They are having a Christmas celebration at Mr. Peterkin's shack when they see a boat. Mr. Arlingon, Mr. Snodgrass, and Mr. Wallace are on the boat; they take their children home.
I would recommend this book to a friend because it was exciting like when Jean and Mary find the foot prints. As well, the author was very easy to understand, so I got a clear picture of what it was like on the island and how hard it was.
In the beginning, I did not like Mr. Peterkin because he was mean to Jean and Mary when they really needed help because they were only kids. However, in the end, he was so nice, I liked him.