In the autumn of 1886, Elinora Gassbeek, matron of the Little Tulip Orphanage discovers five new babies in most extraordinary circumstances:
One in a tin toolbox.
One in a coal bucket.
One in a picnic hamper.
One in a wheat sack.
And finally, one in a coffin-shaped basket.
Those babies were Lotta, Egbert, Fenna, Sem and Milou.
Growing up together, these five children know their individuality is what makes them so special - and so determined to stay together.
Then a most sinister gentleman appears and threatens to tear them apart. The gang decide to make a daring escape, fleeing the frozen canals of Amsterdam for an adventure packed with puppets and pirate ships, clock-makers and cruel villains - and with only a scrap of a clue to guide them.