Before I review the book, I wanted to comment on something. As you may have read from other reviewers, this book is identical in text/content to another book called "Monster Mission" from the same author. Please don't blame the author for this, as the problem lies with two different publishers both owning rights to print the book. (Puffin, and Macmillan) The book by one publisher has a different title and different cover art but it is the same book, word for word. This happened to another Ibbotson book "The Haunting of Hiram C. Hopgood" and "The Haunting of Granite Falls", are identical as well. To make it more confusing, I bought a book before these US releases, "The Haunting of Hiram" in Canada, and it is also the same book with yet another cover and title.
As long as you know BEFORE you buy, it's OK since you can pick which cover art you prefer. I happen to like the Macmillan cover more than the Puffin cover on both books myself, but at least I could choose. The down side of all this, is that I think that buyers are hesitant to rush to buy a new Ibbotson book until they learn more about is, as they are afraid it may duplicate a book they have. This gets harder when you are buying for someone else.
Now, the book that is for sale on this page "Island of the Aunts", is a great story. It is about three aunts that live on a magical island, whose mission is to care for the magic and mythical creatures of the world, mending them when they are hurt and that sort of thing. As they are getting up in years, they decide they need someone to take their place and it will take some time to train them. They know that it must be children, as they could understand the magic better and believe what they are seeing. So these kind gentle souls decide the best way to get them to the island is to kidnap them! They travel to London to take their time studying different kids to find those that have the right tempemperment and the best chance of success... they need good kind-hearted, smart kids. They find some but, also accidentaly steal another kid who is a beastly mean brat. To make matters worse a ship has arrived to pollute the island and exploit the creatures. This story is sweet and hilarious, dripping with suspense, full of imagination and memorable characters.