The happy and sunlit childhood of Gerald Durrell, and family, on the Greek island of Corfu. This is how the celebrated world conservation hero got his start.For the passionate young animal lover, the island in the Ionian Sea was a natural paradise, teeming with strange birds and beasts. As Durrell writes... "To me, this blue kingdom was a treasure house of strange beasts which I longed to collect and observe, and at first it was frustrating for I could only peck along the shoreline like some forlorn seabird, capturing the small fry in the shallows and occasionally being tantalized by something mysterious and wonderful cast up on the shore. But then I got my boat, the good ship Bootle Bumtrinket, and so the whole of this kingdom was opened up for me, from the golden red castles of rock and their deep pools and underwater caves in the north to the long, glittering white sand dunes lying like snowdrifts in the south." For fans of the PBS Masterpiece series, The Durrells in Corfu, and fans of memoirs from a vanished time--including attitudes very different from our own--this is a book to treasure.