BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERSIF NOT DUFFERS WONT DROWN.Thus permission is given for four children, the youngest aged seven, to take the sailing boat "Swallow" and camp on an island near their summer holiday home. This is a story of being explorers: Captain, Mate, Able-seaman, and Ship's Boy. Of Amazon raids, wars, night hunting, stolen treasures, an excess of detail about sailing, and a most irascible pirate.There's no magic in this story, beyond that of the imagination, and the sheer pleasure found by children discovering new places, new friends, new challenges. A modern mother might cringe by at the idea of four children sailing off alone in a boat (and given that a later book in this series appears to be called "We Didn't Mean to go to Sea"...), but it is a delightful, charming story - lagging a little in the middle, but definitely something that would thrill younger children marvelling at what was allowed.Pleasantly, there are more girls than boys in this little adventure, and there is never any suggestion of girls not being worthy of participating. The game of explorers and natives is a little colonial, but the pleasure here is the opening up of these children's world, of their the opportunity to not be duffers, but whatever thought might make of them.