The family run a field centre in the Scottish Highlands and the book starts with wildlife close to home such as collecting frogspawn from a nearby lake and the hand rearing of Jackdaws. Hermione also got the chance to accompany her father to some of the remote parts of the British Isles and beyond - they see seals at close quarters and the huge flocks of storm petrels on the island of Mousa. The family decided to celebrate the millenium with a trip to Africa where they see white rhino's but Hermione also thinks the scorpions are 'quite sweet really'. With the time approaching for her to go to boarding school, her father gives her the choice of going to see whatever animal she wishes - and so the family's next adventure is to see polar bears in the Arctic.
I did find it a bit irritating when the author started going on about the ills of modern society, as if he were offering an alternative lifestyle. He isn't - their travels require plenty of moern technology as well as the ability to afford it - and I felt such passages tended to break the spell of the rest of the book. Fortunately there isn't too much of this pontificating after the first chapter, and the reader can settle down to the magic of seeing the natural world through the eyes of a (very lucky) child.