Cheaper By The Dozen Series

Cheaper by the Dozen

Book cover: 'Cheaper by the Dozen'
Author(s): 
Frank Gilbreth
Ernestine Gilbreth
Copyright: 
1948
Publisher: 
Perennial Classics
Series: 
Cheaper by the Dozen
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
224 pages
Subject(s): 
Review: 

It's the Jazz Age, roadsters are the rage, and an engineer in Massachusetts is raising a vibrant family of 12 children. Welcome to the world of the Gilbreths, where everything comes 'cheaper by the dozen'.

Frank B. Gilbreth originated the science of 'motion study', to improve efficiency. He and his wife Lillian collaborated happily on books, factory layouts, and their large family. This book is essentially a family biography written by two of the Gilbreth children. Uproariously funny for families of any size, Cheaper By The Dozen will be particularly fun for homeschoolers to read. Mr. Gilbreth takes an active part in the children's education; painting glow-in-the-dark constellations on the ceiling and playing foreign language records during 'unavoidable delay' in the bathroom. Nuisance boyfriends, tonsil removal, and new babies are mundane occurrences at the Gilbreth home, and Father uses every event to teach science, and efficiency. The results are predictably hilarious.

Poignant, memorably funny, and always realistic, Cheaper By The Dozen can be read out loud or on its own. It is a genuine experience of life in the early 1900's, with all the attitudes and prejudices of that era, and will be a learning experience for your whole family.

Note: There is an instance of profanity in Chapter 2 which can easily be edited by a proofreading parent.

Video/DVD: This book was made into a movie in 1950 and is one of our family's favorites - a real classic. It is available on DVD.

Review Date: 
1999

Belles On Their Toes

Book cover: 'Belles On Their Toes'
Author(s): 
Frank Gilbreth
Ernestine Gilbreth
Copyright: 
1950
Publisher: 
Perennial Classics
Series: 
Cheaper by the Dozen
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
240 pages
Subject(s): 
Review: 

This sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen is, if anything, even more hilarious. Both share a realism that only a true story can acquire. After Frank B. Gilbreth's death, his wife Lillian takes over his business as an efficiency engineer, traveling to conferences and teaching students in her home. The 11 Gilbreth children are growing up, and manage to find a hilarious situation in each new experiences. As usual, the Gilbreth family faces cigarettes, garden fertilizer, one piece bathing suits, and meetings with the president with equal aplomb and humor. This book is primarily the story of 'Mother', and the Gilbreths after their father's death. I recommend reading it after Cheaper By The Dozen for that reason. Both books contain examples of the prejudices and attitudes of the 'teens and 'twenties, and provide many opportunities for learning experiences.

Video/DVD: This book was made into a movie in 1952. It diverts more from the book than the Cheaper by the Dozen movie, and has taken the form of a musical. It is available on DVD.

Review Date: 
1999