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Ninety-Three in My Family Hardcover – September 1, 2006

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–Perl begins with an outlandish premise: a boy explains to his teacher that, counting himself, there are 93 members in his family, including (but not limited to) 27 owls, 11 dogs, some lions, tigers, armadillos, and frogs, a pygmy hippo named Bernice, Mommy and Daddy, 10 cats, his sister's gerbil, Six goldfish, and my sisters,/Darlene and Winifred. The boy describes what happens at mealtime, in the car, during bath time, and at bedtime. Perl's verses are bouncy and matter-of-fact: When all are finished bathing,/We dry the pets with towels./My sisters mop the bathroom floor/While I blow-dry the owls. The illustrations make what might have been a mildly silly book into a comic masterpiece, with innocent characters that are impervious to the bizarre. Lester adds magical touches like a fish holding up a sign that says No Anchovies when the family is ordering pizza. This is, of course, a counting book. Members of the family are introduced at different times, and kids will very likely want to keep tabs on which and how many animals have been mentioned so far. There's a tally sheet, kept by the teacher, at the end of the story, and readers can go back and forth to make sure she's counted correctly. Lester's visual jokes are a pretty nice reward for doing arithmetic.–Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Erica S. Perl is the author of the hit picture book Chicken Bedtime is Really Early, illustrated by George Bates. She writes for Nickelodeon and Noggin and is currently writing for an Emmy-nominated children’s series. This is her second book. Visit

Mike Lester is a cartoonist with a popular daily Internet cartoon, Mike du Jour, which appears on and He has illustrated several children’s books, including the bestseller, A Is for Salad. He lives in Rome, Georgia. Visit

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Library Binding edition (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810957604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810957602
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Erica S. Perl is an award winning children's book author. Her new middle grade novel, Aces Wild, is a companion to When Life Gives You O.J., which was named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Older Readers, an Amazon Editors' Best Book of the Month, and a finalist for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award and the Rhode Island Children's Choice Book Award).

Erica is the author of Dotty (illustrated by Julia Denos), which is perfect for back-to-school and has been called "a charmer" (Kirkus Reviews) and "an unadulterated delight" (Publishers Weekly). She is also the author of Chicken Butt! (now available in plush from Merrymakers!), Chicken Butt's Back!, Ninety-three In My Family and Chicken Bedtime is Really Early.

In addition, Erica is the author of the YA novel, Vintage Veronica. Publishers Weekly calls Vintage Veronica "wonderfully fun." Booklist says Erica "masterfully" creates "earthy and real" emotional lives for her characters, building "a romance that's as complicated as it is sweet," and School Library Journal cheers Veronica as "a much needed character in young adult fiction."

When she is not writing, Erica likes to sing, dance, draw, read, and eat stale red licorice. She is great with animals and kids, but terrible with plants. Seriously - ask any plant.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Herold on December 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Do you know a child who likes a tall tale? Or a child who loves animals and is constantly begging for just one more pet? Then "Ninety-Three in My Family" is for you!

"Ninety-Three in My Family," written by Erica S. Perl and illustrated by Mike Lester, begins in the classroom. Today's topic? Our Families. The unflappable teacher asks the young narrator, "'How many live with you?'" And he answers, "I counted quickly in my head. I told her, 'Ninety-two.'"

Why ninety-two? Well here's the narrator's rundown:

"There's twenty-seven owls,

Ten cats, eleven dogs,

A pygmy hippo named Bernice,

And eight blue speckled frogs.

My mommy and my daddy,

My sister's gerbil, Ed,

Six goldfish and my sisters,

Darlene and Winifred.

Whenever people ask me

How many live with me,

I tell them true, there's ninety-two.

Plus one (that's me!), we're ninety-three."

Told in lively verse, "Ninety-Three in My Family" makes for a truly fun read-aloud. Mike Lester's illustrations are dynamic and, needless to say, packed with animals. The owls, with their grumpy faces, are particularly (dare I say it?) cute. Each colorful page has plenty to look at and look for. The book concludes with a surprise certain to delight the young reader.

"Ninety-Three in My Family" is highly recommended fun for children ages three to ten.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amy Aldrich on January 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a zany story told in lively verse style with descriptive language and totally wonderful illustrations that kids will just eat up...and the story is a hoot too, literally with 27 owls, 10 cats, 11 dogs, that gerbil that's ALWAYS doing something interesting...and sooooooo much more! I didn't know when I picked this up at our local library that it was a math opportunity disguised as a cute kid's tale...but it rather is. Ninety-Three in My Family isn't just a litany of counting animals either...there is a lot of humor here, like the times the WHOLE family goes on a car trip..."I'll tell you, it gets crowded/When we get in the car./And Mom and Dad get cranky/If we have to drive too far!" I would too if I had flamingos with their heads out the window and a squirrel on my head (which makes the dad sneeze by the way)...and the expression on the faces of the people they are driving past...beautifully done!

I give Ninety-Three in My Family five stars, it's a whirlwind look at one very large family that also affords a visual feast through its illustrations and the added math dimension was quite nice, as this book goes beyond the opportunity to count from one to ten and lets your child try out 10, 11, 27 and many more!! There are PLENTY of opportunities to count all the animals and if you didn't find them all in the story pages, at the end there is a two page spread devoted to a black board representation of the who shebang laid out nicely!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anne B. Levy on November 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
We had a lot of pets growing up. A dog, gerbils, tropical fish of every stripe and variety. But that ain't nuthin. When the boy in this story is asked how many are in his family, he mentally adds up all the owls, gophers, lions, flamingoes, llamas, and, oh, I forget how many pets.

Honestly, who can keep track? But it's fun trying. My son instantly ripped this from my mitts and has been scouring the book for all its hoofed, pawed, clawed, finned and feathered characters.

Sure, most preschoolers already love counting, but even if they didn't, Perl slyly sneaks it all in with rolicking verses that careen from kitchen to car to bathtub and even the bed, mounded high with sleepy critters.

Lester hand-sketched everything then digitally colored it, but it perfectly imitates the splotchy, impromptu feel of watercolors that just shouts "zany!"

Nothing kills incentive like telling kids math is hard, but you'd never know it here, where you'll be hunting for that poor, carsick gerbil or making sure you've spotted all the tigers (wait, they're not spotted, they're striped. Hah!)

The boy's teacher finally lists them all on the blackboard, and you may be amazed at what you missed.

I want to hire this team to make broccoli taste like cupcakes. I bet they could do it too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Oko on September 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
93 in My Family is delightful. But don't take that from me, take it from my toddler - my son bops up and down in my lap as I read him the fun, rhythmic prose and turn the pages to show him all the charming, colorful pictures of this special family that includes, among other things, three armadillos, two llamas, and more cats and dogs than I could shake a stick at. With its nice mix of catchy prose and extremely entertaining illustrations, 93 in My Family is a great book for older children as well. I just sent a copy to my seven year-old niece. She was a huge fan of Perl's Chicken Bedtime is Really Early, and I am sure she will love this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gwendolen Gross on September 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My kids were big fans of Chicken Bedtime (they still crack up over "the hamsters...what hours they keep") and Ninety-Three in My Family is another hit! Hooray for the lyrical, comical illustrations, matching the fun-to-read text. Congratulations to the team!

--Gwendolen Gross (author of Field Guide, Getting Out, and coming in '07: THE OTHER MOTHER)
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