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Cheaper by the Dozen Mass Market Paperback – November 25, 2003
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“Gay and lighthearted...One of the most amusing books.” (The Chicago Sun-Times)
“Always entertaining, occasionally hilarious, occasionally touching....Sound Americana.” (Saturday Review of Literature)
"Instructive, funny, and very readable." (School Library Journal)
From the Publisher
No growing pains have ever been more hilarious than those suffered loudly by the riotous Gilbreth clan. First, there are a dozen red-haired, freckle-faced kids to contend with. Then there's Dad, a famous efficiency expert who believes a family can be run just like a factory. And there's Mother, his partner in everything except discipline. How they all survive such escapades as forgetting Frank, Jr., in a roadside restaurant or going on a first date with Dad in the backseat or having their tonsils removed en masse will keep you in stitches. You can be sure they're not only cheaper, they're funnier by the dozen. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The Gilbreth family of 12 kids, parented by efficiency experts Lillian and Frank, were a bit eccentric and very funny. I still can remember the line one of the kids rapped out to a guest at dinner "Please, we are NOT in the mood for an organ recital." This was the standard reprimand for belching in the family and never intended for public airing.
The Gilbreths were actually serious innovators of efficiency for the new factory assembly lines, figuring out the number of movements needed to complete a task and establishing a unit of work movement called the Therblig. They were also warm, funny, loving parents and their story is a good one to read out loud to kids, who invariably love this book.
Can you imagine having to take care of 12 kids and a dog? That would be a pretty hard job. I love reading this book especially when their father (Mr. Gilbreth) was teaching the kids Morse code. All over the house on every wall was Morse code. The kids had to find out what they said. Some would say, "Go to my room and under my bed is a deck of cards."
I encourage any one who loves non-fiction biography to read this book. I am sure you will like it too. If you don't like it in the beginning you should stick with it because it gets extremely good at the end.
I read this book the first time because it was required in junior high (now known as middle school). I just read it again with my teenage daughters to maybe bring some understanding to them about saving time and money and that time is money. This father is the king of creative spending and overlapping chores to save time.
A very enjoyable book to read. This is an excellent book to co-read with your children of any age and might help you get a few frugal points accross to them.
It's a comical read laced with some very neccesary ideas of financial knowledge.
This is a quick book to read, and in my case a shared time of family financial understanding. Don't pass up reading this fun book. It'll make you laugh and think..."That's a good idea." reading about dad's fanatical penny pinching ways.
A great story that everyone should read.
This is the story of a family (a big one) and of the two fascinating, unusual people who created it. It's also a look at the early years of the 20th century and how they changed life for all time. We think of it as a lazy, nostalgic time when people were rooted in tradition. In reality, it was a time of rapid change when Americans were excited about the future and their growing importance in the world. Industries were waking up to new ways of doing things that increased productivity. Increased productivity meant lower costs, which meant that the average citizen could enjoy products (like automobiles) that had been rich men's toys only a few years before. It was a time of prosperity and optimism.
Frank and Lillian Gilbreth were efficiency engineers who were at the forefront of this movement. And like all engineers, they tended to run their home by the same principles that guided their profession. As their oldest daughter points out in her humorous-but-incisive introduction, a great deal of "regimentation" is absolutely necessary in a large family or chaos reigns. Not that there wasn't plenty of chaos anyway, and most of it is hilarious.
Lillian Gilbreth was of the generation called the "New Woman." Feminism wasn't born in the 1960's, but had its roots in the era when women were fighting for the right to attend college, to be professionals, and to vote. With her proud husband supporting her, this gentle but strong woman took her place in a profession that even today is still largely male-dominated. And she raised a houseful of children while she was doing it!
It's also the story of a successful marriage which tragically ended too soon. I love the contrast between the bombastic self-made man and the quiet girl from the wealthy California family. Each brought strengths into the partnership and they respected and supported each other both personally and professionally.
Yes, this is a book that would not (as we used to say) raise a blush on the cheek of a modest young lady (assuming you could find one) but it's also a down-to-earth telling of family life in an era when there were no "experts" telling people how to raise their children. The story of two very different people and how they loved and taught their large brood is not just entertaining, but educational. I loved this book as a child and I enjoyed reading it again. I can't really imagine anyone who WOULDN'T. It's a true classic.