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The classic American memoir of twelve kids, two parents, and a world of laughter and love

Translated into more than fifty languages and adapted into two classic motion pictures, Cheaper by the Dozen is the unforgettable story of the Gilbreth clan as told by two of its members. In this endearing, amusing memoir, siblings Frank Jr. and Ernestine capture the hilarity and heart of growing up in an oversized family.

Mother and Dad are world-renowned efficiency experts, helping factories fine-tune their assembly lines for maximum output at minimum cost. At home, the Gilbreths themselves have cranked out twelve kids, and Dad is out to prove that efficiency principles can apply to family as well as the workplace. The heartwarming and comic stories of the jumbo-sized Gilbreth clan have delighted generations of readers, and will keep you and yours laughing for years.

This ebook features an illustrated biography including rare photos from the authors’ estates.
Published: Open Road Media an imprint of Open Road Integrated Media on Nov 5, 2013
ISBN: 9781480457072
List price: $14.99
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A wonderful "slice of life" book, two of the twelve Gilbreath children give us a glimpse into the family that raised twelve children while building careers for both parents that are still admired today. Frank and Lilian Gilbreath are the founding "parents" of the field of Industrial Engineering, and the methods that they used on their children are both fascinating and intriguing. Recommended.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A thoroughly amusing book written by two of the dozen children of efficiency experts Frank Bunker Gilbreth and Lillian Moller Gilbreth. They tell of many amusing incidents in their lives up until the death of their father in 1924. A light-hearted and interesting read.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
a favorite classic-- based on true family of Frank & Lillian Gilbreth-- and their 12 children--hence Cheaper by the Dozen" Clifton Webb, Jeanine Crain, Myrna Loyread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A family classic. The antics of the Gilbreth family, with motion-study expert father and psychologist mother never cease to amuse. While this is not a story so much as a series of anecdotes, those anecdotes serve as wonderful exposition to a very amusing family, as well as a look back at times when cars were new, bathing suits had tights, and short hair was a serious hurdle to be overcome with protective parents.To those who have seen the recent movie--The Gilbreth family is run with an efficiency and efficacy that Steve Martin could never dream of. They are not the same at all. Please read the book; it's also funny, but in a much more sophisticated way.To those who have seen the older movies with Myrna Loy, etc: That movie does an excellent job incorporating many of the funniest anecdotes in the book, while creating a story line for them to hang on. The book includes a few more (you might be particularly interested in "Kissing Kin" and "Chinese Cooking," which detail the family's visit to relatives, "Nantucket" and "The Rena" which describe summer escapades, and "Touch" which tells the story of 'Moby Dick,' the white typewriter).read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Funny and bittersweet, this is a not-to-be-missed story.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
More than a fun story about a large family in the early twentieth century, though it is that. The standout character in this book is the father, an unconventional efficiency expert who happens to be hilarious. I suppose it's low on plot; it's a vignette-based text, but those vignettes are generally amusing and always well-told. The recent movie has very, very little to do with this book.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wow! I don't even know hot they can call the movie 'based on' this book when the two are NOTHING alike. The ONLY similarity between the book and movie are that there are 12 children. That's IT!

The book is about the Gilbreths who grew up between 1900-1930 so as you can imagine, their lives were nothing like the kids depicted in the movie version. The father is an engineer who studies motion. His job is to study how people do certain jobs and figure out how they can do them faster.

In the book, there are 6 girls and 6 boys. In the movie there are 5 girls and 7 boys. In the book the father is tall and plump. In the movie he's tall and thin. Even the order of kid's is wrong. In the book, the oldest three are girls. In the movie It's boy, girl, girl. In the book, they used to have a collie but when he died, they didn't have another dog. In the movie they have a pitbull. In the book there are no multiples. In the movie there is a set of twins. See what I mean?

Anyways back to the book. It was really interesting to read about life in the 1910's. Although the kids all went to school, the father taught them things at home like languages, astronomy and morse code. The methods are described in the book and I found them interesting and in some cases, worth trying. There are some great ideas for homeschoolers in the book.

My favourite part is when the Mother is recruiting women to help with church fund-raising. One woman says she would help if she had the time but with three young sons, she is quite busy. She asks the mother if she has any children. The following continues:

Mother: Oh, yes.
Woman: Any boys?
M: Yes, indeed.
W: May I ask how many?
M: Certainly. I have six boys.
W: Six boys! Imagine a family of six!
M: Oh, there're more in the family than that. I have six girls too.
W: I surrender. When is the next meeting of the committee? I'll be there, Mrs. Gilbreth, I'll be there

I highly recommend this book to EVERYONE. Don't be fooled by the movie (which I did enjoy, number #2 as well) this book is quite different. In fact I'd like to see a movie that is REALLY 'based-on' this book. Oh and I guess they wrote more books about their family too. They will be added to my TBR list.
read more
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This is one of my favorite stories. It really holds up over time, so I think modern children will really enjoy it as i did.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book has absolutely nothing to do with the recent Steve Martin movies. It’s a nonfiction account, written by two of the children, of their experiences growing up in a family with twelve kids. Their eccentric father was a motion study analyst and taught them the more efficient way to do everything! He even showed them (while he was fully clothed) the fastest way to wash yourself with soap when bathing. One of my favorite anecdotes from the book was when the family was visited by a representative of the national birth control society. They were there to ask the mother if she wanted to get involved with their organization (not knowing how many kids she had). Then the father called all 12 children downstairs and the woman just about had a heart attack. Their father was incredibly focused on teaching them. He quizzed them on multiplication tables, taught them how to type and constantly had recordings going that taught them how to speak French and German. He talked their teachers into frequently letting them skip grades because the kids excelled at such young ages. Unfortunately, as great as that sounds, it’s incredibly hard on the kids to have to make new friends and start all over in a new grade. "In those days women who were scholars were viewed with some suspicion. When mother and dad were married, the Oakland paper said, 'Although a graduate of the University of California, the bride is, none the less, an extremely attractive young woman.'" read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The decision to introduce each chapter with cheesy ragtime music takes away from the audio version of this book. The music goes on for way too long- it even plays under the narration in the first chapter. The narration begins at breakneck speed, but evens out after a bit. The story is still hilarious, poignant and sweet, but the book works better than the audio for me.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Don't waste your time on the insipid Steve Martin movie, which bears NO resemblence to this classic written by two of the eponymous dozen. I re-read this every couple of years.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I first read this book in fifth or sixth grade and found it really entertaining. It's the story of a real family, the Gilbreths, whose parents were industrial engineers and efficiency experts and seemed to have a system for everything. They also had twelve children. It's a cute, funny story that is an easy read.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
To put it succinctly, "Cheaper by the Dozen" is a slightly modernized version of "Life with Father". The subject matter, the tone, the style all echo strongly of the predecessor by Clarence Day. Unfortunately, it's difficult for this reviewer to be at all objective given his perennial love for the "Life with Father" movie that predates this novel. Something about that William Powell.Suffice it to say that "Cheaper" and "Life" belong on the same shelf together and both provide us with an interesting look at family life near the turn of the century. One adds little to the other aside from detail. Cheaper wins slightly over Life with some wonderful 1920's references from Raccoon coats to bob haircuts and flappers. For now though, 23 skidoo!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The decision to introduce each chapter with cheesy ragtime music takes away from the audio version of this book. The music goes on for way too long- it even plays under the narration in the first chapter. The narration begins at breakneck speed, but evens out after a bit. The story is still hilarious, poignant and sweet, but the book works better than the audio for me.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Back in 1964 I read this book at high school in Amsterdam. It was a funny story; I still remember many details but will not reveal it here. I can recommend it.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I have read and re-read this story so many times. It was so much fun to get involved in the family dynamics. If you look to deeply, or attempted this type of "managed" family approach, the kids would probably need therapy. Just goes to show you how soft kids are these days :)read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I love this story - consequently I hated the Steve Martin movie of the same name! The true story is of an early 20th century engineer who specializes in "efficiency" and brings up his brood of 11 children according to some highly unorthodox methods. The result is humorous, warm, and an excellent picture of life in another time.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Very fun story of a family and the interesting peccadillo's of their father and his parenting ideas. Much better than the new movie, and also better than the old movie.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I loved this story. I have read it several time and love how Mr. Gilbreth was into motion study and how to save time in everything. Though I would not have liked to be part of the mass tonsilectomy!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wonder book. I read this one with my wife. Difficult to read aloud in some places as my allergies acted up for some reason. :)read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A truly charming and heartwarming book about the efficiency expert Frank Gilbreth, his wife, and their dozen children - written by two of the children (Frank Jr. and Ernestine).

This book was a massive best-seller back in its day. But as time passed, it went out of print and was forgotten and virtually unavailable for many years. I found a copy tucked onto a shelf at a rented vacation cabin on a lake in Maine; the shelves were simply packed with old books, including many issues of Reader's Digest Condensed Classics. Cheaper By The Dozen is not great literature, I suppose. But it's a touching and entertaining window into a time now long gone.

Please do not mistake it for the current movies of the same title, which have as little to do with the book as Eddie Murphy's Doctor Dolittle movies have to do with Hugh Lofting's beloved classic books for children.

The movies should be forgotten. The book, on the other hand, is still worth remembering and rereading.

10/22/2009 - After another re-reading I want to emphasize two things: this is an extremely funny book, and it is also, at the end, a deeply moving one.

Also, in my initial review I was unintentionally unfair to Lillian Gilbreth, the mother of the family; she was a distinguished scientist in her own right, and has been honored by the Smithsonian Institution and was featured on a U.S. postage stamp.

The sequel was Belles on their Toes, and I'll be looking for it - as well as other books by Frank and Ernestine.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A favorite for the large family to read together. Be aware of mild language.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The adventures of a most unusual family in the early part of the centuryread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I read this book because I love the movie by the same name. Of course, I refer to the movie starring Clifton Webb and not the cheap remake with Steve Martin. I wanted to love this book and, in fact, I did love this book, but one thing kept me from giving it 5 stars. I could not get past the subtle (or not so subtle) racism from the mother. She had a habit of saying when something or somebody was unsavoury or dirty, that they were being "Eskimo". I know that the time of this book was the early 20th century and that this kind of racism was common and acceptable but today it is not and it left me with a mild distaste for the book as a result.That aside, this book nicely tells about an amazing family headed by a remarkable man and woman who were ahead of their time when it came to efficiency studies.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A humourous and anecdotal quasi-biography of family of 14 in early 19th century America. Interesting and funny incidents in households with dozen children and how their parents (notable motion study experts) dealt with them occupy majority of the book. Father and his methods as efficiency expert are also notable and charming. Quick and simple read with poignant end.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
1117 Cheaper by the Dozen, by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Casey (read 20 May 1971) I did no post-reading note on this book, but I remember I read it because my wife said it was funny and I should. I found it a light enjoyable reading experience. See:Cheaper by the Dozen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
True Story of an amazing family at the turn of the century. Wonderful read. Written by two of the children.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The story of the Gilbreth family is amusing and touching, particularly if one ignores the travesty that was the most recently produced movie 'based' on this book. It is the story of how two people decided to have twelve children and then proceeded to do just that and how their father managed to keep a tight ship running with the use and knowledge of time study. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the time period, has enjoyed reading about other family-type biographies or simply likes a touching story.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I was not expecting this to be a good book when I picked it up because it was writen so long ago, so I was happily suprised when I started reading. This is a light-hearted and inspiring book. It chronicles the life of a family of twelve living under the roof of a motion study engineer. Everything is done in the most productive way and the strive for efficiency makes for a humorous story. The closeness of this rather large family and their support for one another represented perfectly in this humorous novel.read more
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I am probably going to be flayed alive by fans of this classic bit of kiddie lit, but I didn't love it. As a matter of fact, far from wondering what it would have been like to have grown up in their family, I was beyond grateful that I didn't. Usually I am all for daydreaming and inserting myself in the appealing, old-fashioned world but not in this instance. I do understand that writing this book was probably a labor of love on Gilbreth and Carey's parts. And I am quite certain that they would be horrified to know that I found their father, at least as depicted here, to be an unpleasant sort. The idea of running a family as a factory or business might seem quaint and entertaining from a distance but it struck me as distasteful. I was particularly interested in the assertion by the authors that he respected children and that's why so many children liked him. Then, completely without irony, they said that he would cut off their dinner conversation by declaring it "not of general interest" and go on to expound on whatever had fascinated or consumed him that day. Respectful? Wow. That's not my understanding of the word. But the look at the times and the inner workings (even if unusual) of a large family was interesting. Mother Lil was really rather marginalized in this book but I suspect she takes center stage in the next book so perhaps the pair are intended to be seperate portraits of their parents in the milieu that the children knew them best: the family. It is also worth noting that there was only about one year in which all 12 children were at home since the age span between the first and the twelfth is great enough. And since Frank Sr. died when the youngest was merely two, his jovial response to people's wonder at so many children that they come cheaper by the dozen was really only true at the very tail end of his life. The book is almost episodic in nature, with the interesting bits recounted, leaving the narrative flow a bit choppy. And figuring out who all the children were? Don't count on it as they aren't described distinctly enough to differentiate amongst them. But this is a classic and people do love it so perhaps I was just in a terrible mood or completely missed the elusive something that draws readers to a book. The family antics were occasionally entertaining but I had a hard time getting past my dislike of the not quite so genial patriarch. Heresy, but I prefer the movie versions.read more
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A wonderful "slice of life" book, two of the twelve Gilbreath children give us a glimpse into the family that raised twelve children while building careers for both parents that are still admired today. Frank and Lilian Gilbreath are the founding "parents" of the field of Industrial Engineering, and the methods that they used on their children are both fascinating and intriguing. Recommended.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A thoroughly amusing book written by two of the dozen children of efficiency experts Frank Bunker Gilbreth and Lillian Moller Gilbreth. They tell of many amusing incidents in their lives up until the death of their father in 1924. A light-hearted and interesting read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
a favorite classic-- based on true family of Frank & Lillian Gilbreth-- and their 12 children--hence Cheaper by the Dozen" Clifton Webb, Jeanine Crain, Myrna Loy
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A family classic. The antics of the Gilbreth family, with motion-study expert father and psychologist mother never cease to amuse. While this is not a story so much as a series of anecdotes, those anecdotes serve as wonderful exposition to a very amusing family, as well as a look back at times when cars were new, bathing suits had tights, and short hair was a serious hurdle to be overcome with protective parents.To those who have seen the recent movie--The Gilbreth family is run with an efficiency and efficacy that Steve Martin could never dream of. They are not the same at all. Please read the book; it's also funny, but in a much more sophisticated way.To those who have seen the older movies with Myrna Loy, etc: That movie does an excellent job incorporating many of the funniest anecdotes in the book, while creating a story line for them to hang on. The book includes a few more (you might be particularly interested in "Kissing Kin" and "Chinese Cooking," which detail the family's visit to relatives, "Nantucket" and "The Rena" which describe summer escapades, and "Touch" which tells the story of 'Moby Dick,' the white typewriter).
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Funny and bittersweet, this is a not-to-be-missed story.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
More than a fun story about a large family in the early twentieth century, though it is that. The standout character in this book is the father, an unconventional efficiency expert who happens to be hilarious. I suppose it's low on plot; it's a vignette-based text, but those vignettes are generally amusing and always well-told. The recent movie has very, very little to do with this book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wow! I don't even know hot they can call the movie 'based on' this book when the two are NOTHING alike. The ONLY similarity between the book and movie are that there are 12 children. That's IT!

The book is about the Gilbreths who grew up between 1900-1930 so as you can imagine, their lives were nothing like the kids depicted in the movie version. The father is an engineer who studies motion. His job is to study how people do certain jobs and figure out how they can do them faster.

In the book, there are 6 girls and 6 boys. In the movie there are 5 girls and 7 boys. In the book the father is tall and plump. In the movie he's tall and thin. Even the order of kid's is wrong. In the book, the oldest three are girls. In the movie It's boy, girl, girl. In the book, they used to have a collie but when he died, they didn't have another dog. In the movie they have a pitbull. In the book there are no multiples. In the movie there is a set of twins. See what I mean?

Anyways back to the book. It was really interesting to read about life in the 1910's. Although the kids all went to school, the father taught them things at home like languages, astronomy and morse code. The methods are described in the book and I found them interesting and in some cases, worth trying. There are some great ideas for homeschoolers in the book.

My favourite part is when the Mother is recruiting women to help with church fund-raising. One woman says she would help if she had the time but with three young sons, she is quite busy. She asks the mother if she has any children. The following continues:

Mother: Oh, yes.
Woman: Any boys?
M: Yes, indeed.
W: May I ask how many?
M: Certainly. I have six boys.
W: Six boys! Imagine a family of six!
M: Oh, there're more in the family than that. I have six girls too.
W: I surrender. When is the next meeting of the committee? I'll be there, Mrs. Gilbreth, I'll be there

I highly recommend this book to EVERYONE. Don't be fooled by the movie (which I did enjoy, number #2 as well) this book is quite different. In fact I'd like to see a movie that is REALLY 'based-on' this book. Oh and I guess they wrote more books about their family too. They will be added to my TBR list.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is one of my favorite stories. It really holds up over time, so I think modern children will really enjoy it as i did.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book has absolutely nothing to do with the recent Steve Martin movies. It’s a nonfiction account, written by two of the children, of their experiences growing up in a family with twelve kids. Their eccentric father was a motion study analyst and taught them the more efficient way to do everything! He even showed them (while he was fully clothed) the fastest way to wash yourself with soap when bathing. One of my favorite anecdotes from the book was when the family was visited by a representative of the national birth control society. They were there to ask the mother if she wanted to get involved with their organization (not knowing how many kids she had). Then the father called all 12 children downstairs and the woman just about had a heart attack. Their father was incredibly focused on teaching them. He quizzed them on multiplication tables, taught them how to type and constantly had recordings going that taught them how to speak French and German. He talked their teachers into frequently letting them skip grades because the kids excelled at such young ages. Unfortunately, as great as that sounds, it’s incredibly hard on the kids to have to make new friends and start all over in a new grade. "In those days women who were scholars were viewed with some suspicion. When mother and dad were married, the Oakland paper said, 'Although a graduate of the University of California, the bride is, none the less, an extremely attractive young woman.'" 
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The decision to introduce each chapter with cheesy ragtime music takes away from the audio version of this book. The music goes on for way too long- it even plays under the narration in the first chapter. The narration begins at breakneck speed, but evens out after a bit. The story is still hilarious, poignant and sweet, but the book works better than the audio for me.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Don't waste your time on the insipid Steve Martin movie, which bears NO resemblence to this classic written by two of the eponymous dozen. I re-read this every couple of years.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I first read this book in fifth or sixth grade and found it really entertaining. It's the story of a real family, the Gilbreths, whose parents were industrial engineers and efficiency experts and seemed to have a system for everything. They also had twelve children. It's a cute, funny story that is an easy read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
To put it succinctly, "Cheaper by the Dozen" is a slightly modernized version of "Life with Father". The subject matter, the tone, the style all echo strongly of the predecessor by Clarence Day. Unfortunately, it's difficult for this reviewer to be at all objective given his perennial love for the "Life with Father" movie that predates this novel. Something about that William Powell.Suffice it to say that "Cheaper" and "Life" belong on the same shelf together and both provide us with an interesting look at family life near the turn of the century. One adds little to the other aside from detail. Cheaper wins slightly over Life with some wonderful 1920's references from Raccoon coats to bob haircuts and flappers. For now though, 23 skidoo!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The decision to introduce each chapter with cheesy ragtime music takes away from the audio version of this book. The music goes on for way too long- it even plays under the narration in the first chapter. The narration begins at breakneck speed, but evens out after a bit. The story is still hilarious, poignant and sweet, but the book works better than the audio for me.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Back in 1964 I read this book at high school in Amsterdam. It was a funny story; I still remember many details but will not reveal it here. I can recommend it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I have read and re-read this story so many times. It was so much fun to get involved in the family dynamics. If you look to deeply, or attempted this type of "managed" family approach, the kids would probably need therapy. Just goes to show you how soft kids are these days :)
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I love this story - consequently I hated the Steve Martin movie of the same name! The true story is of an early 20th century engineer who specializes in "efficiency" and brings up his brood of 11 children according to some highly unorthodox methods. The result is humorous, warm, and an excellent picture of life in another time.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Very fun story of a family and the interesting peccadillo's of their father and his parenting ideas. Much better than the new movie, and also better than the old movie.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I loved this story. I have read it several time and love how Mr. Gilbreth was into motion study and how to save time in everything. Though I would not have liked to be part of the mass tonsilectomy!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wonder book. I read this one with my wife. Difficult to read aloud in some places as my allergies acted up for some reason. :)
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A truly charming and heartwarming book about the efficiency expert Frank Gilbreth, his wife, and their dozen children - written by two of the children (Frank Jr. and Ernestine).

This book was a massive best-seller back in its day. But as time passed, it went out of print and was forgotten and virtually unavailable for many years. I found a copy tucked onto a shelf at a rented vacation cabin on a lake in Maine; the shelves were simply packed with old books, including many issues of Reader's Digest Condensed Classics. Cheaper By The Dozen is not great literature, I suppose. But it's a touching and entertaining window into a time now long gone.

Please do not mistake it for the current movies of the same title, which have as little to do with the book as Eddie Murphy's Doctor Dolittle movies have to do with Hugh Lofting's beloved classic books for children.

The movies should be forgotten. The book, on the other hand, is still worth remembering and rereading.

10/22/2009 - After another re-reading I want to emphasize two things: this is an extremely funny book, and it is also, at the end, a deeply moving one.

Also, in my initial review I was unintentionally unfair to Lillian Gilbreth, the mother of the family; she was a distinguished scientist in her own right, and has been honored by the Smithsonian Institution and was featured on a U.S. postage stamp.

The sequel was Belles on their Toes, and I'll be looking for it - as well as other books by Frank and Ernestine.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A favorite for the large family to read together. Be aware of mild language.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The adventures of a most unusual family in the early part of the century
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I read this book because I love the movie by the same name. Of course, I refer to the movie starring Clifton Webb and not the cheap remake with Steve Martin. I wanted to love this book and, in fact, I did love this book, but one thing kept me from giving it 5 stars. I could not get past the subtle (or not so subtle) racism from the mother. She had a habit of saying when something or somebody was unsavoury or dirty, that they were being "Eskimo". I know that the time of this book was the early 20th century and that this kind of racism was common and acceptable but today it is not and it left me with a mild distaste for the book as a result.That aside, this book nicely tells about an amazing family headed by a remarkable man and woman who were ahead of their time when it came to efficiency studies.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A humourous and anecdotal quasi-biography of family of 14 in early 19th century America. Interesting and funny incidents in households with dozen children and how their parents (notable motion study experts) dealt with them occupy majority of the book. Father and his methods as efficiency expert are also notable and charming. Quick and simple read with poignant end.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
1117 Cheaper by the Dozen, by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Casey (read 20 May 1971) I did no post-reading note on this book, but I remember I read it because my wife said it was funny and I should. I found it a light enjoyable reading experience. See:Cheaper by the Dozen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
True Story of an amazing family at the turn of the century. Wonderful read. Written by two of the children.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The story of the Gilbreth family is amusing and touching, particularly if one ignores the travesty that was the most recently produced movie 'based' on this book. It is the story of how two people decided to have twelve children and then proceeded to do just that and how their father managed to keep a tight ship running with the use and knowledge of time study. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the time period, has enjoyed reading about other family-type biographies or simply likes a touching story.
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I was not expecting this to be a good book when I picked it up because it was writen so long ago, so I was happily suprised when I started reading. This is a light-hearted and inspiring book. It chronicles the life of a family of twelve living under the roof of a motion study engineer. Everything is done in the most productive way and the strive for efficiency makes for a humorous story. The closeness of this rather large family and their support for one another represented perfectly in this humorous novel.
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I am probably going to be flayed alive by fans of this classic bit of kiddie lit, but I didn't love it. As a matter of fact, far from wondering what it would have been like to have grown up in their family, I was beyond grateful that I didn't. Usually I am all for daydreaming and inserting myself in the appealing, old-fashioned world but not in this instance. I do understand that writing this book was probably a labor of love on Gilbreth and Carey's parts. And I am quite certain that they would be horrified to know that I found their father, at least as depicted here, to be an unpleasant sort. The idea of running a family as a factory or business might seem quaint and entertaining from a distance but it struck me as distasteful. I was particularly interested in the assertion by the authors that he respected children and that's why so many children liked him. Then, completely without irony, they said that he would cut off their dinner conversation by declaring it "not of general interest" and go on to expound on whatever had fascinated or consumed him that day. Respectful? Wow. That's not my understanding of the word. But the look at the times and the inner workings (even if unusual) of a large family was interesting. Mother Lil was really rather marginalized in this book but I suspect she takes center stage in the next book so perhaps the pair are intended to be seperate portraits of their parents in the milieu that the children knew them best: the family. It is also worth noting that there was only about one year in which all 12 children were at home since the age span between the first and the twelfth is great enough. And since Frank Sr. died when the youngest was merely two, his jovial response to people's wonder at so many children that they come cheaper by the dozen was really only true at the very tail end of his life. The book is almost episodic in nature, with the interesting bits recounted, leaving the narrative flow a bit choppy. And figuring out who all the children were? Don't count on it as they aren't described distinctly enough to differentiate amongst them. But this is a classic and people do love it so perhaps I was just in a terrible mood or completely missed the elusive something that draws readers to a book. The family antics were occasionally entertaining but I had a hard time getting past my dislike of the not quite so genial patriarch. Heresy, but I prefer the movie versions.
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