Reviews

Belles on Their Toes, by Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, Frank B. Gilbreth Jr.

angiegladden's review against another edition

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5.0

"Belles on Their Toes" is the sequel to "Cheaper By the Dozen". It's every bit as interesting, funny and wonderful as the first.

csd17's review against another edition

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5.0

Not as good as the first one, but still amusing.

sisyphus_dreams's review against another edition

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4.0

I read [b:Cheaper by the Dozen|764903|Cheaper by the Dozen (Perennial Classics)|Frank B. Gilbreth Jr.|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1178154137s/764903.jpg|1925199] decades ago, and it stuck with me; the humor, and the deeply moving sadness at the end. I recently read to it to my nine-year-old son, who loved it (we watched the 1950 movie of the book immediately after; for his own sake, we are not watching the trashy and completely unrelated Steve Martin movie of the same name).

He wants to move on to the sequel, and so did I. Fortunately our library was able to obtain a copy. Just to be safe, I decided to read it through before deciding if it was appropriate to read to him.

It is. The humor isn't as rich as it was in Cheaper by the Dozen, but that's because this is the story of the family after Frank Gilbreth died, and he was apparently a font of humor. That said, I smiled, laughed, and chuckled many times throughout the book. It's as well-written as the first, and nearly as enjoyable. The ending isn't as moving as the ending of Cheaper by the Dozen, but it's both touching and thought-provoking. I liked this book, and I'm going to search out other books by the authors and about the Gilbreths as well.

There was one jarring point. Just as the family minstrel show suddenly brought home just how much time has passed since the events of Cheaper by the Dozen, in this case my jaw dropped when I read the following. The two oldest girls had taken up smoking, and were caught by their mother:
"I've been trying to think up some good arguments against smoking," Mother said, "but when you analyze them, they don't seem too convincing."

She started to enumerate the arguments, counting them off on her fingers.

...

"It's bad for your health. That's open to debate. Not so bad as overeating, or not getting enough sleep."

She ends up reluctantly giving them permission to smoke - quite a shock to a modern reader. Or at least it was to me! But then, I wasn't alive in the 1920s. Oh I knew, intellectually, that the attitude towards smoking was very different then, but after getting to know the Gilbreth family through their books it's strange to suddenly realize how long ago they lived.

simsarah79's review against another edition

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5.0

excellent follwo up to Cheaper by the Dozen. true story of what it might be like to raise 12 kids. but this time it's the second part taking place after the dad dies. A woman in the 1920's taking care of her children and taking over the family business.

laurenipsum's review

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funny inspiring lighthearted fast-paced

4.0

nparanka's review

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5.0

Just happened to be at my sisters a week after reading book 1 cheaper by the dozen. Fun to read the second book - the same copy I read 10+ times growing up. Still a delicious pleasure. This book is lodged deep in my psyche, a beautiful early influence. It’s like meeting an old friend.

booksaremagic's review

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4.0

A sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen, this one is a humorous but awe-inspiring study of the mother of the Gilbreth family. Just as good as or better than the first.

rhodered's review

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5.0

Not only packed with gentle humor, but also a rather important piece of women's history. Gilbreth's mother was one of the first women to act as a high profile industrial consultant, while also managing to put the rest of her dozen children through college after her husband died unexpectedly.

satyridae's review

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4.0

The sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen is nearly as good as the first.
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