Cheaper by the dozen by Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth.

Frank Gilbreth was a man whose main goal in life was to make everything more efficient. Mr. Gilbreth and his wife Lillian agreed on having exactly a dozen children six boys and six girls. This book tells the many exciting stories that happened in Mr. Gilbreth’s life.

Summary of my favorite stories.
The first story I would like to write about takes place in chapter 15 titled “Gilbreths and Company.”
Frank Gilbreth decided to begin an experiment in which he invited guests over to make them feel at home. It started with some “practice” on having good manners. If a child were to eat too much food at once he would suffer a small blow to the head from Mr.Gilbreth or one of the children next to him. They had many incidents occur while guest were present. One time a man by the name of George Isles, who came over for dinner. He told a story of a very lonely and sad man who had made the statement that he had “no children to love him,” later revealing that the man in the story was in fact Mr. Isles. Lillian—who was her mother’s namesake—was very upset by this seeing as she was the child who had been selected to care for Mr. Isles and make him feel at home, She told him that he did have children who loved him. Ever since when he came to visit he would bring the children and their mother a box of chocolate when he would visit and Little Lillian would get one all to herself.

Another story in this chapter begins by informing the readers of a joke Mr. Gilbreth used to say. Whenever his stomach rumbled at the table he would pick one child to pick on and blame the noise on him or her. Now one night when the family had a guest over named Russell Allen little Jack burped very loud and had blamed it on the unsuspecting guest. After Lilly –the mother—had made a comment on how rude it had been, Jack got up and ran to the kitchen. Everyone sat in awkward silence until finally Mr. Gilbreth got up and asked Jack to apologize.

The next chapter I’d like to share from would be chapter 18 named “motorcycle Mac,” now the older girls had all had boys following them around but there was one boy who got into more trouble than the rest, motorcycle Mac thought it would be a good idea to climb the cherry tree outside Ernestine’s window and peek in. Ernestine saw his shadow outside the window and informed her older sister Anne who came up with an idea to scare the boy out of the tree. Grabbing items to make torches the children lit a fire and went to the bottom of the tree while Ernestine stayed in the room to keep his attention. After Mac noticed Anne she began to threaten to “burn him at the stake,” He was pretty terrified. Eventually the children went back inside after calling out a few more threats and Motorcycle Mac left.

I have to say this was a really good book. It had good humor and the story was written well. Not to mention that the movie and the book line up perfectly. Now of course I’m talking about the original 1950 version.


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