A dual selection of the Book of the Month Club for January, a one-shot in Ladies' Home Journal, and later to be digested in...

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A dual selection of the Book of the Month Club for January, a one-shot in Ladies' Home Journal, and later to be digested in Reader's Digest, this will have an initial advertising appropriation of $10,000 -- all of which should head it for the big time. And if quantity will sell this account of family life -- the Gilbreths' 12 children will do it, together with their father who practices his belief in efficiency and saving waste motion and effort. Full credit goes to the absence of cute, or coy, or dripping nostalgia, to the thoroughly human kids, to the logical, if not always lucky, ideas Dad develops in bringing up his brood. Regimentation was the answer to such a large family and from mass tonsillectomies to mental improvement while engaged in bathroom duties, to production line care of younger children by the older ones, to government by Family Council (where parliamentary procedure assured the kids of a dog), to teaching touch typewriting and mental mathematics to the whole covey (except the babies- although the 3 year old managed to hold his own in the latter exercise) -- Dad carries all before him. There are interludes in California, in Nantucket (where Dad's ideas of visual education resulted in Morse code and astronomy for his flock), domestic doings in Montclair, N.J. which include a brush with a birth control zealot; there is the Foolish Carriage (which worked only for Dad). Relatives managed to cope with the results of Dad's theories, the children managed to cope with Dad's attitudes towards sheiks, jazz, tin lizzies, bobbed hair, etc., while Mother managed to bring Dad to a full stop -- when necessary. And the reason for Dad's hard work with his family gives a touching end to the story. There's fun and sentiment here, appreciation and appraisal, and a good time to be had by all.

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 1948

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Crowell

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1948