A book about a big happy family, with lots of laughter, lots of cooking, and lots of eating; it opens with Cliff, the 11-year-old narrator and oldest of six children, ""getting ready to dig into a steaming plate of French toast,"" and closes with his whole family laughing so hard that tears are running down their faces. Each of the siblings quickly establishes a comic persona, and occasionally all of them talk at once in the polyphonic, laugh-out-loud episodes from everyday life -- the kind of cozy family plots found in sitcoms. Viewing this brood through the eyes of the sympathetic Cliff, readers quickly get attached to all of them. When one of them -- almost without warning -- dies, Cliff must adjust his easygoing storytelling, to which he has committed himself, to accommodate this tragic event. He does a remarkably good job, compromising neither his tone, nor the event of his brother's death. Sensitive to all the potential problems of the disparity between the substance and the style of his book, Fletcher displays an extremely gentle touch.