TEN KIDS, NO PETS by Ann M. Martin


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A rarity in this era--a jolly story about a family with lots of kids. The ten Rossos have been named according to a system devised by their mother, using a book called What Shall We Name the Baby? and resulting in names like Eberhard, Gardenia, and even Dagwood. Though a benign parent, Mrs. Rosso has a system for almost everything, which keeps her family of 12 organized and functioning; but even when they move from a city apartment to the country, she is firm: ten kids are enough--there will be no pets. Nonetheless, as each child from Abigail (14) to Janthina (8) gets a chapter, a number of animals are welcomed and loved: the rabbit who arrives as the Halloween magician's prop; the Thanksgiving turkey purchased live and ultimately donated to a petting zoo; a nest of orphaned sparrows. But when Mom admits that an unexpected 11th baby is on the way, the kids have her: If she can have an extra, so can they; and, being a wise parent, Mom has to agree that fair is fair. There are so many kids here that we don't get a chance to know any of them well; and though the chapters are tied together by the year's cycle and the pet theme, the effect is episodic. But the Rossos are a lively, enjoyable family; middle-readers should breeze happily through their experiences.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1988
Page count: 174pp
Publisher: Holiday House