The Beardsley family tops the Gilbreth (Cheaper by the Dozen) record by, to date, eight children; whether they will win the same laurels in print is open to question. Helen North was carrying her eighth child when her Navy husband crashed into the sea; Frank Beardsley was the father of ten When his wife died of undetected diabetes. How Helen coped before she met Frank (she moved from Washington to California to be closer to her sister Kay and brother Bob), how she met him (through enrolling her children in the church school where Frank's sister was a Sister) and was courted and won (relinquishing her determination not to remarry), how the Norths and Beardsleys together accomplished the feat of becoming one family (with a mass adoption presided over by Helen and Frank's own baby the crowning event) makes up a warm family story as long on inspirational as curiosity value. The sheer logistics of family life are fascinatings, whether it's eating breakfast or buying shoes or delegating responsibility. The book lacks the determined personality of the presiding Gilbreth and is more likely to prove distaff readings for those who count their blessings in smaller doses. But the interest potential of this philoprogenitive phenomenon may reach farther.