Belles on Their Toes
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Belles on Their Toes (Cheaper by the Dozen #2)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  3,453 ratings  ·  198 reviews
Life is very different now in the rambling Gilbreth house.When the youngest was two and the oldest eighteen, Dad died and Mother bravely took over his business. Now, to keep the family together, everyone has to pitch in and pinch pennies. The resourceful clan rises to every crisis with a marvelous sense of fun -- whether it's battling chicken pox, giving the boot to an unw...more
Paperback, 225 pages
Published December 16th 2003 by Harper Perennial (first published 1950)
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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldTrapping the Butterfly by Debra ParmleyThe Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy ParkerThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha ChristieBrideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
I am '20s, hear me roar!
28th out of 251 books — 100 voters
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Borrowers by Mary Norton
Best Children's Books of the 1950s
22nd out of 121 books — 12 voters


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Rebecca Foster
This sequel isn’t quite as charming as Cheaper by the Dozen, but I still enjoyed reading about the continued adventures of the Gilbreth clan.

Matriarch Lillian was such a formidable woman, not at all diminished by widowhood: carrying on Frank’s legacy, she set up her own motion study school in her home, travelled all over the world to give lectures, taught in the management department at Purdue, received a dozen honorary doctorates, and still took an active part in the lives of her twelve childre...more
Lyssrose Farver
I've always loved the book, Cheaper By the Dozen, but I didn't know there was a sequel until I ran across the movie version on TCM in 2004. Now I wish I had known about it before, as this book picked up right where CBtD left off, and continues the story of the Gilbreth family after their father dies.
Deborah
Wonderful. I think I enjoyed this even a little more than Cheaper by the Dozen. So many wonderful stories from the life of this quite uplifting family.
Melinda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sue
Lovely book. I had to get this after rereading Cheaper by the Dozen, and it did not disappoint. I was really impressed by Mother - she continued to work as a professional work study consultant and teacher, she became one of the faculty at Purdue University (before 1950 - a real feat at an engineering college, I think), she traveled to keep up her speaking engagements... but she kept her large family together and put them all through college - and didn't neglect them or refuse to give them attent...more
Janaleefish
I love books written about real families. Although it really makes me miss mine. My dad was one in 12 kids, so I imagine that a lot of the calamities of big families are very similar to those found in this and it's preceeding book "Cheaper by the Dozen". What an amazing mom Mrs. Gilbreth was! This book begins three days after her Husband dies and she leaves the family for a month to continue his work. She builds up a remarkable business while being a loving, patient mother to 11 children. This b...more
Kelsey
I completely love the Gilbreth family! This unique home with a dozen—biological I might add—siblings is pure comedy and awe-inspiring! The mother is amazing for all that she did in keeping her family together. What's more, she made good on the goal she'd set with her husband in seeing all 11 children (1 child died in infancy) graduate from college. The internal structures instituted by the father prepared the children to run themselves while mother was on the road or working. None of it could ha...more
Rebecca
This is the sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen and explains what happens after Mr. Gilbreth dies and leaves his widow with 12 children and an engineering business. I can relate to much of the circumstances regarding growing up in a large family and found myself laughing out loud at many of the situations! A charming quick read written by two of the Gilbreth children - by the way, kudos to Mrs Gilbreth, I don't know how she did it!
Jaclynn
The sequel to Cheaper By the Dozen, life without father begins for Mother and the 11 children. They all have to make sacrifices to stay together, but they make it and things do get better. Mother continues with the work she and father had done before his passing.The children grow up, all attend college and then go on to marry and have children of their own. Filled with more humorous stories of their lives, there’s never a dull moment!
Elise
While the entertainment continues in this sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen, this book provides an eye-opening emphasis on Lillian Gilbreth, the mother of twelve who picks up the motion study business after her husband's death, often leaving the children in charge, and manages to provide an inspiring upbringing as well as a college education to each of her children. I'm off to her biography next!
Alissa
For anyone who grew up in a big family (or even if you didn't), this book is a riot. This is the sequel to "Cheaper By the Dozen", which is better known as a very mediocre recent movie but is also a fantastic book. I laughed out loud many times while reading this. I could barely get through the chapter on Christmas, I was laughing so hard.
Myrna
The sequel to "Cheaper By The Dozen." I loved the first, and this is one time that the sequel is just as good. In this book, the Gilbreth kids are growing up and they and their mother are adjusting to life after their father dies. It's funny, sad, and just great. (I almost died laughing at the part where Tom "meets" the "Limey!")
Jennifer
The prequel to this book, Cheaper by the Dozen, is also a favorite of mine, and it gives a great tribute to the father of this large family. Belles on Their Toes focuses more on the mother of the family, after the authors' dad dies. It is a funny, heartwarming book about raising a big, spirited family in the early 20th century.
Laurie
The sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen, this one talks more about their mother's involvement in their lives. Also about growing up and out of a house with 11 kids! (One died when young, in case you were wondering why it's not 12.) Another great book with some funny stories, plus some useful things to try as a parent!
Saralyn
My mom used to read this book to us on road trips, but would laugh so hard she almost couldn't make it through some chapters. As a child, I mostly appreciated the humor, but as I grew older, I began to appreciate more and more what a strong woman Lilian Gilbreth must have been. A funny, and very inspiring, read.
Bonnie Brien
This was just as fun to read as its companion, Cheaper by the Dozen. The mother of this family is one seriously amazing woman, and I had several laugh out loud moments reading, causing my husband to wonder if I was okay. I highly recommend this one, but read Cheaper by the Dozen first if you haven't.
Sara
This follow up to Cheaper by the Dozen is still a great story in spite of the missing father. I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed this book without the crazy actions of Mr. Gilbreth. Yet, it's splendid. I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first book.
Donzel
Mar 31, 2008 Donzel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pretty much everyone
Recommended to Donzel by: Probably my mom
This book is the second, describing the way the family of 12 bond together and draw ever closer to each other after the death of their father. Really sweet, and will make you laugh you head off. (My favorite is the Nantuckett vacation and ensuing aftermath! ahahaa)
Ajcmeyer Meyer
I adored the Cheaper by the Dozen book and was thrilled to see there was a sequel to it. Boy did it deliver! Another heart warming story of a family overcoming great odds with lots of humor thrown in for good measure! If you want your spirits lifted read this book!
Kayli
Just picked this up from the free shelf at the library (yay!) and re-read it. SOOOO funny. Such a great family. Besides making me laugh a million times, it made me want to be a better mother. And it also made me want to write a book about my own family.
CLM
It is hard to write a successful sequel (and probably even more difficult to write a book with one's sibling), yet this book delights the reader just as much as Cheaper By the Dozen.
Carol
The story continues of Cheaper by the Dozen, after Mr. Gilbreth passes away. What a delightful father he was and taught his children how to make life fun and to have wonderful adventures. Mom Gilbreth was an amazing woman. Awesome Mom, business woman, took what she and her husband developed, and made it grow and blossom. My mother read both these books to us as small children as they were favorites of her own. I now remember why she loved them so much. I too really love them, and knowing that th...more
Shara
This is the not-so-well-known sequal to "Cheaper by the Dozen" and I feel that it simply HAS to be read in order to see this family through to the end. It is very interesting.
Stefanie
I'm glad Lillian got her day in the sun. Even though little of this book truly focused on her, it did bring into close focus her tenuous situation and otherworldly strength.
Kojis
Bells on their Toes is the inspiring and comedic story of the Gilbreth children and their mother trying to cope after their father died. It takes place in 1924 where the 11 children live a big house with their mother and their cook, if you can call what he does cooking, Tom. The funny story follows the children as they must manage the families budjet, stay by themselves for a few days while others gone, and fire and then re-hire Tom at least five times. The main protagonists, at least what seeme...more
Jennie
This book is an excellent sequel. Just as good as the first. The funny parts had me in tears. Reality like this is so much better than fiction.
Angie
"Belles on Their Toes" is the sequel to "Cheaper By the Dozen". It's every bit as interesting, funny and wonderful as the first.
Catherine
Very entertaining and amazing to read how a mother of 12 makes a living and raises a family after she becomes a widow.
Christina
I loved this book as a teenager and, twenty years later, enjoyed re-reading it almost as much.
Megan

My mother grew up in a very large family. My grandparents had nine children, two boys and seven girls, and adopted another girl late in life. My mother was number seven of the ten. When we were growing up, my sister and I were fascinated by the stories she told about growing up in a big family with so many kids. And my mom, who read to us a lot, read us the stories of the Gilbreth family -- a husband and wife engineering team who had a dozen children, six boys and six girls. Two of the children...more
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Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr. (March 17, 1911 – February 18, 2001) was co-author, with his sister Ernestine, of Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes. Under his own name, he wrote Time Out for Happiness and Ancestors of the Dozen.

He was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, the 5th child (and first boy) of the 12 children born to efficiency experts Frank Gilbreth, Sr. and Lillian Moller Gilbreth, a...more
More about Frank B. Gilbreth Jr....
Cheaper by the Dozen Time Out for Happiness Cheaper by the Dozen Innside Nantucket I'm a Lucky Guy

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“In a person's lifetime there may be not more than half a dozen occasions that he can look back to in the certain knowledge that right then, at that moment, there was room for nothing but happiness in his heart.” 80 likes
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