Before we get on to the aforementioned new stuff, need to finish up Pesach reading. After finishing up Slaughterhouse 5, I moved on / back to Cheaper by the Dozen - or, actually, Belles on Their Toes. I ordered it after so thoroughly enjoying CbtD (ordered CbtD too, since I’m sure I’ll want to reread it one day :)) Obviously, I’ve read and enjoyed Belles on their Toes before, but I did want to see if it held up quite as well as Cheaper by the Dozen did. It’s definitely a sadder book, both because the father is no longer living, and because it features extensive passage of time, which I always find somewhat depressing. And it has fewer hilarious incidents than the first book. That’s not to say it’s sad though, maybe just not *quite* as humorous. But still humorous, very well-written, and a lot of fun. It’s definitely up for discussion whether the book would be as much fun had we not been introduced to the Gilbreths already, but I kind of think it would be. The main thing is that the Gilbreths are so much fun to read about - they make even stressful situations fun and light-hearted. So even though there’s more stress in this book, there’s not that much less fun. What makes this book special is right there in the intro “this is Mother’s story” (might not be the exact quote). Mother, who is an admirable figure in Cheaper by the Dozen, really comes into her own in Belles on their Toes. She is strong, wise, and kind, a career women whose children adore her. It is clear from the book that the Gilbreths love their mother, and I have to say, I love her too. The story of the Gilbreths after Dad died is a happy one, told in light and entertaining fashion, and she made it all possible.