Gilbreth, Frank B., Jr. Silence Buck Bellows - Essay

Silence Buck Bellows

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Children born of the "lost generation" and growing up in the depression years might have been used by some novelists as pegs to hang a dreary psychological commentary upon: Mr. Gilbreth's ["Loblolly"] is anything but dreary. From the moment old "February" brings the quaking but game youngsters to the rundown old mansion in Cutting Scrape Alley, to the restoration of Loblolly plantation and Julien's invitation to the St. Cecilia ball, the book is an affirmation of courage and integrity.

It's funny, too. If it weren't it would hardly be Gilbreth…. Mr. Gilbreth succeeds in making his unbelievable characters quite believable.

Silence Buck Bellows, "About Families," in The Christian Science Monitor (reprinted by permission from The Christian Science Monitor; © 1959 The Christian Science Publishing Society; all rights reserved), October 15, 1959, p. 19.

A widower with a grownup daughter, Frank Gilbreth took another wife and soon found himself the father of a son. [In He's My Boy, with] uncommon charm and joviality, he introduces this new member of the Gilbreth clan to the family's many friends…. [Peripatetic] Mother, now known as Granddear, is on hand, as well as other familiar faces. Young Teddy is precocious as only a Gilbreth child can be, but his environmental regimen is far less severe, and he appears to have a sunnier personality than his parent's siblings. Cheaper by the Dozen is by now about as up-to-date as Our Town, and Belles on Their Toes tended just a bit toward pomposity. This new chronicle of the Gilbreths is a happy reflection of the best of both books.

"Non-Fiction: 'He's My Boy'," in Virginia Kirkus' Service, Vol. XXIX, No. 23, December 1, 1961, p. 1074.