The Father Who Had 10 Children

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Every day the father who had 10 children made them breakfast, helped them get dressed, drove them to school, cooked them dinner, gave them a bath, and put them to bed. Until finally he needed a rest! So he left his brood with Grandma and set off on a 10 day, or maybe 10 month, vacation. But after just 1 peaceful day, it seemed like something...
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Every day the father who had 10 children made them breakfast, helped them get dressed, drove them to school, cooked them dinner, gave them a bath, and put them to bed. Until finally he needed a rest! So he left his brood with Grandma and set off on a 10 day, or maybe 10 month, vacation. But after just 1 peaceful day, it seemed like something was missing . . . something times 10. This bright, charming tale demonstrates that family life is more fun when it's all for 1-and 1 for 10!

"A satisfying story."
-School Library Journal

"The pictures are a riot of bold, warm-n-hot colors, and minimalist backgrounds concentrate attention on the chaotic tableaux and on the father-children relationship."
-The Horn Book

After working hard to take care of his ten children, a devoted father plans to get away by himself--until he decides that something is missing.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
He cooks ten breakfasts, he pulls out ten sets of clothes, and he helps put on twenty little shoes, working very hard to take care of his ten children. All the while the father has a secret. Benedicte Guettier creates a bright and lively story using the number ten. Repetitive and simple language provides the beginning reader an opportunity to learn about the number ten and its multiples. The secret the father has helps keep the story interesting and fun. The theme of a father caring for his children also helps the reader see a different family dynamic. Translated from its original Belgium title, Le Papa Qui Avait 10 Enfants—this book is excellent for early readers, reinforcing reading and number sense through repetition. The illustrations are bright and colorful with a cartoonish quality, creating a sense of fun and humor. With a poignant ending, Benedicte Guettier creates a must-have book for the younger classroom. 2001 (orig. 1997), Puffin Books, $6.99. Ages 3 to 6. Reviewer: John D. Orsborn
School Library Journal
PreSTen round-faced, Kewpie-curled children keep their father busy cooking 10 breakfasts, dressing them in 20 socks and shoes, taking them to school, cooking dinner upon their return, and putting them all to bed with one bedtime story and 10 kisses. Tired as he is, he stays up late and builds a boat. Leaving all 10 children in their grandmothers care, he sets sail alone only to discover that whats missing from his perfect escape is 10 little children. So, he returns to shore, the youngsters climb aboard, and together they set off to sail around the world. The predictability of the daily routine, lots of enumeration, and the frisson of tension when father abandons his brood all contribute to this satisfying story. The goggle-eyed children are surprisingly expressive and the stubble-chinned father is obviously bemused, exhausted, and finally contented. The thick black printing and heavy black outlines enhance the solidity of the flat, boldly colored illustrations. Presented against a stark white background until the father sets off to sea, where all is befittingly blue, the artwork strongly reinforces the simplicity of the telling. The large format is well suited to group sharing and the domestic dad is an appealing parent; however, be prepared for the inevitable plaintive question, But where is the mommy?Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Martha V. Parravano
This fresh import (from Belgium) is about parenthood, a subject not usually of interest to children. But Guettier pulls it off beautifully.
— The Horn Book Magazine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140568318
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/21/2001
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 12.13 (h) x 0.18 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2001

    A Humorous Look at the Joys of Single Fatherhood

    Children from 2-5 will enjoy this book the most. This book is an extraordinary picture book, and deserves more than five stars. First, it has images that remind one of Matisse at his best. Second, the typography has the look of being printed by long hand, which gives the book a friendlier feel. Third, the choice of colors is dramatic and wonderful to behold. Fourth, the pages are oversize, which makes the book more accessible and appealing to young children. Fifth, the story itself is very funny and heart-warming at the same time. Sixth, the book also can double as a basic reader. Seventh, you can use the book to learn counting, as well. Eighth, you can give this book to single fathers as a Father's Day gift. Hard-working fathers who help around the house will also appreciate it. In either case, the father who receives it will be relieved to see that he has by being the parent of fewer than 10 children. As a result, I cannot remember a book that serves so many purposes. You should be strongly consider The Father Who Had 10 Children for purchase and years of reading pleasure. After you have finished reading the book, I suggest that parents think about how the chores and child-rearing tasks can be split and alternated so that the pleasure of variety will make each activity more fun! In that way, you can build on the lesson of the father in the book who missed helping his children after a day of lazing on his sailboat. May love and joy fill your family time! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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