Cover image for The father who had ten children
The father who had ten children
Guettier, Bénédicte.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, 1999.

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 31 cm
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.
Reading Level:
AD 380 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC K-2 2.1 1 Quiz: 20049 Guided reading level: J.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Oversize
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



In this charming fable of a hardworking father of 10, every day is filled with counting. There are always 10 little T-shirts, 10 cups on the table, 10 bowls of spaghetti, 10 baths in the tub, 10 good-night kisses, until finally the fatigued father needs 1 big rest! Leaving his brood with Grandma, he sets off on a vacation from counting. But after just 1 peaceful day, and 1 quiet night, it seems that something is missing...make that something times 10!In her captivating American debut, Benedicte Guettier offers young readers and listeners tenfold opportunities for spotting and counting the particulars in each delightful scene. Ms. Guettier counts her own beloved "papa" as the inspiration for this witty tribute to the often overwhelming days and nights of modern parenthood.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.