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Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting Hardcover – February 7, 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting + Bébé Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting + French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters
Price for all three: $39.70

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The; 1 edition (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781594203336
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594203336
  • ASIN: 1594203334
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (715 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Marvelous . . . Like Julia Child, who translated the secrets of French cuisine, Druckerman has investigated and distilled the essentials of French child-rearing. . . . Druckerman provides fascinating details about French sleep training, feeding schedules and family rituals. But her book's real pleasures spring from her funny, self-deprecating stories. Like the principles she examines, Druckerman isn't doctrinaire.”
(NPR)

Bringing Up Bébé is a must-read for parents who would like their children to eat more than white pasta and chicken fingers.”

(Fox News)

“On questions of how to live, the French never disappoint. . . . Maybe it all starts with childhood. That is the conclusion that readers may draw from Bringing Up Bébé.”

(The Wall Street Journal)

“French women don't have little bags of emergency Cheerios spilling all over their Louis Vuitton handbags. They also, Druckerman notes, wear skinny jeans instead of sweatpants.The world arguably needs more kids who don't throw food.”

(Chicago Tribune)

“I’ve been a parent now for more than eight years, and—confession—I’ve never actually made it all the way through a parenting book. But I found Bringing Up Bébé to be irresistible."

(Slate) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Pamela Druckerman is a former staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered foreign affairs. She has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Marie Claire, and appeared on The Today Show and NPR's Morning Edition. Her previous book, Lust in Translation, was translated into eight languages. She has a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia. She lives in Paris.

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Customer Reviews

Excellent book, a fun read, and written by a very bright and insightful author.
Marian C. Popp
We read a lot of parenting books while I was pregnant with our first baby and, while I don't agree with everything, this one just made the most sense to us.
Sydnie Florence
I also was very interested in Druckerman's examination of the ways in which French parents interact with their kids versus the way American parents do this.
Bookphile

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

771 of 793 people found the following review helpful By K. Corn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As is the case with many books comparing American parenting styles with that of other countries, some potential readers have felt opinionated - even defensive - before even buying the book.While I certainly haven't concluded that French parenting is "right" and American parenting is "wrong", this intriguing book deserves a fair chance - one obtained by reading it - but some initial "reviews" were written by people who simply refused to read a book comparing American and French parenting techniques.

So what will will you find in Bringing Up Bebe? What makes this one worth a look?

To start with, the author, Pamela Druckerman, does not come off as someone who is crazy about France, let alone French parenting - at first. As she writes early on, "I'm not even sure I like living here" although she does change her tune later. She came to her opinions about French parenting slowly and she backs up her main points with plenty of research studies as well as techniques she learned from French parents and parenting authorities. As a result she concludes that "the French have managed to be involved without becoming obsessive. " They aren't waiting on their kids hand and foot and they don't assume that they have to push their children to succeed. Even so, she notes that she hadn't thought she was supposed to admire French parenting. So consider her a reluctant convert to French methods of parenting.

Druckerman observes that there doesn't appear to be a relentless drive to get babies and children to various lessons or such activities as early swimming lessons. A neighbor was content to let her children simply find ways to play, often with old toys or perhaps by exploring her outdoor environment.
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369 of 400 people found the following review helpful By Oregon Farm Mama on February 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have to admit that I did not immediately want to read this book, since the article version I read online seemed very different from my own views about parenting. But my father bought it and lent it to me, and it turned out to be a very entertaining and easy read. Druckerman does a fabulous job building a narrative out of her experience and weaving together personal anecdotes with strong research. As a work of non-fiction, it is highly enjoyable to read and thought provoking.

However, there is no question this book will also be read as a "parenting book" rather than just a "book about parenting." And, it does, at points, venture into "parenting book" territory, even though Druckerman never uses the imperative tense or claims ultimate authority. But, she does consistently present "French parenting" in a very positive light, and in every contrast to American examples, French examples come out ahead. I have very little experience with this culture myself, so I certainly can't judge how consistent this parenting style actually is, so I have to take her word for that. It wouldn't surprise me that a centralized European nation would have a more consistent parenting style than the mish mash of approaches here in the states. Given that "French parenting" is always presented within a very reasonable seeming paradigm of success, there is definitely a feeling of "this is a very good way to do things" throughout.

And, certainly, the ideas that overlap with successful parenting in the U.S. (often called "authoritative" parenting in the states) seem good.
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263 of 285 people found the following review helpful By Morris Massel on February 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I am an active father of young kids. So, when I read the excerpt in the Wall Street Journal, I found Druckerman's thoughts about parenting squared with mine: does parenting really need to be an obsessive, combative and all-consuming endeavor? Is there another way in which parents can be fully committed to our children, teach them independence and even enjoy ourselves a bit.

I picked up the book and devoured it. The writing is highly approachable and even a bit funny. This is not a "how-to" book. It is a series of informed observations about how Parisians approach parenting. Druckerman shares anecdotes and then supports them with some research. There are no magic tricks; just a shift in behavior and approach that the author shares with us. Some of it makes great sense, for example, The Pause and Education instead of Discipline.

Even in the highly connected and flat world, observational skills and analysis of what may right in front of us can force us to reconsider what we do. Druckerman delivers a thoughtful, thought provoking and entertaining book.
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217 of 245 people found the following review helpful By asketo on February 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A lot of these one-star reviews are from people who haven't even read the book. Like other reviewers, I gobbled up this book in under 48 hours because it's simply that good. It's not a how-to manual. The author is not a doctor or self-proclaimed child-rearing expert. She's not telling anyone how to live their lives. The book is the story of her experience as an American mom in France, and what she learned as a result of her investigation into how the French raise their children. It's funny, charming, well-written--and in the first person. Let the WSJ and Today Show run with hyperbolic headlines if they must. But don't judge the book by that standard.
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