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Happy Chaos: From Punky to Parenting and My Perfectly Imperfect Adventures in Between Hardcover – August 23, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525952314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525952312
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,433,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Frye has two children and lots of parenting advice on everything from planning a great birthday party to being flexible. . . . For all you anti-Tiger moms out there." ---Library Journal --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Soleil Moon Frye starred in the 1980s sitcom Punky Brewster and is currently the co-owner of Little Seed, a green children's boutique.

Julia Whelan, a former child actress best known for her award-winning work on ABC's Once and Again, has won multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards and was named one of AudioFile magazine's Best Voices of 2010. Her "flawless" narration of Jandy Nelson's The Sky Is Everywhere earned a place in the first round of 2011 Grammy nominations for Best Spoken Word Album. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

What a fun and enjoyable read!
Anne
I have already recommended this book to about 3 of my friends who are moms or future moms.
Lauren R
I am a HUGE Soleil Moon Frye fan/Punky Power!
Becca

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By busy mama of two on August 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a busy full time mom, I rarely have the time to sit down and read a book. But from the moment I opened Happy Chaos I just couldn't stop reading. Not only did it offer amazing parenting advice (I literally used a couple of tricks from the book with my three-year-old that very day) and the most coolest Punky adventures (I was such a huge fan) but it's like being in a room with Soleil herself, listening to her chat over a cup of coffee. Happy Chaos was a well-written, fun and interesting read from one of my 80s TV idols. So glad she wrote this book so we can all get a glimpse into the life of Punky Brewster, then and now!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lauren R on August 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I will be honest I love this book. I am not a parent nor have a desire to be but this is book is so much more than simply about parenting. It really is more how to embrace life and enjoy every moment you can while you are living them. Soleil's energy and personality really coming through in the writing and you feel like you are sitting right next to her when you are reading the different chapters which is a great mix of her life prior to being a mom and post mommy. This book is a great for anyone who is a child of the 80s and wants to reminisce about your crushes to moms who are nervous because their kids are finicky eaters. I have already recommended this book to about 3 of my friends who are moms or future moms. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a light, refreshing read but be prepared to literally laugh out loud while reading and get some strange looks if you are reading it on the plane.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jesjes on August 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Very pleasant, happy read. Didn't find it to be the most realistic or helpful book. It is obvious she loves her lil ladies and has a great life, but the nitty gritty of motherhood is skimmed over. The pauses and insights offered are, again, pleasant. The book just came off as a bit too "Pollyanna."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By blue violent on May 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Not enough detail to be that intriguing as an autobiography and not enough insight to be a parenting book. This book has a few somewhat interesting tales of Soleil's adventures being a famous person in LA in the 80's, but even those sound more like she's just telling you the bare bones story as an opportunity to name-drop. If you have famous friends and ex-boyfriends it might be difficult to not sound like you're name-dropping, but if the story has no point *but* to tell you the name of an ex-boyfriend, then what other conclusion can we draw other than you want us to know you dated so-and-so-mr-famous? Either she has just lived a life that was content enough to not be interesting as a book or she is bad at writing it so that it makes a good book. Here's the totality of the book, she grew up with a hippie mom, was on a tv show, dated a bunch of 80's stars, and now she's a hipSTER mom in LA with Demi and Ashton as her birthing coaches. Shallow book of a seemingly shallow person, despite her claims to the contrary. The one thing that is almost good about it is when she talks about her dad having Alzheimer's and a trip they took after he was already well into it, a couple sad pages about that.

Punky fans who grew up embodying the idea of radical self expression will find this book to be a little embarrassing for Soleil. It's like the lessons of having a radical hippie mom and being a character who was an outspoken non-conformist didn't make nearly the impression that the LA social scene did. She *thinks* they did, she talks about both as if they did, but what she says about her life and how she says it is evidence to the contrary
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Cage on April 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I got this book from the library because I heard some good things about it and I am a little "crunchy". Soleil describes herself repeatedly throughout the book as an Earth-mother who was the product of an Earth-mother. I thought I would love it or at least like it.

I hesitated to write this review, but I did not find a single reviewer who felt the way I did. Many of the 5 & 4-star reviews are from people who love Punky and want to read about her life. This book is a memoir with pictures of Soleil with other famous people, a whole chapter on how she got to meet all her famous crushes, and a very small portion of unremarkable stories of her birthing & parenting.

Soleil says she is an Earth-mother. Well, she turns out to be: a person who goes to the hospital to get induced, has an epidural, supplements her breastmilk with formula because "she isn't making enough", does not reference needing or wanting to educate herself prior to making birth and parenting choices, does not cloth-diaper and is completely unapologetic about it, has a disappointingly negative view of breastfeeding, etc, etc.

Before you get angry at me for condemning her mainstream choices: Soleil has an organic clothing company. She has positioned herself as an Earth-mother who has a "green" company. I feel, after reading her book, that her choices are not "green" or Earth-mother-like.

As for the placenta tree that one reviewer was disgusted by- Soleil says it may not even have been her placenta, because of the time between the birth and getting it from the hospital. This wouldn't have happened if you had a homebirth, Soleil.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Berg on December 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It is not her fault entirely, but as a self-proclaimed "hippy mom" I was hoping that she would do some independent thinking instead of just following the status-quo. In my opinion, her voice is that of a gut-less, coddled hollywood child who never grew out of her punky brewster character. Even her friends (Melissa Joanhart? No time for nicey nicey) are not likable. The subject of this book conviniently moves away from parenting after her ABC after-school special delivery story. Too many inconsistencies and wasted space to be taken seriously.
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