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Little Kids, Big City: Tales from a Real House in New York City (With Lessons on Life and Love for Your Own Concrete Jungle) Paperback – April 6, 2010


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Little Kids, Big City: Tales from a Real House in New York City (With Lessons on Life and Love for Your Own Concrete Jungle) + Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss, and Finding the Courage Within + Drinking and Tweeting: And Other Brandi Blunders
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling & Ross Publishers (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982139225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982139226
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,265,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen s surprisingly down to earth account of their early days of parenting in NYC is as remarkable in its honesty as it is in its detail. --Cecily von Ziegesar, New York Times bestselling author of the Gossip Girl novels and mother of two at PS Fab

Alex and Simon don't take themselves too seriously which seems to be essential to parenting. Their fresh he said she said perspective on parenting is humorous and insightful. --Bethenny Frankel, New York Times bestselling author of The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life

“A fun and entertaining read with an over-the-top enthusiasm for family and the joys of raising kids in the city. They manage to share lessons without sounding preachy and maintain a humorous light tone. --Alison Lowenstein, author of City Kid New York

About the Author

The married couple of Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen are first and foremost the proud parents of two wonderful and endlessly energetic and creative children, Johan and François. They also happen to star in the hit Bravo television show The Real Housewives of New York City, where they all enjoy (or suffer at the hands of) a modicum of celebrity. Simon runs the upscale boutique Hotel Chandler in Manhattan while Alex using her visual merchandising & graphic design skills, juggles several retail clients running the gamut from fashion to photography.When time allows she loves nothing more than to post her musings (as she's done many times) on the Huffington Post.

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Customer Reviews

I am a huge fan of Alex and Simon!!!
alimacs18213
Like most parents, we're all just trying to do the best for our children.
K. Grace
It is warm and humorous and touched my heart.
Christy C

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 95 people found the following review helpful By B. Mollot on April 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
At first I was a little skeptical about reading this book. After the first few paragraphs I already decided that I liked it. This family seems real and they're not afraid to admit when they made mistakes or chose alternate ways of parenting. This is the kind of book that someone should read when they feel they're not fit for parenting. It gives the reader a view of the everyday life of having kids that most authors either avoid or forget. Not a bad choice!
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83 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Nina Malischev on May 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like the majority of people who initially will buy this book, I did it out of curiosity. Watching the Real Housewives is a guilty pleasure for me. At the same time, I have fairly discerning tastes in literature and hoped that this wasn't another poorly-written (or transparently ghost-written) celebrity biography.
It was a very pleasant surprise to immediately get sucked into the charm and breeziness of this well-written book. Alex's opening statement on the TV Show is misleading as she says in a somewhat stilted voice, "For some people living in New York, status is everything". There is NONE of that attitude in the book. It is completely down-to-earth, very honest, and great fun. Nothing is glossed over, no excuses are made, and what emerges is a picture of a very real, loving family.
Simon and Alex talk about what works for them, and more importantly, what doesn't. They talk about their mistakes with a refreshing straight-forwardness.
My own children are grown, and we raised our family in the woods, not the big city, but so many of the coping strategies that Alex and Simon have come up with for surviving in the urban jungle apply no matter where you are, whether it is a redwood forest or the great suburban plain. The "message" of the book is to embrace life with gusto, live without fear, express your love, admit your mistakes, and always follow your instincts.
Even though the TV show is all about trendiness, materialism and keeping up with the Jones, what emerges from the book is a portrait of a very down-to-earth family that has the courage to live life on their own terms. They have their own, unique style which is beyond fashion or style magazine formulas, and they don't seem to care how it "plays" as long as it works for them.
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71 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Alison on April 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book! As a mom, it relieved me to know that the challenges and joys of raising children in a city are not mine alone. At the same time, the book is written to resonate with anyone, no matter where you are. Life's simple yet stressful tasks (kids on an airplane anyone?!) can make you feel like a fish out of water. Alex and Simon show us that we've all been there and sometimes you get to be the parent of the kid who slept the whole flight! This book proves that not only are Alex and Simon normal, relatable parents but that they are doing what all of us are doing: the very best we can.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By James Rook on April 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
As rural grandparents, my wife and I were fascinated by the anecdotes shared by the authors. Alex and Simon each provided their own point of view and insight into many common quandaries found within parent/child life experience. Very entertaining content was delivered via a fresh literary style which made us feel as if they were present in our den, conversing directly with us and each other.
We laughed out loud and found our hearts warmed with love from the 'methods behind a universal madness' brought out in parents gifted with children anywhere. Surprisingly, we learned that we no longer have to 'feel sorry' for city raised children and their parents...there are some obvious advantages revealed. This family, these parents, and those boys would get some rural flavored round-out experiences if the Boy Scouts of America is alive in the Big Apple. They would surely make great den leaders for they have adventurous hearts of true explorers, event planning skills of champions, and enough flexibility not to sweat the small stuff.
Simply said, this book is a lovely afternoon read and a sweet addition to our library. We'll be giving one to our suburban daughter, who also has 2 boys of similar ages. She will surely enjoy comparing the experiential management methods of travel, restaurant dining, and home remodeling with energetic youngsters underfoot.

Little Kids, Big City: Tales from a Real House in New York City #With Lessons on Life and Love for Your Own Concrete Jungle#
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Kristin Gomez on April 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
With all of the Housewives books out I was wary of yet another one, despite being an avid SkinnyGirl fan. All I can say though is that I'm very impressed with Big City Little Kids. It's funny, smart and most importantly real. I kept wanting to turn the page to see what happened next and I'm not even a parent yet! I am a certified "city girl" and getting to the age where many of my friends are married and looking to start a family. I was very curious to read a first hand account. As we make this sometimes terrifying but exhilarating journey from singledom, to wives to eventually mothers it's nice to see a book that shows an honest portrayal of being a working parent in a big city. I highly recommend!
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Karen L. Schmeiser on April 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
When I first pre-ordered this book from Amazon I wasn't sure what to expect. I have watched Alex and Simom on TV and love New York, and although I am now a grandmother I remember all to well what it was like bringing up 2 boys and a girl. Well Little Kids Big City turned out to be more then a fun read, it's charming, it's sweet, and it makes you feel like you know this family personally. It's written in a "he says, she says" way with highlights at the end of the chapters. I had a hard time putting it down once I got started reading it. I have to say I loved it. My hope is that they will continue allowing us into their family life with subsequent books taking us through the years as this loving family grows together in the Big Apple.
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