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on May 12, 2010
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.
In a way, I think it is unfortunate that this book is associated with a TV show, especially one as controversial as the Real Housewives. If you think this book was only written to cash in on their moments of fame, think again. It is a book that stands on its own two feet and in my opinion would have been as positively received if the authors were simply John and Jane Doe.
I enjoyed the book immensely, even read it in the bathtub because I didn't want to put it down. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who ever survived having small children, or anyone who currently has them. And I think prospective parents would also find this book to be very reassuring in that it presents actual situations and concrete solutions.
Mostly, it leaves you feeling that having children is fun. Which in fact, it is.
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on April 5, 2010
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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on April 3, 2010
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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on April 16, 2010
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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on April 16, 2010
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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on April 6, 2010
Alex and Simon are real New Yorkers. This shows in their jobs as reality TV stars, graphic designers, hotel consultants, and the most important position of all, parents. The suburbs are not a mandatory destination once a bun has been received in the oven; there are plenty of lifelong NYC people and they are awesome. Francois and Johan are two lucky kids who get to experience the amazing-ness that is NYC! 5 stars!
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on April 5, 2010
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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on April 14, 2010
I have been a fan of Alex and Simon from the beginning for being completely themselves. I was very happy to hear that they were writing a book and I have not been disappointed in the final result. I love the book! I have been reading it every spare minute, hoping that it won't end! I do live in New York, but don't have children yet. When I do, I plan on rereading the book for support and advice in this crazy world of raising kids in New York (I wouldn't do it anywhere else!).
Read this book even if you don't live in NYC and don't have kids--it's honest, funny, genuine and a love letter to the city they're raising their boys in. Great book!
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I approached Little Kids Big City Tales from a Real Home in New York City with some trepidation. I was well acquainted with the TV personas of the authors, Alex McCord and Simon Van Kempen (he of the red pants). This was not at all what I expected. Well written, divided into sections and very insightful and compassionate, LKBC is a parenting guide, no matter where you live. Touching briefly upon their meeting, courtship (a bit unconventional) and marriage, the couple is trying very hard to carve a place for themselves and their two boys in the big city. Van Kempen and McCord are very open of their own struggles and the values and issues that they want to pass on to their two boys. What I feel really sets this apart from both the steady stream of parenting books and writings by every "celebrity" around are the two are witty, well informed and passionate about being parents. Their enjoyment of each other, their boys and their family are evident. They are passionate about creating a healthy and happy life for their family. The reader cannot help but catch their enthusiasm. If you are going to foist a parenting book upon a friend, do them a favor...get a book that will do some good and tat they will enjoy.
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on April 3, 2010
What a great book!! A fast read, I found myself laughing out loud at times. I can identify with Alex and Simon...both being a parent and having been raised in NYC. Nothing beats NYC!!! NYC with kids is FABULOUS!!! And so is this book!!!
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