Dr. Miriam Stoppard
is one of Britain's best-known childcare and health experts, and the American edition of The New Parent
is bound to please an eager readership. Like so many books from DK Publishing, this Essential Guide for All First-Time Mothers and Fathers
is a delight to the eyes. A large but not unwieldy hardcover, it is simply much more elegantly designed than most books in the parenting genre. Color photographs and top-quality charts and diagrams set off text that has been grouped into useful, easily digestible chunks. Topics on every new parent's mind are featured in double-page spreads with titles such as "What Happens in Labor," "The First Day," "Breastfeeding," and "Emergency First Aid," accompanied by well laid-out information on a baby's physical, emotional, and cognitive development through the first year. At times, the text may be a little too simplistic, and there are heftier parenting titles that carry more detailed information. The publishers may also have underestimated the jarring effect of inserting American text into a British book as a means of creating the U.S. edition. Essential information--for example, on maternity rights--has of course been rewritten entirely for the U.S. audience, but some recommendations, such as when to start giving solid food, are sharply different from standard American practice. And besides, American strollers just don't look like that! Nonetheless, The New Parent
is a useful introductory book for parents expecting their first baby. --Richard Farr
From Library Journal
These two works join the crowded field of recent books for new parents. Both are pragmatic, presenting valuable information for first timers and those with more experience. However, Stoppard is the more definitive. Better Homes and Gardens New Baby Book is essentially what its subtitle purports. As such, it reads more like an extended advice column in a parenting magazine or an ongoing listserv discussion than a substantial book on taking care of infants. Anecdotes from mothers are sprinkled liberally throughout, hopping from one topic to the next in no discernible fashion; in the course of four pages, one is informed briefly about infant swim classes, dental hygiene, and bedtime routines. The emphasis on motherhood excludes a more contemporary focus on parenting, evident most dramatically in the brief section on returning to work, which focuses solely on the mother's return. The lack of color photographs and illustrations is also detrimental, and the book's spiral binding is not made to withstand heavy circulation. Recommended for public libraries only where demand warrants. Taking up where her Conception, Pregnancy and Birth (LJ 7/93) leaves off, Stoppard's lavishly illustrated book is positive and practical in approach while also providing the insights of a physician. Its chapters are organized in a coherent and interrelated fashion. Stoppard's focus is on both parents and their perspectives, including the possibility of a stay-at-home father. The New Parent also addresses issues such as special-needs children in a positive context and notes the seriousness of postpartum depression. This work is a good complement to Penelope Leach's Your Baby and Child, New Version (LJ 11/15/97). Essential for every parent and the libraries they frequent.?Lisa Powell Williams, Moline P.L., IL
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.