Author: Pamela Druckerman
Synopsis: Pamela Druckerman, a newly retired American journalist, moves to Paris, marries and has her first child. She soon starts to notice some rather remarkable behavioral differences between French and American children. Determined to learn the reasons for these differences, she begins investigating the philosophies of French parenting (easier said than done).
Red Flags: One instance of a very naughty word.
I originally planned to pick my way through this book, stopping wherever something sounded interesting, but it quickly pulled me in and I read it cover to cover. (This is notable since I almost never read non-fiction.) Aside from the parenting topics, this was a really interesting look at French culture, and that alone makes it worth reading, regardless of one's parental status. It was very readable and informative without being stodgy, though I did get tired of the phrases "of course..." and "it's not just..."
As for the actual parenting philosophies, of course I didn't agree with everything, but on the whole, I think this book offers a lot really practical and thoughtful ideas. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on sleeping, eating and probably some other stuff I've already forgot. But like I said, even though I don't agree with all the French philosophies, it was interesting to read about. I also liked that the whole approach was more relaxed than a lot of American parenting books, and makes me think that maybe babies aren't as complicated as I thought. Maybe!
Side note: this book would probably be best enjoyed with a baguette and some good cheese.