Bringing Up Bébé

By Pamela Druckerman,

Book cover of Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (Now with Bébé Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting)

Book description

"On questions of how to live, the French never disappoint. . . . Maybe it all starts with childhood. That is the conclusion that readers may draw from Bringing Up Bebe." -The Wall Street Journal

"I've been a parent now for more than eight years, and-confession-I've never actually made it…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Bringing Up Bébé as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This enjoyable, first-person romp about raising kids in France is a must-read for any francophile. Druckerman is an American who married a Brit, and they relocated to Paris, where they had three children. With a reporter’s eye, Druckerman tackles such questions as, how on earth do French parents have their kids sleeping through the night at a few weeks old, and how is it that French children sit down to civilized three-course meals when they aren’t yet three feet tall? 

Bringing up Bébe is the mother of all international parenting books and it’s easy to understand why it’s still a huge bestseller. Pamela Druckerman masterfully weaves anecdotes from her personal experience as an American living with a baby in Paris with insights from French parents, psychologists, and pediatricians. The result is an irreverent and witty guide on raising kids who sleep through the night, eat their food, and don’t behave like brats. 

New York Times columnist Pamela Druckerman had a brilliant flash when she decided to zoom in on this particularly puzzling aspect of French civilization: how they raise their kids. Her book is entertaining, witty, and instructive enough that even readers without kids will enjoy, and learn from it. French parenting has its dark side (it’s authoritarian around the edges), and its inspiring side (French kids learn to speak properly to adults and they eat what they’re served). But most of all, as Druckerman shows, childhood and child-rearing explain so many puzzling features of French society.

From Julie's list on understanding the French.

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