The best pediatrics books

2 authors have picked their favorite books about pediatrics and why they recommend each book.

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The Baby Owner's Manual

By Louis Borgenicht, Joe Borgenicht,

Book cover of The Baby Owner's Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance

This humorously titled book actually takes itself pretty seriously, and contains some solid parenting advice. Like all parenting guides it is to be taken with a grain of salt, but I applaud the light-hearted tone it takes. All too often parenting books make the overwhelming experience of becoming a parent even worth by taking it too seriously, The Baby Owners’ Manual shows the right approach.


Who am I?

When I became a parent, I immediately became an expert on it. Don’t worry, you will too. Children are great. They fill your life with a sense of purpose. They are very good at being really cute, and they can be really fun to be with. Yet... let's face it, the little bugger wreak havoc in your life. Harnessing my experience as a writer for television, and being a man, I immediately started whining and ranting about the difficulties of raising kids, the result was the book 100 Hidden Truths of Parenting that sold the world over. I love my kids, so will you, but it is a difficult journey and you need to know you are not the only one having a hard time sometimes.


I wrote...

100 Hidden Truths of Parenting

By Ohad Ouziel,

Book cover of 100 Hidden Truths of Parenting

What is my book about?

100 Hidden Truths of Parenting is a list rants of a loving but disgruntled father, slowly collapsing under the weight of life as a family man. Here you will find classic truths about sick kids, bedtime, chores, and many more childrearing experiences you wish you never had.

It is irreverent, honest, and full of hilarious and true insights 100 Hidden Truths of Parenting is an indispensable survival guide to new parents. You will not find any advice worth following here, but you will be prepared for the many horrors of raising children.

Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care

By Benjamin Spock, Robert Needlman,

Book cover of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care

This classic is actually a very good guide to maintaining you sanity and for helping you through those first few month. My parents read this when they had me, and so did probably yours. Get one of the older editions though, none of this wishy-washy modern parenting for us. 


Who am I?

When I became a parent, I immediately became an expert on it. Don’t worry, you will too. Children are great. They fill your life with a sense of purpose. They are very good at being really cute, and they can be really fun to be with. Yet... let's face it, the little bugger wreak havoc in your life. Harnessing my experience as a writer for television, and being a man, I immediately started whining and ranting about the difficulties of raising kids, the result was the book 100 Hidden Truths of Parenting that sold the world over. I love my kids, so will you, but it is a difficult journey and you need to know you are not the only one having a hard time sometimes.


I wrote...

100 Hidden Truths of Parenting

By Ohad Ouziel,

Book cover of 100 Hidden Truths of Parenting

What is my book about?

100 Hidden Truths of Parenting is a list rants of a loving but disgruntled father, slowly collapsing under the weight of life as a family man. Here you will find classic truths about sick kids, bedtime, chores, and many more childrearing experiences you wish you never had.

It is irreverent, honest, and full of hilarious and true insights 100 Hidden Truths of Parenting is an indispensable survival guide to new parents. You will not find any advice worth following here, but you will be prepared for the many horrors of raising children.

From Ant to Eagle

By Alex Lyttle,

Book cover of From Ant to Eagle

Written by a fellow Canadian pediatric doctor, this award-winning and heartwarming novel has one of the best opening lines I’ve read in a long time: “My name is Calvin Sinclair, I'm eleven years old and I have a confession...I killed my brother.” The story follows Calvin’s experience when his younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia, spending time both at home and in the strange new hospital world. The scenes are realistic and both painful and touching. As a pediatrician, I thought Alex did a wonderful job providing glimpses of a child’s journey through illness from both sides of the hospital walls.

Who am I?

As a pediatric intensive care doctor, I have lived most of my adult life caring for sick children in the hospital. But I spent most of my childhood with my nose in a book and now I write middle grade novels. I am fascinated by the many creative ways authors tackle the sometimes very difficult subject of illness, medicine, and death and have so much respect for those who can do this in an honest and accurate way. While no one wants kids to get sick, kids (and their siblings and friends) can see themselves in these books.


I wrote...

Meranda and the Legend of the Lake

By Meagan Mahoney,

Book cover of Meranda and the Legend of the Lake

What is my book about?

Eleven-year-old Meranda thought her life was complicated enough with physical challenges (she uses crutches to walk) and her helicopter parents. But when her great-uncle Mark dies, Meranda and her family visit Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where her parents grew up and where she hasn’t been since the age of three.

Soon, secrets begin to unfold: Why does the newspaper headline say her great-uncle Mark’s death was suspicious? Why do strangers keep calling Meranda “miracle baby”? Why does her usually calm mother seem so panicky and scared? And what on earth does all this have to do with mermaids? Meranda and her new friend, Claire, decide to investigate on their own. But as Meranda begins to separate fact from fiction, she finds herself in very real danger…

The Ultimate Baby Book for New Dads

By Roy Benaroch,

Book cover of The Ultimate Baby Book for New Dads: 100 Ways to Care for Your Baby in Their First Year

Dads need a book, too. This survival guide lists 100 things dads can do for their baby and partner to help them not only survive but thrive in their first year. The things I like about it are that it’s in color, with eye-catching pictures, the format is easy to understand— basically in bullet-point style, and it’s so funny! Dr. Roy adds a bit of daddy humor in it.  Like if you’re doing tummy time with your baby, you can expect to be burped on! 


Who am I?

When I was a young mom, I had questions:  Why won’t my baby sleep? Are all these hiccups normal? Am I doing the best I can for my child? I wanted answers. So, I read lots of books and learned as much as I could. While no book can give you all the answers for your unique child, reading some good ones can take some of the mystery out of parenting.


I wrote...

That Mama Is a Grouch

By Sherry Ellis,

Book cover of That Mama Is a Grouch

What is my book about?

Will anything get a mother yelling about time outs and withholding favors faster than a toy-strewn house? In That Mama is a Grouch, an intelligent and very wise narrator reminds us in charming rhyme that mothers are human, most often loving, and that certain situations will guarantee driving them to their breaking point. Children from three to seven will delight in this story of a mommy who’s nearly out of control, and they will learn the importance of something as simple as putting away toys. When nerves are tested, pick up this book and start reading!

Baby 411

By Dr. Ari Brown, Denise Fields,

Book cover of Baby 411: Your Baby, Birth to Age 1

Have you ever left the pediatrician’s office and then realized later that you forgot to ask the one question that was on your mind for days or even weeks? This book has you covered. Topics include everything from fussy baby issues to detailed nutrition information. The other thing I like is that you can look up a symptom like coughing, and it will give you a scale such as “when to call your doctor” and “red flag.” This is useful in helping you decide what to do next.


Who am I?

When I was a young mom, I had questions:  Why won’t my baby sleep? Are all these hiccups normal? Am I doing the best I can for my child? I wanted answers. So, I read lots of books and learned as much as I could. While no book can give you all the answers for your unique child, reading some good ones can take some of the mystery out of parenting.


I wrote...

That Mama Is a Grouch

By Sherry Ellis,

Book cover of That Mama Is a Grouch

What is my book about?

Will anything get a mother yelling about time outs and withholding favors faster than a toy-strewn house? In That Mama is a Grouch, an intelligent and very wise narrator reminds us in charming rhyme that mothers are human, most often loving, and that certain situations will guarantee driving them to their breaking point. Children from three to seven will delight in this story of a mommy who’s nearly out of control, and they will learn the importance of something as simple as putting away toys. When nerves are tested, pick up this book and start reading!

Children and Drug Safety

By Cynthia Connolly,

Book cover of Children and Drug Safety: Balancing Risk and Protection in Twentieth-Century America

The Covid-19 pandemic makes this book a must-read as the author, reminds us that so many medications prescribed for children have not received all the tests for safety necessary to protect them. Yes, we got the heroin out of teething syrups, and our bottles now have child safety caps. Fun fact: the author you will learn, was as they put it at the time, an aspirin poisoned child thanks to those good-tasting baby aspirin. Shocking reality: pediatric drug research and regulation often follows disasters rather than preventing them. That’s why we, fortunately, have to wait for full testing before those covid vaccines get into the arms of the young. This book is an eye-opener.


Who am I?

I’ve been writing, speaking, blogging, and tweeting about the history of American children and their childhoods for many decades. When I went to school—a long time ago—the subject did not come up, nor did I learn much in college or graduate school. I went out and dug up the story as did many of the authors I list here. I read many novels and autobiographies featuring childhood, and I looked at family portraits in museums with new eyes. Childhood history is fascinating and it is a lot of fun. And too, it is a great subject for book groups.


I wrote...

Babies Made Us Modern: How Infants Brought America Into the Twentieth Century

By Janet Golden,

Book cover of Babies Made Us Modern: How Infants Brought America Into the Twentieth Century

What is my book about?

Babies Made Us Modern analyzes the dramatic transformations in the lives of babies during the 20th century. I take my readers through the story of how babies shaped American society and culture. Babies led their families into the modern world, helping them to become more accepting of scientific medicine, and leading adults into consumer culture as parents and others shopped for baby items. Curiosity about babies led Americans to become open to new theories about human development and to welcome government programs and advice.

Babies weren’t just pathbreakers, they also kept families rooted in traditions, from religious celebrations to cultural practices, to folk medicine. This is also a story about diversity that explains how gender, race, region, class, and community shaped life in the nursery and was, in turn, shaped by the vulnerabilities of babies.

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