I received this book from Ryan's former church as a baby shower gift. I knew that I would like the artwork (which is indeed both beautiful and accessiI received this book from Ryan's former church as a baby shower gift. I knew that I would like the artwork (which is indeed both beautiful and accessible to children), but I expected to find many qualms with the text. Children's Bible story books must necessarily make choices regarding both what stories they choose to tell from the Bible (which I sometimes object to) and the language they use to tell it (which is often too simple or too bland).
I was so impressed with this book, however! The language is accessible without talking down to readers. There are some flowery/cutesy passages, but I felt they were actually useful for conveying difficult concepts (the unfailing, all-encompassing love of God, for instance) in terms that children might actually use. Additionally, I was so impressed with how each story is used to point forwards and backwards to point out God's ultimate redemption story, woven throughout history.
I look forward to reading this book to my daughter soon!...more
This book, which a friend insisted I borrow, has been incredibly useful in navigating the overwhelming world of baby "stuff." The book is best used foThis book, which a friend insisted I borrow, has been incredibly useful in navigating the overwhelming world of baby "stuff." The book is best used for its introductory sections on different items, which serves as a good primer on what features of different product types are actually useful. Additionally, those sections are good for getting a ballpark estimate on what a decent price on a certain type of product is, although most can be purchased even more cheaply at consignment shops. The reviews of individual products I found more so useful in avoiding bad products and brands than necessarily buying the specific ones that they recommend.
I would recommend this book as a good starting place for anyone feeling overwhelmed by the world of infant products....more
I really enjoyed this book, in spite of a series of problems. The form of the book is a series of essays that cover the arc of a young mother's journeI really enjoyed this book, in spite of a series of problems. The form of the book is a series of essays that cover the arc of a young mother's journey through having three children in France. Some are more anecdotal, while others, particularly those towards the beginning of the book, draw from short anecdotes to discuss wider trends in baby care in both America and France, particularly comparing scholarly research in both places.
The book suffers, just as one might expect, from the problem of wildly overgeneralizing what "French" and "American" parenting is like. The author mentions she realizes this in the introduction, but that is the only time it is mentioned. There is also clearly an implicit pro-"French" bias to the text. Again, this is not surprising, but sometimes some of the problems of French parenting, which do seem somewhat different than American parenting (for instance, the expectation that mothers regain their figures within 6 months of birth) are only touched on lightly. On the other hand, it is hard as an outsider-looking-in to feel validated in pursuing those criticisms on a deep level, so I do not necessarily blame Druckerman.
I felt the book was strongest when Druckerman cited medical research, both in the US and France, that is not commonly touted by American parents. For instance, I felt the chapter on French approaches to babies' sleep patterns, and how American research actually supports their findings, to be very interesting. I did learn a lot about the different debates and approaches to discipline and expectations of what a child is and what they are capable of knowing. For that reason, I still found a great deal of value in this book, despite its lack of nuance in cross-cultural comparison....more