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 fo...moreThis 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.(less)
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 journe...moreI 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.(less)
This graphic novel had all the makings of something that would knock my socks off, with its strong female protagonists, fantasy setting, class conflic...moreThis graphic novel had all the makings of something that would knock my socks off, with its strong female protagonists, fantasy setting, class conflict, and art that was overall quite good. Purple-eyed characters are even a favorite fantasy trope of mine. Perhaps that is why I felt somewhat sad when I finished it; this book features a huge amount of great ideas, and I wish the series had been somewhat longer to flesh out all of the different plot points with more depth. The story began to feel very cursory and rushed, particularly closer to the end, and I wish there had been more to savor.(less)
I received this book as a baby shower gift. It is a very cute, very insidious book. The pictures are hilarious, featuring a mouse doing ridiculous thi...moreI received this book as a baby shower gift. It is a very cute, very insidious book. The pictures are hilarious, featuring a mouse doing ridiculous things because he is so afraid of the big bear that might come eat his strawberry. As others have said, the result of the very simple text is that the narrator has been making the mouse afraid all along in order to get half of the strawberry.
I know some people object to books like these (I'm also thinking of I Want My Hat Back) because they are so manipulative of the reader and do thrive on some fear, but I actually look forward to reading it with, and then explaining why it is so funny, to my little girl. I hope she finds mischief as funny as her parents, and grows smart enough not to be taken in by it.(less)
I thought this book was an excellent primer on the ways that keeping house intersect with our Biblical call to provide for the hungry, clothe the need...moreI thought this book was an excellent primer on the ways that keeping house intersect with our Biblical call to provide for the hungry, clothe the needy, and generally live in community with others. The author takes a very Biblically-informed approach without becoming preachy, and there is also a good bit of practical advice and ruminations. I also liked that the author does not imply that women, particularly, or only full-time homemakers should engage in "keeping house," but that it is a task meant for an entire family with working with one another.(less)
I absolutely loved this! It is chock-full of hilarious jokes for an RPG-playing crowd (without going too far and breaking the fourth wall or becoming...moreI absolutely loved this! It is chock-full of hilarious jokes for an RPG-playing crowd (without going too far and breaking the fourth wall or becoming too inaccessible), and strong, multi-dimensional female characters. A complete pleasure. (less)
This cute, short book was nice for the illustrations and funny aesthetics. The book is clearly going for an updated 1950s etiquette guide vibe, and I...moreThis cute, short book was nice for the illustrations and funny aesthetics. The book is clearly going for an updated 1950s etiquette guide vibe, and I laughed aloud at some of the illustrations.
In terms of the book's text, however, I was underwhelmed. The text covers the themes in only the most cursory fashion, in ways that I would hope are very much common sense. Additionally, the Kindle version that I read was full of formatting problems. I was left unsure of who the audience of this book is intended to be; if I had to guess, it would be college students or people needing a gag gift. Ultimately, I felt the book was a gimmick based on its attention-grabbing title more than a substantial guide to, well, not being a dick.(less)