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  • Published: New York : Penguin Press, 2012.
  • Year Published: 2012
  • Description: xviii, 284 p. ; 24 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9781594203336
  • 1594203334


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Bringing up bebe : one American mother discovers the wisdom of French parenting

by Druckerman, Pamela.

There are currently 5 available

Where To Find It

Call number: 649.109 Dr

Available Copies: Downtown 2nd Floor, Malletts Adult, Pittsfield Adult

Additional Details

Glossary of French parenting terms -- French children don't throw food -- Are you waiting for a child? -- Paris is burping -- Doing her nights -- Wait! -- Tiny little humans -- Day care? -- Bebe au lait -- The perfect mother doesn't exist -- Caca boudin -- Double entendre -- I adore this baguette -- You just have to taste it -- It's me who decides -- Let him live his life -- The future in French.

"The secret behind France's astonishingly well-behaved children. When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn't aspire to become a "French parent." French parenting isn't a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren't doing anything special. Yet, the French children Druckerman knows sleep through the night at two or three months old while those of her American friends take a year or more. French kids eat well-rounded meals that are more likely to include braised leeks than chicken nuggets. And while her American friends spend their visits resolving spats between their kids, her French friends sip coffee while the kids play. Motherhood itself is a whole different experience in France. There's no role model, as there is in America, for the harried new mom with no life of her own. French mothers assume that even good parents aren't at the constant service of their children and that there's no need to feel guilty about this. They have an easy, calm authority with their kids that Druckerman can only envy. Of course, French parenting wouldn't be worth talking about if it produced robotic, joyless children. In fact, French kids are just as boisterous, curious, and creative as Americans. They're just far better behaved and more in command of themselves. While some American toddlers are getting Mandarin tutors and preliteracy training, French kids are-by design-toddling around and discovering the world at their own pace. With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman-a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal sets out to learn the secrets to raising a society of good little sleepers, gourmet eaters, and reasonably relaxed parents. She discovers that French parents are extremely strict about some things and strikingly permissive about others. And she realizes that to be a different kind of parent, you don't just need a different parenting philosophy. You need a very different view of what a child actually is. While finding her own firm "non", Druckerman discovers that children-including her own-are capable of feats she'd never imagined."--Provided by publisher.

Community Reviews


I did not think this book would be insightful with new knowledge, but I was so wrong. My sister got it for me, and I'm glad she did. I would not hear these ideas otherwise. I found it full of new and useful information.


An interesting look at parenting differences and French culture. The author admits that her view is limited to a certain class of people. The book provides the philosophical roots of French parenting and does highlight many issues such as childcare, schooling, and maternity leave.

Not so good

I was annoyed by this book. It is filled with common sense made to seem like wonderful ideas exclusive to the French.

dead on good

About a third of the way through this book, I thought I wasn't going to like it. I was wrong.

The differences between French and American parenting and families are fascinating. I wish I had read this book 7 years ago when I had a developing little one.

Yes, some of the advice is common sense, and yet so much of it goes ignored in the US. Its nice to see such simple common things spelled out and contrasted across cultural lines.

If you are a parent, especially of young ones, please read this.

common sense

This woman is too enamored with the French - she needs to have more common sense when raising children

Not Bad, But Not Terribly Enlightening Either

I liked the memoir part of this book much more than than the French/American (actually, only a certain class & regional style of American) parenting comparisons and analysis. But that probably wouldn't have resulted in the "Tiger Mom" type buzz this book got

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