cover image Bebe Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting

Bebe Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting

Pamela Druckerman. The Penguin Press, $19.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-59420-553-8

Druckerman, an American expat in France, offers this purse-sized collection of Francophilic lists and snark as a follow-up to her highly successful parenting guide Bringing Up Bebe. Discussing French food rules, she maintains that French children always try everything on their plates and generally eat what adults eat (she includes several delightful recipes from French government-run daycare, including zucchini flan and artichoke soup). Her knowledge of sleep training a newborn, "The Pause," flirts with the cry-it-out method by lagging in response to a baby's cries. There are tips on living a parent-centered life and avoiding a child-centered marriage that will be well received by many who come across them. Though most will agree when Druckerman writes that new parents need a weekend away, nothing is particularly French about it. Moreover, her lists have the effect of making every point facile or glib; rarely does she provide deep analyses of her positions. The advice contained in these pages can usually be pared down to common sense or a path-of-least-resistance, although a snort or giggle here and there will be in order. This shouldn't be anyone's go-to manual on baby care, but it's fun. (Feb.)