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Pamela Druckerman

Updated on April 6, 2013

Pamela Druckerman

Pamela Druckerman is an American journalist and the author of Bringing Up Bébé and the British edition version of the same book - French Children Don't Throw Food. They're the same book, just with different titles.

"Druckerman's book is a desperately needed corrective to received wisdom about child-rearing and what having children is supposed to do to a woman's sense of self. I loved it. It made me want to move to Paris."-India Knight, The Sunday Times

About Bringing Up Bebe

From the book jacket:

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.

For more information on Bringing Up Bébé or French Children Don't Throw Food, or to hear what Pamela is Tweeting, thinking and worrying about, please visit her website, http://www.pameladruckerman.com.

Reviews

“Druckerman’s book is a desperately needed corrective to received wisdom about child-rearing and what having children is supposed to do to a woman’s sense of self. I loved it. It made me want to move to Paris.”—India Knight, The Sunday Times

“…a charming and funny memoir of what it’s like to raise a child immersed in a culture not your own, which also manages to challenge assumptions on both sides.” —The Guardian

“Written with verve and humor…” —Sue Baker, The Bookseller

“It was exactly what I hoped for: a friendly yet instructive look at how we can pick up tips on child-rearing from our less harried cross-channel sisters.” —Cathy Rentzenbrick, The Bookseller

“In engaging storytelling prose, American Druckerman describes a French ‘society of good little sleepers, gourmet eaters, and relaxed parents,’ and with her bicultural glasses sees a few telling contrasts, for better or worse, with how she is doing things the American way.” —Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat

“Druckerman has interviewed parents and experts and compared her findings with American theories and behaviours when making trips home. The result is this self-deprecating, witty, informative but slightly ambivalent bringing-up-baby book.” —The Guardian

“With a notebook stashed in her baby’s nappy bag, Druckerman observes, questions and analyses exactly what the French are doing differently. She speaks to her Parisian friends and neighbours and also interviews French teachers and childcare experts. The book also charts, very amusingly, Druckerman’s own experiences with her baby as ‘Bean’ faces such challenges as eating unfamiliar vegetables and starting at creche. Among the questions covered in the book are: how do French babies manage to sleep through the night from three months? Why do French children eat what is put in front of them from a young age? And how do French children manage to amuse themselves without constant parental intervention?” —Alice O’Keeffe, The Bookseller

Sunday Times quote

"Druckerman's book is a desperately needed corrective to received wisdom about child-rearing and what having children is supposed to do to a woman's sense of self. I loved it. It made me want to move to Paris."-India Knight, The Sunday Times

Have You Read the Book?

Have you read Bringing Up Bebe?

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