Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Journalist Hopgood (Lucky Girl, 2009) uses her reporting skills on this international tour of parenting practices that manages to be informative and deeply engaging. Eschewing the confrontational tiger mother style, Hopgood learns how babies in different parts of the world eat, sleep, play, and more. Through discussions with educators, academics, family, and friends, she discovers that the streets of Nairobi make strollers an impossibility, babies in China are potty-trained with split-open pants, and Argentinian toddlers stay up late as part of the cultural embrace of night life. Hopgood is honest about her attempts to bring some of these lessons home to her own daughter (the story of traveling through airports without a stroller is hysterical), and she isn't afraid to say that some traditions don't seem to transfer well to Western life. Throughout her carefully organized text, she shows enormous respect for everyone she speaks with and everything she learns. Hopgood's point is that there is no superior way to raise children, and thanks to her open-minded approach, readers have an opportunity to take advantage of all the world has to offer. A best bet for new parents.--Mondor, Colleen Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Hopgood (Lucky Girl) is living in Buenos Aires when she notices that the city-including its children-never sleeps. A first-time mom from suburban Michigan, Hopgood sets out to research how cultural expectations and customs determine the way kids are raised. For starters, she discovers that to the Argentineans, socializing with family is more important than strict bedtime schedules. Such cultural constructs may ruffle Americans; the author learns, however, that even sleep guru Richard Ferber can't see anything intrinsically wrong with later bedtimes. In separate chapters Hopgood examines why French children eat so well (noshing on mussels and Roquefort cheese), "How Kenyans Live Without Strollers," "How the Chinese Potty Train Early," "How Polynesians Play without Parents," and other fascinating topics. Hopgood's text is a satisfying mix of research, observation, interview, and personal experience; she travels from Argentina to Chicago with her toddler sans stroller, and decides to potty train her daughter at 19 months, using the Chinese method of "split pants." Along the way, Hopgood and readers alike learn quite a bit about parenthood from different cultures. Her investigation, Hopgood points out, both opens her mind and challenges her beliefs, revealing that there is no single best way to raise children, though being a good parent is a universal goal. Readers will laugh, marvel and muse over the many (frequently opposing) child-rearing methods that persist despite the growing globalization of parenthood. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved