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Bringing Up Bebe Audiobook

Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

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Publisher's Summary

The secret behind France's astonishingly well-behaved children is here.

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.

©2012 Pamela Druckerman (P)2012 Random House

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (2176 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Chloe Noire 06-26-16
    Chloe Noire 06-26-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    9
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    "Good, but felt a bit lacking."

    There were a few things in this book that I found very useful as a parent. However, I had already read those things in the reviews. Sure, it helped to drive home a few important concepts, but overall, I was expecting more. I was more interested in a practical parenting book, and less interested in her life story. It kind of felt as though she was just trying to show off, or brag, most of the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liz A. Bay Area, CA 06-20-16
    Liz A. Bay Area, CA 06-20-16 Member Since 2014
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    3
    1
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    Story
    "Best parenting book"

    Excellent content and narration. Will be recommending this to all my parent friends. Great combination of philosophy and how-to without the usual "my method is best" condescension.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ambarish K. 06-04-16
    Ambarish K. 06-04-16
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    "Loved this book!!"

    An enjoyable journey, this book takes you through a comparison of French and American parenting and cultures. The story of the author's life experiences is interesting and at times made me chuckle. There are many great ideas about living and parenting to borrow from the French, and others to gladly ignore.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-24-16 Member Since 2016
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    "A must have for any parent!"

    Absolutely loved the way it's written. Very enjoyable to listen and plus you manage to learn some French words !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taylor Jennings 04-29-16 Member Since 2014

    Startup junkie, life hacker, visionary, real estate investor, and follower of my man Jesus!

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    "Engaging and Insightful"

    The narrator did a great job. Being a man, I didn't know wow engaged I would be into this book. but the French perspective on raising kids was really insightful. it makes you think deeper about children's Minds and how capable they are in interpreting the world around them at such an early age. I'm looking forward to testing out quite a bit from this book this October when we have our first!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    seana 03-22-16
    seana 03-22-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A peek into the French family"

    I expected more of "how this is done/how that is done" (a get to the point thing) rather than going thru the day to day living (yawn) of the author & her family. In saying that, I have to laugh...as the author said Americans are impatient (even when it comes to raising our children)...forget saying "Good morning" first...just jump right into "What's the daily special?" or "Do you have this in my size?" Anyway...
    If you have plenty of time...and don't mind listening to hours of "potatoes" to get to the "meat"...then get this. In the end you may discover that there's an underlying philosophy here...an "enjoy the journey & your children will too" kind of thing. Huh! I just realized I'm doing exactly what she said NOT to! I want quick results. I don't want to let things unfold...So not French!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Al 03-21-16
    C. Al 03-21-16

    Albany

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    71
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    "outstanding"

    Excellent book I very much enjoyed the story and narrative. I had a great time listening to this audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Palau Mayi 03-07-16
    Palau Mayi 03-07-16 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "Funny and informative"

    Great writing and it is nice to see how people raise kid differently in other culture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara 02-25-16
    Sara 02-25-16
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    "The "pause" is brilliant!"
    Any additional comments?

    I got this while pregnant just thinking I wanted to check it out, not actually expecting to learn much. But it resonated once my baby was born and I followed her recommendations for "pausing" which I think totally influenced that my baby slept through the night by 8 weeks old. I have been recommending people to read this book even though its not written by a pediatrician it is a moms story, a story we can all relate to, and for us it was a success.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline 02-04-16
    Caroline 02-04-16 Member Since 2017
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    9
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    "Excellent and Accurate"

    I really enjoyed this book. It is very well written (and narrated) and very well documented. This author really did her homework. It is also very funny and witty. I can totally relate with the author (being a French living in the US).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Sara
    London, United Kingdom
    3/16/12
    Overall
    "Maman knows best"

    I am a mother of a toddler, and as such have read a few books and articles about how I should be doing my job. I first read an article about Druckerman which led me to download the whole book. It's written by an American talking about French parenting, and as an English mother, I found it really interesting to be able to read it from a third perspective and have no personal issues with either style of parenting. I can imagine that some people may be defensive of either culture's ways, but I was pleased to simply listen to the evidence and take what I think is useful and relevant from it.

    Regarding evidence, Druckerman has done a lot of research, I was concerned this would just be an anecdotal opinion piece, and was pleased to find that there was actually a lot of scientific and historical research quoted to back up the observations she was making.

    Overall I thought this was a really interesting book, with some definite - if not sometimes obvious and common sense - methods which could be put into practise. But as I've found so far in parenthood - indeed in life, sometimes you do need the obvious to be stated in order to simply recognise and consciously decide to act on it. However I do agree with the previous reviewer, the narrator's French accent is terrible sometimes, and I accept the fact that not everyone can do accents, but perhaps they should have found a fluent French speaker to read the book, as there are quite a lot of French phrases used throughout and it did rather undermine what was being said.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Jordanna
    2/29/12
    Overall
    "Would be great if it wasn't for the fake accent"

    Its an interesting book that has definitely given me a lot to think about. However I felt it was let down by the INCREDIBLY irritating, horrific french accent that the narrator puts on when she wants to quote a french person. I've had to take a break from listening to it simply because of that.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Heather
    Ireland
    1/5/13
    Overall
    "The fake accent is grating"

    I enjoy the topic and the writing. But the choice to use the fake French and British accents was a bad decision on the part of the producers. Now, the voice of the recording is very grating, and I also can't help hearing the narrator's creaky vocal fry. Yikes. The voice is the most important thing for an audio book. I think I'll be returning this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Rebecca
    6/5/12
    Overall
    "Fun but don't take too seriously"

    Quite interesting and some food for thought. I think I'd have liked the book more with this one as it's the kind of book you would want to dip into and skim areas, also the narrator speaks so quickly I missed a lot of what she said which I found very frustrating. I nearly gave up on this a few times but quite enjoyed coming back to bits of it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    4/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very relatable!"

    really enjoyed the book, as the mum of an 11month old we also named bean, it was interesting to hear the differences in behaviour from both french parents and kids.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zdenek
    9/3/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Helped me to relax as a mother"

    This book is a very helpful study of french parenting that helped me to relax as a mother and realise that I should listen to my intuition more and filter all the advices from other sources. Very useful story told in a witty way with a pinch of humour. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kiri macfarlane
    4/22/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "interesting"

    I am a very attached and hippy parent as much as I appreciate the style of parenting described in this book their is not all that much that I will be using on my kids. I did however learn a lot and their are definitely a couple things I will be using. the readers faked French accent was great very comical lol

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • hooray
    2/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "annoying"

    synthesis: newyorkers are hysterical women with too much money to spend on trendy books and pediatricians, French mums are cool with a no-nonsense approach to education ( probably like the rest of normal middle class American grans imo!)
    the fake accent is really irritating and it was a struggle to listen. the book is too long and verbose for little content, few interesting points that you can pick up reading online blogs instead of wasting listening time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • liz
    BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom
    9/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Easy listening"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Good for long car journeys for a passive, unchallenging listen. Wouldn't have continued with a book though.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A.M.E.
    6/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book, but strange narration choices"
    If you could sum up Bringing Up Bebe in three words, what would they be?

    French style education


    What did you like best about this story?

    Wonderful book, a great combination of information and autobiography. Actually has incredibly interesting and useful information about how French parents raise their children. Well researched book, with enough background information about parenting philosophies and helpful, practical advice that you can apply yourself. Also an entertaining story about Americans making a life in Paris and learning the French culture.


    What three words best describe Abby Craden’s performance?

    The narrating itself is fine, but why she decided to do EVERY bit that was a quote from someone French in a thick French accent is beyond me. It actually makes it more difficult to make out what she is saying, and I don't appreciate the notion that all French people speak with that same cliché accent. This doesn't only happen whe she quotes a dialogue between the author and a French person (of which there is a lot in the book) but also when French literature is quoted (which also happens a lot in the book). For me this was the big let-down of this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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