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French Children Don't Throw Food [Kindle Edition]

Pamela Druckerman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

The book everyone is talking about: how the French manage to raise well-behaved children, and have a life!

Who hasn’t noticed how well-behaved French children are, compared to our own?

*How come French babies sleep through the night?

*Why do French children happily eat what is put in front of them?

*How can French mothers chat to their friends while their children play quietly?

*Why are French mothers more likely to be seen in skinny jeans than tracksuit bottoms?

'Fascintating...gripping...extremely funny...I loved it. It made me want to move to Paris' - India Knight, Sunday Times

‘Her book should be dispensed on prescription’ -Spectator

Product Description


"Fascinating... gripping... extremely funny... 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)

"Self-deprecating, witty, informative... But however much she admires "the easy, calm authority" French parents seem to posess, will Druckerman manage it herself? Her efforts to do so add a compelling narrative to this fascinating study of French parenting" (Michele Hanson Guardian)

"Observant, dryly entertaining... In recounting how her three children went native, Druckerman is engagingly self-deprecating... This book is worth its price for the crucial information it reveals about how to win the sleep wars" (Amanda Craig Daily Mail)

"Fascinating and enlightening... Druckerman's observations struck me as Eureka discoveries that could improve interaction between adults and children here" (The Lady)

"I couldn't put it down! Smart, funny, provocative, and genuinely eye-opening" (Amy Chua, Author Of "Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother")

Book Description

The number one Sunday Times bestseller, the book all parents are talking about.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 752 KB
  • Print Length: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (19 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006TF6VBC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,821 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Pamela Druckerman is a journalist and the author of Bringing Up Bébé (The Penguin Press: 2012); the UK edition of the same book, called French Children Don't Throw Food (Doubleday UK: 2012); and Lust In Translation (The Penguin Press: 2007). She was a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Observer, the Financial Times and Marie Claire. She has appeared as a commentator on the Today Show,, BBC Women's Hour, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, Al Jazeera International, France24 and CNBC. Her website is

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think 4 Aug. 2013
By KatyBee
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book - it was written with humour, but interesting observations on different approaches to child-rearing in Britain/America and France. I wish I had read the bit about ignoring wakeful spells in their sleeping when my children were young -and I might have managed a full night's sleep before my eldest was five years old and the youngest two and a half!
Lots of the ideas put forward as used by French parents were thought-provoking, like making them wait before responding to their demands, not 'pushing' them or expecting too much of them - but my children have grown up into successful, friendly, sociable adults and the writer seems to find many French adults distant and unfriendly and we know that the French have a reputation for disliking authority, so which way is right?
Most children grow into youngsters who eat a variety of foods and don't throw their food at the table so why worry?
A good read though.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical Advice for parents & caregivers 9 April 2012
By Yoshi
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really like this book because it breaks down, in a very practical way, what it is that the French are doing to end up with children that don't need constant stimulation, and attention, don't constantly interrupt, eat well, etc. The book is basically telling us that the French (in general) have a more common-sense approach towards child rearing & haven't lost the plot or balance (as most in Anglophone countries have).
What I observe in English speaking countries is parents that don't feel comfortable in their authority. They allow their children to rule the roost, giving them way to much choice, power & control, wrongly believing that this is being 'nice' or 'good' to their child. The reality is that they're teaching the child that they should always be 'consulted' in every decision, always get their own way, and as a result they experience problems in school, with other children, etc. The book rightly asserts that parents need to be in charge, to say no, and very importantly, to delay gratification (i.e. teach them to wait & have patience).

The book also shows how most French parents handle guilt differently - Anglophone's tend to feel guilty for everything (working, going out, etc.) In contrast, the French culture believes(rightly) that parent's should work if they want or need to, and that they are entitled to time as a couple, and plenty of time away from the child/ren. They recognise that they will still be a couple after the child/ren leave/s home & they try not to neglect their relationship. It's all about balance & I think it's spot on! It's a must-read for all parents in Anglophone countries - & beyond!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Isey
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The reviews I had read here almost put me off this book. Then the opening chapter made me think the author and I were polar opposites.. She loves ' best friends guide to pregnancy' and I hated it,, she didn't like ' what to expect when you're expecting' but I liked it.
I read this just before I (an Irish woman) moved from the UK to Luxembourg. I had a 20 month old with another on the way. It gave me a great insight to how the French regard upbringing their children... And the Luxembourgers aren't dissimilar. The crèches are run in the same way, with particular regard to mealtimes. I have adopted some of the advice such as little or no snacking between meals, and giving a course of vegetables before dinner while my daughter is hungry. My daughter now greets sales assistants, babysitters etc.. With bonjour, and says merci and au revoir after every interaction. Indeed as an adult, it has taught me to be more respectful and greet people in a courteous, polite manner. It's amazing the difference in experience.
I probably docked one star as its a little anecdotal, but still a good read.
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113 of 126 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun but to be taken with a pinch of salt 10 Feb. 2012
By Emma
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I recently bought this book as I live in France and am expecting a child. It is an entertaining read, and I believe that is all it is meant to be. However the author's view on France is incredibly narrow and became increasingly frustrating. It is a shame that she insisted on generalising so much when her contact with France and the French seems to be very limited, she mixes with a small section of wealthy and educated Parisians. Comparing Parisians to the rest of France is silly and shortsighted. Londoners do not represent the UK, nor do New Yorkers America.

Some of her facts about France's views on baby rearing are incorrect. She claims that in France practically nobody breastfeeds and it is not considered beneficial. That is untrue on the RSI website it states very clearly that breast is best, should be done (if possible) for the 1st 6 months and going back to work was not a reason to stop.

I also find her generalisations about Anglophones frustrating as again I don't think that her experience of British people has much depth. Admittedly she is married to a Brit, but he was brought up in Holland and so possibly not a true representative. Some of the things that she seemed to be amazed about in France are also common place in the UK.

All in all it is an entertaining book with a couple of good pointers, but be aware that there is a lot of generalisation and so should be taken with a large pinch of salt.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Few tips worth learning and incorporating
It's cute, funny and provides a healthy dose of common sense that French parents seem to have, at least in this book. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Aika
5.0 out of 5 stars Light and easy going.
It is thoroughly enjoyable read. Light and easy going.
Published 12 days ago by Michelle B du Preez-Dwyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic, sensible advice.
I really enjoyed this book. I've worked in France and spend the summers there, and although I can see why people accuse Druckerman of stereotyping, I think there is a different... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Clare Foskett
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good - would be even better if my daughter-in-law would actually read it!
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. I. E. Lintern
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very enjoyable, and probably true!
Published 2 months ago by Jo204
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this book. Bought it for my friend as a present.
Published 2 months ago by Ella
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
First class book, wish it was compulsory in all UK Primary Schools
Published 2 months ago by Jill K. Andrew
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
I loved the book, it is easy to read and doesn't have stamps and 'lessons' but you're trying to remember every other sentence to think through and use in every day life.
Published 2 months ago by Mum of two
5.0 out of 5 stars From a French mum: if you are going to read only 1 book during your...
Being myself French, I got this book offered by my British mother in law for my first pregnancy. It's the only book I've read (I wasn't intending to read any book at all before I... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Cali
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it...funny...insightful...great read...Thanks Pamela!
Published 3 months ago by Happygal
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