I'm a fan of the Lonely Planet guides (although generally prefer the 'Rough Guides' format and writing style) and now that we travel independently as a young family thought there might be some useful tips that would help us. Instead, about a third of the book offers advice that is either so obvious its valueless (remember to pack a couple of your children's favourite books and toys - really, I'd never have thought of that!), are too impractical to work (only take two changes of clothes for each child - one to wash, one to wear... her kids must be a lot better behaved than mine, when there's dirt about!), or downright dangerous - a section on travelling when pregnant completely omits to mention the fact that there are no malaria pills that can be taken when pregnant, meaning you have to avoid malarial areas or take the risk.
The second two-thirds of the book is a country-by-country guide to travelling with kids. There are three problems here, one inevitable, two not. The first is space - by tackling pretty much every country, few get more than a page which means advice is pretty sketchy and generally limited to a few words about the capital city. There is no advice on specific hotels or accommodations that are well set up for travellers with kids. It was also dispiriting how few local attactions had been sought ought, generally it was a list of the usual zoos, musueums and commercial playparks, amusement parks or water parks. The final gripe was that the tone was unrelentingly positive, almost as if it was propaganda to make people nervous about travel with kids do it. This is fine up to a point, but there was not one story (the country accounts are interspersed with individual traveller stories about their experiences in different places), that was not totally successful. Given that kids get ill/have accidents more often than adults this seemed ridiculously one sided - where were the accounts of trips spent in darkened hotel rooms ferrying the child to and from the toilet after they ate something dodgy on the first day? The long waits in foreign A&E departments, to be treated for a dog bite, after a child petted a stray? To avoid examples of these simply gave the anecdotal notes in the text a rather unreal air.
Having said all this, its not totally useless. The guide is okay in a general way, the stories make quite good reading. But if you have any common sense or empathy with your kids, then you don't need this book - by a good country guide for the place you're travelling too instead.