106 of 118 people found the following review helpful
Fun but to be taken with a pinch of salt,
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This review is from: French Children Don't Throw Food (Hardcover)
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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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Feb 2012 10:50:12 GMT
Ma Lice says:
Breastfeeding rates are way lower in France than they are in Britain or in America for that matter. Coming from a French midwife practicing in the UK. French people are way more body conscious, that is my analysis.
Posted on 21 Feb 2012 18:35:38 GMT
Severn meadows says:
This is a sensible, well-balanced review.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Mar 2012 20:23:53 BDT
Rj Allen says:
I live in France, bringing up 3 "English" bi-lingual children. Breastfeeding is no way as common over here.
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2012 07:39:55 BDT
Eloise Black says:
When I lived in France, there was a lot of pressure on women to put children straight into creches and go back to work, which of course makes breast feeding much more difficult. I had Australian friends who were trying to b/f their babies in France; they found the negative attitude towards it very distressing (Australian women often, I gathered, b/f for up to 4 years or so). I suppose at least the French establishment recognises the benefits, even if the government and culture render it difficult from other points of view.
I certainly wouldn't assume any one country got everything right. So the whole concept of the book has to be humorous rather than serious. A book that would be worth taking seriously would be one that picks the best ideas from all the countries and points out the harm of the worst!
Posted on 28 Apr 2013 21:13:26 BDT
Danielle Kilbride says:
The author mentions throughout her book that she is talking generally about Parisians, not the rest of France. She says that outside the ring road of Paris, stats are different.
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