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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 6 December 2006
This book is absolutely brilliant - I read it in about 2 nights. I think this is a book that most mums or mums to be can relate to. Even if you are not a mum or mum to be I think it would make great reading. I read this book when my baby was 7 months - it was great to read about her pregnancy and could relate it back to my pregnancy. I found this book very funny and lighthearted in places. I only hope there is a follow up. I would recomend this book very highly and only wish I could reward it with more than 5 stars!
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on 6 June 2005
Having no interest in the lifestyles of the rich and famous I was rather dubious about reading this book which was given to me by a friend. However, once I started it I was completely surprised and found I couldn't put it down. The author provides a compellingly honest account of conception, pregnancy, birth and beyond and is unique in that rather than providing a "How to" instruction manual, Jools Oliver simply lets you in to her world, shares her experiences as a parent and it is rather like asking a good friend for advice on how to do things.
It is stunningly produced with hundreds of gorgeous, inspirational photographs which perfectly capture the Oliver's parenting style. They are clearly doting parents and the book gives you that "warm, fuzzy feeling!" It is also packed with useful information about the stuff that you really want to know as a potential mum to be or first time parent. I found the recipies a real highlight and tried them out with my one year old and instant hit. INFACT - the butternut squash pasta was so good she picked up her spoon and ate her first mouthfuls unaided! My husband and I are thrilled!! I would urge Jools to publish a follow up and a complete cookery book would work well too.
Finally - great to read about someone who is trying to establish a routine as so much current advice on demand feeding its refreshing to read. I felt Jools Oliver reflected my own parenting style anmd so got a lot out of the book.
I can't recommend it highly enough.
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on 25 July 2005
I picked up this book in the local bookshop and was surprised to find myself so drawn into it that i had to buy it. I was even more surprised to find i have quite a lot in common with Jools, and i found this book so easy to consume that i read it in less than a day.
There were many things i thought were good about this book, but i have to say most of them have already been covered in previous reviews here. So i won't bore anyone by repeating anything.
What i found difficult to associate with is Jool's rather controlling approach to motherhood. Sorry but one example is her taking fruit along to other children's birthday parties. If i were hosting one of these parties I would feel most insulted! I am very keen to feed my children a healthy, balanced diet but I found myself skipping through quite a few of her pages on weaning as the details were a little too obsessive and dare i say yawn-inducing.
Also, i think Jools should thank her lucky stars for having two such 'easy' sounding babies. I'm all in favour of routine, but there are very few babies that i have come across in real life that are happy to breastfeed on a 3-4 hour schedule. Believe me, i tried and tried to schedule it with my first but she would have none of it! Neither do i know many babies that seem to sleep so well. The fact that Jools has two kids willing to exclusively breastfeed at regular intervals throughout the first few months, plus sleep through the night so easily and click into a routine so effortlessly, makes me feel that Jools has been extremely fortunate and really should wait until she has a truly tricky baby that rises at five every morning and has colic throughout the first few months!
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on 31 May 2005
Jools oliver is an inspiration to all, her book is funny unique and honest. It made me laugh and cry! it was an unputdownable read! having experienced fertility problems myself i understood some of what she and jamie went through and i draw hope from what happened for her can happen for me. Totally fabulous!!! sequel for the next few years please!! xxxxx
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on 13 June 2005
My husband bought me this book as a present and from the moment it arrived I loved it. It is visually stunning. I loved the colours, the photos and the little pink ribbon page marker!
I read the entire book in one afternoon. It is very easy to read and just follows the honest story of Jool's journey through pregnancy, birth and early motherhood. I found it very enjoyable and very reassured that Jools does many things the same way I do - I too believe in routine and I think the key for new mums is to realise that every time your baby cries it does not mean it is hungry! A rough feeding schedule will definitley help! I found myself nodding in agreement and laughing at some of her anecdotes. I'd forgotten just how all consuming pregnancy is and all the mad things like reading every book out there and wandering round nursery shops all day! The book actually made me very broody for my second baby (I think the stunning photographs of her daughters would set just about anyone off!) even though her descriptions of those first few oh so difficult weeks bought back just how all consuming and some times awful having a newborn can be! Both her babies slept through the night from quite young so I can see some people thinking 'ha what's she complaining about! I went through hell compared to that' but I think her routines, not demand feeding etc certainly helped her here. She acknowledges how lucky she is to have a very supportive and wonderful family - her mum and sisters sound lovely and just what every new mum would love to have!
My only critisism of the book is that I wish it could have been longer! I could have read much much more and I would LOVE there to be a sequel. After having her second daughter things must have been very difficult/fraught at times but the book ends at about this time (as it only goes up to 1 year - with a brief epilogue giving some insight of what came next) and I would have loved to have heard more! So please yes - a sequel!
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on 19 September 2005
As the title suggests this is indeed an honest account of Jools experience. I am 7 months pregnant with my second child and fed up with reading books written by "experts". I found myself laughing out loud at her irrational thinking when breastfeeding and insanely tired. I read this book over two evenings as i found myself unable to wait for the different stages of her experience. It brought back memories of my first experiences of pregnancy and motherhood and left me truly excited for my forth coming baby.
Recommended to anyone contemplating pregnancy,pregnant or new parents as it really offers a fair view of the stresses and joys that parenting brings.
Well done Jools
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on 18 July 2005
I'm going to be the dissenting voice amongst all the reviewers and say I found this book to be really dull. I'm not pregnant at the moment so thought that might be why but skipping to the baby/toddler parts which are relevant to me I still found it to be plain boring. Jools is clearly a lovely person and I was so excited she had written a book which is to be fair beautifully presented. But she has fallen into the trap of becoming a 'gushy mummy'. She thinks the story of her pregnancy, delivery and early experience of babies is unique and desperately interesting. I'm all for giving us facts but this book is nothing more than a deeply gushy, nauseating account of childbirth from a woman who seems to think she invented it. Note to Jools - if you were that desperate to have children and so excited you come across like a demented puppy, why on earth did you not put the pram up before the baby was born? I don't believe it was such a 'huge trauma' going out on your first baby outing, come on you are a grown woman! Did your Mum and Jamie really applaud you when you bathed 'Pops' for the first time? Come on Jools. I was more interested to learn that far from being the stay at home Mum always with her 2 precious girls that they portray to the media, young Jools actually employs her sister as a full time nanny (does she hide when the Paparazzi snap Jools kicking leaves with the girls on Hampstead Heath?)and both girls actually go to nursery 3 days a week whilst Jools goes to the gym with her mate. Not quite the image of her I had in mind. I couldn't even finish this book as I was so bored with it. Definitely only for first time pregnant women and not for women who have a little more in their lives than nappies and a few more things to think about other than 'traumatic first outings with the pram'.
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on 6 May 2008
I bought this book on the strength of the recommendations you can see here on Amazon. Warning though - I guess everyone else was looking for something a little more low brow than I was.

I was *hoping* for a book that was an emotional and real account of a woman's first pregnancy, with in depth feelings and thoughts. It's actually more like a teenagers diary, and if the tone doesn't get you the ridiculous amounts of CAPITALS and !!!!'s will.

I'm sure it's a "nice" read if you're just wanting to burn a few hours in an airport and you're not too fussed about detail, but if you're after something with a bit of substance this isn't it. Sadly, I haven't found one that is yet either! If you can recommend one please do - thayer 18 AT yahoo dot com.
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on 18 September 2005
Our little boy is now 4 months old and immersed as I am currently, in that new baby blissful bubble, I just couldnt resist this book. It is funny, warm, candid and hugely enjoyable, simply a must for all news mums! Jools punctuates her book with gorgeous pictures of her little girls and, at all times, comes across as really human and likeable (not at all like one of those precious celebrity mums we see in the tabloids constantly) I thoroughly enjoyed it and Jools, if you're listening, please can you publish a book of childrens recipes!
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on 26 March 2007
I read this book at 8 weeks pregnant, when everything seems terrifying and overwhelming. Jules Oliver writes in a candid, warm and refreshingly honest manner. She tells it like it is without leaving you terrified. I also have "The Best Friend's Guide" and that just left me feeling miserable and hopeless; whereas Jules is always careful to balance the gory details with her sheer joy of motherhood, which I think is really important. It's a delightful book which I learned a lot from and will continue to refer to once my baby is born. And what a great idea to include all those lists of items she would recommend, as well as the recipes and the hilarious lists of items she packed in her hospital bag. It's an excellent read in my opinion, and one that is reasonably priced too!
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