Saturday, February 25, 2012

How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm

How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: Child-Raising Discoveries from Around the World. Mei-Ling Hopgood. 2012. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. 304 pages.

I'm sitting on a patio in Buenos Aires, nibbling on cinnamon cake, talking with a group of friends about the way local parents raise their kids.

If you were fascinated with the movie, Babies, then you HAVE to read Mei-Ling Hopgood's How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm. This nonfiction book is just SO FASCINATING. There are many parenting books out there that offer tips and advice on how to best raise babies, toddlers, kids. But how many offer a global perspective? A cross-cultural perspective? How many refrain from saying that their way is the best way, the only proper way?

I thought I would share the chapter titles to give you an idea of what this one is all about:

How Buenos Aires Children Go To Bed Late
How The French Teach Their Children to Love Healthy Food
How Kenyans Live Without Strollers
How the Chinese Potty Train Early
How Aka Pygmies Are the Best Fathers In the World
How Lebanese Americans Keep Their Families Close
How Tibetans Cherish Pregnancy
How the Japanese Let Their Children Fight
How Polynesians Play Without Parents
How Mayan Villagers Put Their Kids to Work
How Asians Learn to Excel In School

Each chapter discusses a culture or two and their perspective(s) on a particular subject (potty training, picky eaters, sleeping, etc.), she often shows how Americans can then adapt this--in varying degrees--for their own families. For example, in the first chapter, the lesson 'learned' is that socializing can be as important as keeping to a routine. For special occasions, including the kids can be the right thing to do...even if that means a later bedtime. She's not saying to completely eliminate bedtimes and schedules, just to consider being more flexible if something special comes up.

A chapter title that intrigued me was How the Japanese Let their Children Fight. In that chapter she discusses how adults don't necessarily intervene at the first sign of conflict between youngsters. They wait...and see if kids can solve their own conflicts or problems. If they can work it out on their own, if they can learn to get along on their own without adults telling them what to do, what to say. 

Overall, I found this one very interesting!

Read How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm
  • If you're a fan of nonfiction
  • If you're a fan of the film, Babies
  • If you're interested in reading about different cultures, thinking globally
  • If you're looking for a different kind of parenting book

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Lovely Lady 12:05 PM  

Wow! I am not a parent but, I am fascinated at different cultures and the differences between ours and other cultures around the world. I am definitely going to read this. Thanks again for the wonderfuly detailed review Becky! :)

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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