Roundup: Great Books for Parents

I’m a librarian, so it follows that I do a fair amount of reading. I’m also a parent, so I tend to do a fair amount of parenting as well. I love reading books that help guide me on the crazy journey my family is undertaking and (let’s be honest) that validate what I’m doing at the same time.


Here’s a roundup of some of the best books I’ve read lately (and a few on my to-read shelf) on the topic of parenting:

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman – This was the first parenting book I read, while I was still pregnant. Druckerman, an American living in France with her family, noticed that parents acted differently with their children there rather than here. So many of those differences made sense to me, and I took lots of notes while I was reading. Of course, not everything included is a home-run, and that’s the beauty of it – take one of the ideas you like and try it with your child. If it is beneficial, stick with it. If not, try something else. There is no one right way to raise a child, and when reading this book I learned that there is some freedom and lee-way there.

Bebe Day by Day by Pamela Druckerman – Druckerman followed up the previous title with this one, which features a lot of the same information in a more bite-size package. She states that she wrote “Day by Day” to create a handy guide without the backstory, something you can hand to the grandparents or the sitter. This book definitely fits the bill there, and if you need a refresher after reading Bringing Up Bebe, this can help.

The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson – This book gives you the tools to get on your age 0-12 child’s level to help them deal with life. These techniques, in turn, fill your child’s toolbox so that they learn better coping strategies and can be happier and calmer. Read my review!

Minimalist Parenting by Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest – Ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices, information, and stuff that goes along with parenting? You’re not alone. This book aims to help you manage all of that, making you more available for your children (and making your children happier). I enjoy the Parent Hacks blog, from the authors, and I expected to like this book more than I did. There is a lot of pretty common-sense information included here, but at the same time, sometimes it’s just nice to have someone tell you something that you already know or are already doing and that it’s ok.

I’m currently reading Jo Frost’s Toddler Rules, by the Supernanny, as most people know her. Jo discusses discipline and how that word does not refer to punishment – instead, it means being consistent with your routine and with consequences for actions. She touches on five aspects: eating, sleeping, social time, early learning, and good behavior, and then goes above and beyond by including a section on tantrums. (Edit: Finished the book and posted my review! The book is simple and straightforward, but I still got a lot out of it.)

On my to-read shelf:

All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior – Recently on the New York Times bestseller list, this book investigates how having children radically changes people. If you feel like you’ve added a child to your family only to lose some undefinable part of yourself, this book might be able to help.

How Toddlers Thrive by Tovah P. Klein – It seems like research from this book has been popping up in a lot of parenting magazines and on websites lately, so I’m excited to see what all the fuss is about. This one promises to tell you how to plant “the seeds of success” for adult life while your little one is still in diapers.

And my post must be very timely if the New Yorker has a humor piece about there being just too darn many things to read about parenting.


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