Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Gladly Giraffe

Disclosure: I do not get paid for reviews.  Though I received a copy of this book free of charge, all opinions expressed are my own.

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When I received an email offering me a chance to review a new children’s book, I, of course, couldn’t resist.  Gladly Giraffe, written and illustrated by a brother/sister team (how cool is that!), is a wonderful book and hits all of the right notes to make it a great children’s book.

First off, there is the fact that it is more like an illustrated children’s poem than a traditional story.  There is a good rhythm throughout most of the story which makes it easy to read and the rhymes only add to the story’s appeal.  The author quite obviously put a lot of time and effort and thought in the text.

Then, there’s the illustrations.  Just as expected from a children’s book, they accompany the text wonderfully.  When I read the story to my French-speaking toddler (I, of course, read it in English because the text was in English), he was always able to understand the big picture because of the illustrations.  Some of them are also quite silly and my son got a few giggles out of them.

Lastly, the story sends a super positive message by exploring the themes of friendship, helpfulness and gratitude.

All in all Gladly Giraffe gets two thumbs up from mommy and another two from Little Dude.

The book is available as an ebook or printed in hardcover or paperback format.  For more information, I encourage you to take a look at the book’s website.

Posted in Book Reviews

Baby Book Review #2: From Tiny Tot to Toddler

This book saved my life during my first two postpartum weeks.

It is produced by Quebec’s national public health institute and updated annually.  I received it right before my discharge from the hospital (though some get their hands on it via their healthcare provider when they first become pregnant) and I used it a lot.

The book is really well organized and covers the following subjects: pregnancy (including TTC), the delivery, information on babies (general information as well as nutrition, health and safety), being a family and other useful information such as parental leave, governmental programs and different resources).

With the help of the table of content or index, it is really easy to find answers to some of the most frequent questions any new or expecting parent will ask themselves such as: is my baby’s poop supposed to look like that? Because you will wonder.  More than once.  Trust me.  (Speaking of poop, Heather, the author of the Incredible Infant blog, wrote a post on the subject.  It’s really interesting and worth taking a look at).

If you’re curious, you don’t even need to come all the way to Quebec to grab a copy of the book (though you really should come ’round at least once in your life) because the guide is downloadable directly from the website that is linked at the top of this post.  Take a peek, it’s well worth it!

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review #1: Feeding Your Baby the Healthiest Foods

When she came over to visit, my aunt talked to me about a book by Louise Lambert Lagacé, a Quebec dietician with many years of experience in the matter.  After doing a quick Google search, I jotted down the title and went to take a peek at my local bookstore.  After a quick glance, I decided to buy it.

I found its presentation to be alluring and its contents varied and well organized.  Lagacé’s book contains information on the ideal diet for a woman to be following pre, peri and post pregnancy.  It also includes menu suggestions for the breastfeeding woman, taking inyo account that some will ultimately be cutting out dairy and some will be vegetarian or even vegan – though she does strongly suggest that the vegan moms consult a dietician.

Among other subjects, the author dedicates a section to the benefits of breastfeeding and moves on to giving cues that identify when a baby is ready for solids as well as giving advice on which solids to introduce first.  Finally, a great number of baby food recipes are presented at the end of the book.

Despite all of the positive points that the book has, I will allow myself to offer some constructive criticism on two points.  Firstly, the English edition of the book dates back nearly ten years (2003) and so would not include the updated information found in the French edition (which is the one I bought) that was published in 2010.  Secondly, though the book covers breastfeeding very well, it almost passes under silence bottle-feeding even if there is a whole chapter about woman who can’t breastfeed.  In this chapter, the author seems to consider the reasons woman give to not breastfeed to be poor excuses and she basically shoots down each “excuse” one after the other.  On a personal note, though I do breastfeed, I find that there is too great a social pressure on woman nowadays to do so.  Ultimately, I think that though it is important to know the benefits of nursing versus bottle feeding, it is a mother’s choice in the end and her decision should not be judged.

All in all though, I highly recommend this book to all women who are either trying to conceive, pregnant or have given birth recently (think of it as a way to fill some of your sleepless nights!).