Book Review: How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm

how eskimos keep babies warmI just finished reading How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm, an excellent book written by Mei-Ling Hopgood and published in 2012.  Mei-Ling Hopgood, a new mother herself, takes the readers on a journey around the world to look at various parenting styles and practices. Each stop offers insights into parenting that we often overlook when raising our children in the zealous child-centered practices of the United States. Her travels take us to meet parents in Argentina, China, Kenya, France, a Mayan village, Tibet, and more. She delves into topics as varied as play, eating, sleep, peer conflict, strollers and potty training. We meet the “best fathers” in the world when visiting an AKA pygmies village and some of the closest extended families in the United States when visiting the Lebanese Americans. Ms. Hopgood, a journalist by trade, uses an easy-to-read style to compile information from sources as varied as anthropology, sociology studies, first hand interviews with people around the world, and personal anecdotes from her own family. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ms. Hopgood does not judge but opens up possibilities for parents. She helps us realize that parents around the world utilize varied, yet effective and loving methods to raise their children. In fact, we might learn a thing or two from some of the practices she discusses. For instance, we can gain insight into developing parent-child relationships from the AKA pygmy fathers. We might learn how to increase the variety of foods our children eat from the French. Polynesians might teach us how to encourage our children to play without their parents and the Japanese how to teach our children moral reasoning. The list goes on: Mayans teaching us about children and work, Asians how to encourage academic excellence, and Tibetans how to cherish pregnancy. If you are a parent, check this book out. You will enjoy reading it…and learn lots of ideas you might want to try.


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