The Bottom Line
- Advice is sound and sensible
- Checklist at the end of each chapter provides summary
- Personal stories add interest
- Appendix adds useful information
- Geared more for U.K. than U.S.
- Cursory treatment of some subjects
- 158 pages
- List price $12.95
- 15-page appendix
- U.S. publisher McGraw Hill
Guide Review - Book For New Grandparents - Teach Yourself Grandparenting
I was initially put off by the title, Teach Yourself Grandparenting, because, like many grandparents, I think of my role as something natural rather than learned. But this slim little book from the UK soon won me over. First, I learned that "Teach Yourself" is a line of educational books that is celebrating its 70th birthday. As a former teacher and a huge believer in lifetime learning, I'm already a fan. Then I started reading the book, which is credited to the Grandparents' Association, a UK group; I was even more impressed.
I love the book's organization. Each chapter begins with a preview and ends with a checklist that serves as a kind of summary. In between is a lot of good advice. I really enjoy the little snippets of real-life stories that support the points being made in the book and add tremendously to the interest level. Some chapters contain information that is specific to the UK, but there is still plenty to entertain and inform the American grandparent. Besides, deciphering delightful terms such as "terry-towelling nappies" (cloth diapers) adds another level of enjoyment.
The book covers the expected topics, such as becoming a grandparent, long-distance grandparenting and money matters. It doesn't avoid difficult grandparenting issues, such as family tragedies, but the coverage of these issues is sometimes uneven. One whole chapter is devoted to grandchildren with spinal cord injury, which surely is relatively rare, while the subject of maintaining a relationship with grandchildren following divorce or separation, which probably affects the majority of grandparents, gets only one page. This is a minor quibble, however, and I am already perusing the list of titles in the "Teach Yourself" series for my next selection. Will it be "Teach Yourself Finnish" or "How to Write a Blockbuster"? Decisions, decisions!