Saw her yesterday and it was fun!
For those who don't know, she's from the Wall St. Journal and lives in
France, where she observed that the French seem to be much more in
control of their kids - and the kids don't depend on parents for
entertainment, especially. She doesn't shy away from what she doesn't
like about French parenting, either - such as lack of social & medical
support for mothers who want to nurse. Her book is a bestseller right
now. Some have pointed out that the French style is pretty much the
same as what the American one was 50 years ago.
(Though at least one French person has claimed that French kids only
behave when adults are around; the bullying is terrible in schools and
the staff members won't do anything about it.)
Anyway, she said that one big difference in French culture is that in
a typical American book for preschoolers, the people in the story will
encounter a problem, tackle it, and solve it. Whereas in a typical
French kids' book, the characters will tackle the problem and solve
it...... but only temporarily, because the problem comes back again!
Apparently, the idea is to teach kids, early on, that "life isn't easy
or fair, so get used to it." I have to admit that the only really
famous U.S. book I can think of that sounds like that is Dr. Seuss'
1965 - "I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew." (Which, of course, is
nearly 50 years old!)
Can you think of any others?