Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Bloomsbury | 237 pages
How to raise children is an enduring issue for debate across and within cultures. Battle Hymn is an easy and quick read, but when it was released, this personal account of the author’s stringent Chinese parenting style in comparison with the more easygoing Western approach unleashed a storm of discussion.
In some parts, it seemed to me a cathartic outpouring of years of pent-up tension, unrelieved by the “yoga classes and glass of wine” that the author snidely accuses more relaxed Western parents of resorting to.
I find it hard to imagine where the author found the energy to hold down a full-time job at Yale and yet put so much time into raising such clever, musically talented daughters. It’s true, though, that reading the book made me think about my own parenting style. But the book begs the question: how do we value the experience of childhood, and being a child?
It’s Great to be a Girl!
Doodlegood Books | 36 pages
From Kinokuniya and all Times Bookstores
Just in time for Christmas, here’s Singaporean Cindy Lim’s heart-warming, life-affirming book for any young girl, complemented with charming illustrations by the author, her husband and her children.
In this authentically presented conversation between a mother and her daughter, the mother explains to her daughter why she is special — why girls are special. Qualities commonly attributed to girls or women, such as perceptiveness and intuition, are explained simply to the daughter; her mother tells her how these gifts can work for good.
In the author’s words, it’s “a timeless message of appreciation for who we are — girls or boys, men or women”. It’s also a lovingly crafted work that is full of interesting thoughts and some positively challenging vocabulary.