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Little Kids, Big City: Tales From a Real House in New York City (With Lessons on Life and Love for Your Own Concrete Jungle) Paperback – Jan 10 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling & Ross Publishers (Jan. 10 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982139225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982139226
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,144,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen's surprisingly down to earth account of their early days of parenting in NYC is as remarkable in its honesty as it is in its detail."- Cecily von Ziegesar, "New York Times" bestselling author of the "Gossip Girl" novels and mother of two at PS Fab."Alex and Simon don't take themselves too seriously which seems to be essential to parenting. Their fresh "he said she said" perspective on parenting is humorous and insightful."- Bethenny Frankel, "New York Times" bestselling author of " The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life""A fun and entertaining read with an over the top enthusiasm for family and the joys of raising kids in the city. They manage to share lessons without sounding preachy and maintain a humorous light tone."- Alison Lowenstein, author of "City Kid New York"""Little Kids, Big City" is wonderful. Witty, funny, and interesting."- Divya Gugnani, host, "Behind the Burner"

About the Author

The married couple of Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen are first and foremost the proud parents of two wonderful and endlessly energetic and creative children, Johan and Francois. They also happen to star in the hit Bravo television show "The Real Housewives of New York City," where they all enjoy (or suffer at the hands of) a modicum of celebrity. Simon runs the upscale boutique Hotel Chandler in Manhattan while Alex writes freelance for parenting outlets and select blogs, including Mom Logic and The Huffington Post.

Inside This Book

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xaa83f0fc) out of 5 stars 92 reviews
83 of 91 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaab38dbc) out of 5 stars The Book Stands on Its Own Two Feet May 12 2010
By Nina Malischev - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like the majority of people who initially will buy this book, I did it out of curiosity. Watching the Real Housewives is a guilty pleasure for me. At the same time, I have fairly discerning tastes in literature and hoped that this wasn't another poorly-written (or transparently ghost-written) celebrity biography.
It was a very pleasant surprise to immediately get sucked into the charm and breeziness of this well-written book. Alex's opening statement on the TV Show is misleading as she says in a somewhat stilted voice, "For some people living in New York, status is everything". There is NONE of that attitude in the book. It is completely down-to-earth, very honest, and great fun. Nothing is glossed over, no excuses are made, and what emerges is a picture of a very real, loving family.
Simon and Alex talk about what works for them, and more importantly, what doesn't. They talk about their mistakes with a refreshing straight-forwardness.
My own children are grown, and we raised our family in the woods, not the big city, but so many of the coping strategies that Alex and Simon have come up with for surviving in the urban jungle apply no matter where you are, whether it is a redwood forest or the great suburban plain. The "message" of the book is to embrace life with gusto, live without fear, express your love, admit your mistakes, and always follow your instincts.
Even though the TV show is all about trendiness, materialism and keeping up with the Jones, what emerges from the book is a portrait of a very down-to-earth family that has the courage to live life on their own terms. They have their own, unique style which is beyond fashion or style magazine formulas, and they don't seem to care how it "plays" as long as it works for them.
In a way, I think it is unfortunate that this book is associated with a TV show, especially one as controversial as the Real Housewives. If you think this book was only written to cash in on their moments of fame, think again. It is a book that stands on its own two feet and in my opinion would have been as positively received if the authors were simply John and Jane Doe.
I enjoyed the book immensely, even read it in the bathtub because I didn't want to put it down. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who ever survived having small children, or anyone who currently has them. And I think prospective parents would also find this book to be very reassuring in that it presents actual situations and concrete solutions.
Mostly, it leaves you feeling that having children is fun. Which in fact, it is.
87 of 96 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xab8d7f30) out of 5 stars A refreshing look at having children April 5 2010
By B. Mollot - Published on
Format: Paperback
At first I was a little skeptical about reading this book. After the first few paragraphs I already decided that I liked it. This family seems real and they're not afraid to admit when they made mistakes or chose alternate ways of parenting. This is the kind of book that someone should read when they feel they're not fit for parenting. It gives the reader a view of the everyday life of having kids that most authors either avoid or forget. Not a bad choice!
71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaa8922dc) out of 5 stars A great read! April 3 2010
By Alison - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book! As a mom, it relieved me to know that the challenges and joys of raising children in a city are not mine alone. At the same time, the book is written to resonate with anyone, no matter where you are. Life's simple yet stressful tasks (kids on an airplane anyone?!) can make you feel like a fish out of water. Alex and Simon show us that we've all been there and sometimes you get to be the parent of the kid who slept the whole flight! This book proves that not only are Alex and Simon normal, relatable parents but that they are doing what all of us are doing: the very best we can.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaa892240) out of 5 stars An Enchanting Read April 5 2010
By James Rook - Published on
Format: Paperback
As rural grandparents, my wife and I were fascinated by the anecdotes shared by the authors. Alex and Simon each provided their own point of view and insight into many common quandaries found within parent/child life experience. Very entertaining content was delivered via a fresh literary style which made us feel as if they were present in our den, conversing directly with us and each other.
We laughed out loud and found our hearts warmed with love from the 'methods behind a universal madness' brought out in parents gifted with children anywhere. Surprisingly, we learned that we no longer have to 'feel sorry' for city raised children and their parents...there are some obvious advantages revealed. This family, these parents, and those boys would get some rural flavored round-out experiences if the Boy Scouts of America is alive in the Big Apple. They would surely make great den leaders for they have adventurous hearts of true explorers, event planning skills of champions, and enough flexibility not to sweat the small stuff.
Simply said, this book is a lovely afternoon read and a sweet addition to our library. We'll be giving one to our suburban daughter, who also has 2 boys of similar ages. She will surely enjoy comparing the experiential management methods of travel, restaurant dining, and home remodeling with energetic youngsters underfoot.

Little Kids, Big City: Tales from a Real House in New York City #With Lessons on Life and Love for Your Own Concrete Jungle#
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaab5821c) out of 5 stars Very Impressed April 16 2010
By Kristin Gomez - Published on
Format: Paperback
With all of the Housewives books out I was wary of yet another one, despite being an avid SkinnyGirl fan. All I can say though is that I'm very impressed with Big City Little Kids. It's funny, smart and most importantly real. I kept wanting to turn the page to see what happened next and I'm not even a parent yet! I am a certified "city girl" and getting to the age where many of my friends are married and looking to start a family. I was very curious to read a first hand account. As we make this sometimes terrifying but exhilarating journey from singledom, to wives to eventually mothers it's nice to see a book that shows an honest portrayal of being a working parent in a big city. I highly recommend!