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How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane: And Other Lessons in Parenting from a Highly Questionable Source Hardcover – Apr 29 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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  • How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane: And Other Lessons in Parenting from a Highly Questionable Source
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books (April 29 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738217344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738217345
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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"Johanna Stein's essays make me laugh way too loud, way too hard, and way too long. She's like the David Sedaris of moms."—Annie Mumolo, cowriter, Bridesmaids

"These stories will make milk shoot from one of your nostrils and a martini from the other. Johanna Stein brings to mind the unflinching honesty and compassion of Nora Ephron."—Nia Vardalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, New York Times bestselling author, Instant Mom

"Johanna Stein is one of the funniest women on the planet."—Alanis Morissette

"It is dangerous to read her any place where it is inappropriate to laugh uncontrollably. It is also dangerous to read her if your bladder control is not what it once was after childbirth. But once you soldier through and do read her, you have made a friend—one who 'gets it' and makes 'it' easier to do because she's on your team."—Lisa Belkin, bestselling author, Senior Columnist, Huffington Post

"Much more than 'mommy lit,' this book will make any reader laugh so hard they'll pee a little. Or maybe a lot."—Beth Littleford, actress and The Daily Show correspondent

"Johanna Stein is lovely, insightful, and a big bowl of funny."—Jeff Garlin, comedian/writer/producer, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Goldbergs

"Johanna Stein has a way of taking the good, the bad, and the ugly and turning it into a delicious piece of candy. ('Mind candy' of course, as real candy is 'bad' for you, as any good mother knows). Simply put: I love her writing. I love the way she lays it all out there with such honesty and candor and tremendous relatability."—Mo Collins, actress and comedian, MADtv, Parks and Recreation

"Johanna Stein's wit, humor, compassion, and quirky underdog view on life make her stories a pure joy to read. I just cannot get enough of her writing."—Tracy Vilar, actress, House M.D.

"Since her days as a comic with a guitar, writer/comedienne Johanna Stein has never failed to surprise, delight, and blow audiences away with her fearless storytelling. And when I say fearless, I don't mean the, 'Gee, sometimes my kids make me so mad I want to have two glasses of chardonnay!' kind. No, I mean fearless in the making you gasp, 'Oh she did not do that!' way. Stein is the kind of writer we all aspire to be, the fab girl next door who lures you in with unadorned honesty and witty prose and then slams you in to the messy truth in such a viscerally compelling way that you cannot not be moved to laughter, to tears, and most of all to appreciating the great joy of what it means to be human."—Dani Klein Modisett, writer/producer/editor, Afterbirth, Huffington Post contributor

Library Journal, 5/14/14
“While the author might proclaim herself as a ‘questionable source’ when it comes to parenting, her credentials in chuckles as undisputed…Stein has such a delightfully immature sense of humor…that the reader feels compelled to continue reading in anticipation of what she might possibly say next…Stein gives a laugh-out-loud presentation sure to be a hit with the no-punches crowd.”

New York Times
“A book that grew from a now-classic Motherlode essay of the same title, this is the rare funny book on becoming and being a mother that doesn’t sound as if you’ve read it before (probably because it is chock-full of things most of us would never, ever say).”

Parents.com, 6/12/14
“[Johanna Stein is] The Funniest Mom We Know…. If you’re looking for a down-to-earth voice that lets you know you’re not alone in a world of tough questions and embarrassing moments, How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane might become your new best friend. In Stein’s book debut, her self-deprecating humor will make you laugh out loud and inspire you to take the heart-stopping, forehead-slapping, blush-inducing moments of parenting a little more lightly. How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane is packed with brutally honest stories that will comfort any parents who sometimes feel inadequate (i.e. all parents) and will have even non-parents cracking up…Her voice is an ally for parents who just might learn to laugh at themselves too.”

Philadelphia Tribune, 6/8/14
“A series of witty essays on author Johanna’s Stein’s foray into parenthood. Stein’s humor is infused with the tone of a mother who isn’t afraid to tell it exactly like it is, but who, at the root of all the fart jokes and hysterical footnotes, loves her life as a parent…Stein has created a parenting book for what really to expect as a parent.”

“Have you ever held treasure in your hands? You know, those books that make you laugh out loud throughout the entire book, nod your head in agreement, text best friends great lines, and induce a flurry of both written and oral recommendations on book sites and in person? I bet you can count these rare treasures on your fingers (maybe the fingers on just one of your hands). I now have three fingers held up (for my favorite funny writers: David Sedaris, Jenny Lawson, and Johanna Stein)…because another great book has been added to this joyful treasure chest of goodness—comedian and writer Johanna Stein’s How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane (And Other Lessons in Parenting from a Highly Questionable Source). It’s hilarious, honest, wry, life-affirming, and a great way to laugh about the vicissitudes of parenting.”

When Crazy Meets Exhaustion
“Oh yeah. Vomit, death, F-bombs, and illegal placentas. ALL part of the gut-busting book, How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane…Johanna doesn’t write; she creates. She creates this world with vivid colors and hilarious characters and describes them in such a way that you feel like you’re on this acid trip of funny with her.”

Mamalode.com, 7/23/14
“The world’s most relatable book…You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll take notes.”

Celebrity Parents Magazine, Summer 2014
“Witty essays…No other parenting book can prepare you for what to really expect when you’re expecting”

GirlToMom.com, 7/23/14
“Johanna is kind of a Tina Fey type, lovely and funny and bright and kind…[with] a very funny book on motherhood.”

BookPage, August 2014
“A deliciously funny reminder that parenting doesn’t have to be so serious…Stein is definitely not trying to replicate What Not to Expect When You’re Expecting. If anything, she is the anti-parenting guide, subtly using funny anecdotes to demonstrate that we can have fun with childrearing. She may not bestow nursing tips or ideas for planning the perfect playdate, but she will make you laugh—a lot—about the sweetness, messiness and absurdity of parenting.”

About the Author

As a writer, director, and actor, Johanna Stein's work has appeared on Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, PBS, HBO, CBS, the Oxygen Network, VH1, the Disney Channel, and all across the Internets, where her comedy shorts, PSAs, and popular Yahoo! web series "Life of Mom" have been viewed millions of times. In addition to her TV and film work, Johanna's essays have been published in such outlets as the New York Times, Parents Magazine, and the Huffington Post.

Johanna lives in Southern California with her husband, their daughter, and a tiny boy-faced dog who once ate a couch.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Johanna Stein is belly-laughing funny. As a parent I can relate to many of the situations related here -from the expectation that childbirth would be a breeze to the frustrating and hilarious travails of breast-feeding, sleeping through the night, having a child throw a fit in public and many other situations. This is a perfect gift for new parents and a wonderfully funny reminder for parents with older children.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This funny lady can write and she crosses a line...she is a brave writer with some fascinating tales to tell. If you think you've had some embarrassing moments as a mother, read this! You will feel so much better! Laugh out loud funny!!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw this author interviewed on one of the morning news shows and loved her wit and sense of humour. My niece is pregnant with her first child so I bought it for part of her shower gift. She thoroughly enjoyed the read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A book for every parent! A way to bring laughter to a new challenge in life. Such a delightful read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 49 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud funny! July 2 2014
By D.A Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
UPDATE (10/06/2014): Upgrading my rating from 4/5 to 5/5 now that formatting issues on the ebook edition have been fixed. Thank you Johanna for the speedy fix and the opportunity to read this book in its intended format.

Original review:

“Having children is like living in a frat house - nobody sleeps, everything's broken, and there's a lot of throwing up.”
― Ray Romano

How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane is a comic memoir comprised of a series of short stories centering around the authors experiences as a first time mom. Reading this late into the night trying not to wake anyone with my laughing, I can easily say that this is the funniest book that I have read all year. The author has a perfect balance of sincerity and hilari..osity. I really want to be this girls friend.

The only thing that I didn't like about this book was the constant notes. The writing is already pretty rambled (which I have no problem with), but with the constant notes after every paragraph it made it confusing to read. I would be finishing one page and see a huge paragraphed note about something I read on the last page and it just made for a bit of a disjointed reading experience.

However I was reading this on my kindle, which only shows one small page at a time so perhaps reading a hard copy of this would have better results in regards to the notes.

Overall though I really loved this book and would defiantly recommend. I think this would make a cute and memorable baby shower gift. 4/5

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ACTUAL Laugh Out Loud Book, With a Great Dose of Heart and Soul As Well Aug. 4 2014
By Tract - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Johanna Stein has written a little masterpiece here. Not only does she write something that is so relatable, but she also dares - in the name of humor - to really 'go there'. There were so many times that I found myself laughing out loud while admiring the ballz she had to tell it! (yes, it is a mature audience read) But, because she is SO gifted with both her razor sharp sense of humor AND her ability to turn a phrase like no other - it is also a MOST hilarious and enjoyable read! She is so brilliant in her storytelling abilities, I found myself in awe of her intelligence and wit. And she has had quite a fascinating life, both unique AND highly relatable at the same time.
There is also a sweetness of heart that is woven throughout. The deep love of both her husband and her daughter is so apparent on every page it's enviable - humor being the greatest and most revered commodity of the household.
Johanna has made motherhood such a 'sisterhood' in this compilation of essays and hysterically funny perspectives that it will reassure any mother who has ever had the thought, 'Am I the only one who thinks/feels this way!?' Which makes it a perfect gift for every mother you know - ESPECIALLY if she loves to laugh!
It should be noted that while I KNOW it is a great read for mothers, I myself, am not a mom, and enjoyed it just as much.
Look, a funny book is a funny book, no matter WHAT the subject is. And I can't WAIT to read ANYthing else - no matter WHAT the subject - that Ms.Stein writes in the future!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly funny and touching. April 30 2014
By cindy caponera - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Johanna Stein has written an incredibly funny, touching and insanely human book.
Had I read it when I was younger I may have tried harder to have my own children.

Cindy C.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this book is a relatable compendium of those funny, quirky July 9 2014
By Jessica Voigts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is comprised of essays on such parenting topics as birth, travel, playgrounds, pink princesses, haircuts, and ER visits. But I have to be honest - reading these everyday topics from SUCH a hilarious point of view somehow makes parenting, well, more joyful. Stein writes so well of these sorts of crazy yet normal occurrences that we laugh, smile, and devour more of her words. Set aside a chunk of time to read this book, and forgo your exercise for the day – you’ll get plenty of ab work from laughing so hard. How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane is not a parenting book (for which I am thankful). Instead, this book is a relatable compendium of those funny, quirky, odd, and completely foreign things that happen when you have a kid. It makes you laugh about life’s best and most difficult moments – and that’s truly a treasure.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My other favorite part is "NO BOUNCE July 26 2014
By B Schumacher-Bradley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was laughing so hard at the tapeworm story that tears were running down my face. (Page 116, if you want to skip ahead) I tried to read it to my husband but I could not get more than a few words out at a time without cracking up. My other favorite part is "NO BOUNCE! NO BOUNCE!" towards the end. My daughter came running in to see what was so funny and I had to tell her I was still laughing at the tapeworm story.