Book Review: How to be a Hip Mama Without Losing Your Cool by Jenny Scott
Jenny Scott used to work as a designer and art director but now runs Mothers Meeting, which is a place where mothers can get together to share parenting tips and inspiring stories. How to be a Hip Mama Without Losing Your Cool is written by Jenny but also contains loads of contributions from other mothers.
This book doesn’t really fit into any genre. It’s a book filled with support and reminders for new mums, that contains other mums’ experiences of pregnancy, birth and motherhood, but also their stories of setting up businesses and life in general. The book is a great idea and is like an inspirational friend that you can turn to if you feel you need a boost. I don’t think you’ll learn anything new from this book, but it can remind you of simple things that will help you be a healthy and happy mum.
It’s a beautiful and quirky book. Every page looks different and filled with interesting photos and illustrations. The typography is cool and modern, though not always very legible. The features are short, which is perfect for busy mums. You can easily read a few sections of the book whenever you have a few minutes, i.e. during nap times or before going to bed.
The main message in the book seems to be “You are not alone,” there are other mums who have felt the same and who have struggled with early motherhood. They keep repeating that being a mum is the hardest thing you’ll ever do; I find this very pessimistic and not encouraging at all to new mums. Sure, it’s not all easy and fun but if being a mum is the most difficult thing that you have been through then you are quite privileged. My baby has never slept much and still wakes up several times per night at 12 months and I have not had any help from anyone other than my husband, but I still wouldn’t describe motherhood as the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. Exhausting and busy, yes, but wonderful.
Here’s what brings the rating of the book down: it is full of typos and grammatical errors (page 151 is the worst!), missing full stops and commas and random gaps in the text where there shouldn’t be any. I even found some errors in the layout design, which is not something I would expect from an experienced graphic designer, contradicting sentences on the same page and words that have ended up in the wrong place or duplicated. The slang used is intentional, so that’s fine.
I stopped counting at 20 errors, but there are plenty more. As an avid reader and a designer myself, these things really bother me and normally I wouldn’t even finish a book with so many mistakes. It appears as if it has not been proofread at all. Writing online is one thing, but the printed word needs to be shown respect and a finished, printed book should not be filled with errors. Okay, rant over. Maybe most tired new mothers will not notice any of these mistakes. I would rate this book 4/5 if it got proofread and edited properly.
I wrote this review for Pubslush.com and my review was first published there on the 6th of March 2015.