THE HAPPIEST KIDS IN THE WORLD by Rina Mae Acosta & Michele Hutchison

Narrated with Henrietta Meire.9781538429693

Available now from Blackstone Audio.

From the Publisher:

“The secret to raising the happiest kids in the world? Whatever it is, it’s somewhere in the Netherlands.
Would parents rather their children be successful or happy? Kids in the US face lots of pressure to excel – often at the expense of happiness. But does it have to be this way? Not in the Netherlands! In The Happiest Kids in the World, expats Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison – both married to Dutchmen and bringing up their kids in the Netherlands – examine the unique environment that enables the Dutch to turn out such well-adjusted, independent children. With heaps of good humor, and no shortage of amazement, the authors are delighted to find that babies get an average of 15 hours of sleep per day, children learn bike safety and proficiency in school, teenagers are less likely to get pregnant than their counterparts in almost every other nation, and parents really do serve chocolate sprinkles for breakfast!
Along the way, they discover that the most commonly strived-for grade is just passing (6 points out of 10), how to achieve the perfect work-life balance, and that being normal is crazy enough.”

From the Booklist review:

The book’s alternating narrative lends itself to audio format. White voices Acosta’s wry American perspective, while Meire’s smooth English accent conveys Hutchison’s parental worries and insights. Both women keep the pace moving briskly, ably handling the occasional handful of tongue-twisting Dutch words.

From the review in AudioFile Magazine:
“Authors Rina Mae Acosta, an American, and Michele Hutchison, a Briton, both moved to the Netherlands to be with their Dutch husbands and to start their families. Taking turns, Acosta and Hutchison describe their experiences with child-rearing in the Netherlands. Their respective sections alternate between American narrator Karen White and British narrator Henrietta Meire, a production choice that helps to clearly delineate each author’s perceptions. In sharp contrast to life in the U.S. and Britain, the authors paint a picture of a country that emphasizes the happiness and emotional well-being of both children and their parents, while at the same time delivering outstanding educational results. Narrators Meire and White both deliver clear and engaging performances, letting the authors’ interesting observations about Dutch culture speak for themselves.”

My recording experience:


But all hagelslag aside, I found this book to be wonderfully thought provoking, on subjects from work-life balance to helping my teen approach her college applications. Whether you’re a new parent or you’ve been doing it a few years, I recommend this book! Also, many thanks to my good friend Cisca Brouwer, who talked me through all the Dutch pronunciations. All errors are on me!

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Mary is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address.  Thanks to all for entering!  I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter. Oftentimes, you can also enter there!

(If you’d like to buy a copy, using this link, I’ll receive a small percentage from Amazon through their Associates program.)

4 thoughts on “THE HAPPIEST KIDS IN THE WORLD by Rina Mae Acosta & Michele Hutchison”

  1. nrlymrtl says:

    I’ve watched a few documentaries about the school system in the Netherlands. Very interesting take on healthy learning!

  2. I’ve also watched a few documentaries about their educational system… and also their legal system. I enjoyed watching both and am sure I’d enjoy this listen also. Thanks for the chance!

  3. Mary C says:

    Something that educators would also benefit from reading.

    1. Karen says:

      Mary, you are the randomly chosen winner of this audio! I’ll email you to get your address shortly.

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