Mar 202013
 
SpoonfulSugar_cover
Published by:  DoubleDay Publication
Publication Date:  January 22, 2013
ISBN: 978-0385536417
Pages:  320
Review Copy from: The Story Plant
Edition: First
My Rating:  5+
 
A Synopsis:
Brenda Ashford is this 92 year old British nanny. so sweet, such contagious  kindness, gentleness and happiness air about her that you feel if only she could have been your Nanny!  I personally feel she’s just a modern day for real  earthbound Mary Poppins.  In the twilight of her years she thinks back of her parents thanks them first for a long and gloriously happy childhood. For more than six decades Nanny Brenda swaddled, diapered, dressed, played with, sang to, cooked for, and looked after more than one hundred children. From the pampered sons and daughters of lords ensconced in their grand estates to the children of tough war evacuees in London’s East End, Brenda has taught countless little ones to be happy, healthy, and thoroughly well bred. In this delightful memoir, Brenda shares her endearing, amusing, and sometimes downright bizarre experiences turning generations of children into successful adults.
 
From the moment Brenda first held her baby brother David she was hooked. She became a second mother to him, changing his nappies, reading him stories, and giving him all the love her warm heart contained. Knowing a career caring for children was her calling in life, Brenda attended London’s prestigious Norland College, famous for producing top-notch nannies. It was a sign of privilege and good taste for the children of the well-to-do to be seen being pushed in their Silver Cross prams by Norland nannies, who were recognizable by their crisp, starched black uniforms with white bib collars, and their flowing black capes lined with red silk. And what skills were these trainees tested on daily? Lullaby singing, storytelling, pram shining, bed making, all forms of sewing, cooking simple meals, and dispensing first aid—including knowing the best way to help the medicine go down.
 SpoonfulSugar_authord49e02
Brenda Ashford is a graduate of Norland College, a world-famous institute for British nannies. For sixty-two years, she cared for more than one hundred children, making her Britain’s longest-serving nanny. She lives outside London.
My Thoughts and Opinion & Thanks:

While reading  Brenda’s story  I almost  felt I was reading a wondrous fairy tale.  Every page put a smile on my face.  I have children of my own who are grown, and  I learned things I wish I would have done or had the time to do.  I felt as though I was peeking into a diary of a woman who was a Nanny, and these were the days of her life, and how fulfilled it was from fun loving days to trial and tribulations.  From teaching a mother who didn’t care much with her ways of derogatory language and tardiness Brenda stood her ground, but for the children nothing, but love, fun and be happy as long as you follow the rules of  honesty, etiquette and politeness. She felt that children deserve to have a childhood full of fun, and to giggle whenever and wherever they can.   Although there were some experiences that I could never fathom like her memories of the war it still is the same in the life of a mother somewhat in the caring for children, and protecting them from the evils, and teaching them what they should and should not do, and taught respect, but most of all to be happy. Step by step Brenda recalls her happiness with so many children, and the care of them every single day from the moment she woke up until the time she put them to bed, and strictly by the clock. I think the best part of the whole book is, “As long as the mother is happy, the household will be happy”.  All children just need love she would say, pure and simple.  She made no tolerance for misbehavior, and a schedule was duly kept.  She did not have a prejudice bone in her body, and as the Norland (school she attended)motto stated, “Love never faileth”. and never on Nanny Brenda’s watch!  She even shares a wonderful recipe for apple pie in her book not to mention numerous nursery rhymes.  When I was done I just sat back and sighed!  Such a story!

In A Spoonful of Sugar, Brenda recalls her years at Norland and her experiences during the war (after all, even if bombs are dropping, there’s no reason to let standards slip), and recounts in lovely detail a life devoted to the care of other people’s children, but none of her own physically, but over 100 children she did call hers.  The story opens where she is recalling so many of them by cards and letters of children who had never forgotten.  Brenda stated:  “Children leave you; you don’t leave children.  That’s the natural order of things.”

Thank you to a friend that suggested that I read this book.  At first I wasn’t really too keen on the idea, but I saw Brenda’s smile & decided to give it a go and I am so happy I did.  Time well spent, and to Brenda, I’m glad I know you my new friend in my heart.  Your teachings and experience will not be forgotten.

And yet similar Synopsis:

Brenda Ashford is the quintessential British nanny. Prim and proper, gentle and kind, she seems to have stepped straight out of Mary Poppins. For more than six decades Nanny Brenda swaddled, diapered, dressed, played with, sang to, cooked for, and looked after more than one hundred children. From the pampered sons and daughters of lords ensconced in their grand estates to the children of tough war evacuees in London’s East End, Brenda has taught countless little ones to be happy, healthy, and thoroughly well bred. In this delightful memoir, Brenda shares her endearing, amusing, and sometimes downright bizarre experiences turning generations of children into successful adults.

From the moment Brenda first held her baby brother David she was hooked. She became a second mother to him, changing his nappies, reading him stories, and giving him all the love her warm heart contained. Knowing a career caring for children was her calling in life, Brenda attended London’s prestigious Norland College, famous for producing top-notch nannies. It was a sign of privilege and good taste for the children of the well-to-do to be seen being pushed in their Silver Cross prams by Norland nannies, who were recognizable by their crisp, starched black uniforms with white bib collars, and their flowing black capes lined with red silk. And what skills were these trainees tested on daily? Lullaby singing, storytelling, pram shining, bed making, all forms of sewing, cooking simple meals, and dispensing first aid—including knowing the best way to help the medicine go down.

In A Spoonful of Sugar, Brenda recalls her years at Norland and her experiences during the war (after all, even if bombs are dropping, there’s no reason to let standards slip), and recounts in lovely detail a life devoted to the care of other people’s children.

Sprinkled throughout with pearls of wisdom (you can never give children too much love, and you should learn how to sew a button, for goodness’ sake), this delightful memoir from Britain’s oldest living nanny is practically perfect in every way.

Excerpt:

Pearls of Wisdom from Brenda Ashford

“I had puzzled many times over the ingredients for a perfect recipe for a happy home. Throw in some stability, a dash of routine and respect. Sprinkle some fun and imaginative games and stir well. But the most vital ingredient is the mother. The mother is truly the heart and soul of a family.”

“As for fussy eaters? I don’t stand for it. I have taken a hard line on this topic. This is a home, not a restaurant and you will jolly well try it before you turn your nose up at it.”

“If a child has sufficient breakfast, lunch and dinner they shouldn’t need a snack. I don’t really like it today when I see children being wheeling along in a pram stuffing things in their mouth. ”

“Children cannot get up to your level, so you have to get down to theirs; try and understand how the world looks through their eyes.”

“If we respect little people then they in turn will grow up to respect others.”

“Put a book in a child’s hands or plant them in an empty field or park, and suddenly the world opens up and becomes a fantastical place of make believe and adventure.”

“Never let a house define you. You can make a home anywhere from an air raid shelter to a shed, if you have to. Riches and wealth don’t matter a jot.”

“I was always honest with my charges. In fact in every area of my life I have been most careful to never tell a lie. Why can’t everyone be more careful to tell the truth? At least we would all know where we stand in life.”

“Little folk deserve a childhood that’s full of fun. It’s the single most valuable lesson in my eyes. I have always encouraged children to have a giggle wherever and whenever they can.”

PEARLS OF WISDOM FROM A Spoonful of Sugar: A Nanny’s Story by Brenda Ashford
*9780385536417* On Sale April 2, 2013
Strung Together During 60 Years of Devoted Service as a Nanny

Tour Schedule:

Stop by & you could win a copy for yourself!

Author Bio:

Brenda Ashford is a graduate of Norland College, a world-famous institute for British nannies. For sixty-two years, she cared for more than one hundred children, making her Britain’s longest-serving nanny. She lives outside London.

Thank you to the team at Doubleday, Ms. Ashford and Providence Book Promotions for generously offering this book to me for review. If you’d like to join in on an upcoming tour just stop by their sites and sign up today!

 

Now,  if you enjoy a good time, children and most important surprises regarding the most simplest things regarding raising chidlren, this is definitely the book for you.  It’s definitely a fun book most of the time, and now & then you may even shed a tear & then you may be jumping out of your chair saying, “YOU GO GIRL”! 

 

I rate this book A 5+ thumbs up!

thumbs up Now for the fun part, for an opportunity to win this terrific book, please enter the Raffle Copter contest below:

 

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*Disclaimer:  Opinion in this Post is 100% my own and no monetary compensation was given. 
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,
in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM

  5 Responses to “A Spoonful of Sugar: A Nanny’s Story by Brenda Ashford / A PBP VBtour Review/Give-Away 4.09”

  1.  

    WOW!!! What an awesome review and post. Great job! KUDOS! I have this book in my tbr pile and after reading your review, can’ wait to start reading it. Thank you for sharing!

  2.  

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  3.  

    I really want this book and hope I win.
    I think I will love to read it.

  4.  

    I enjoyed this book 🙂

Thanks for the lovely comment!