Book Review: A Spoonful of Sugar

A Spoonful of Sugar is the memiors of Brenda Ashford.  Brenda is a graduate of Norland College where she was trained to be a nurse/nanny in the time around World War 2.   Brenda has cared for over 100 children through the years and worked as a Nanny until she retired in her 70s.   The book contains 13 chapters, each telling the story of a different aspect of her life – her schooling  and all of the different homes she worked in through the years.  She shares her reports from school as well as the notes from her employers about her time in their homes and each chapter ends with a few tips from Brenda.  She tells how she teaches children to potty train and how she doesn’t believe in spanking and what other methods she has tried.

It is interesting to see how the job changes throughout the years – how when World War Two was on a lot of the mothers were called to do jobs so day cares taking care of many, many children were very popular.  And how over time the men came back and the day cares became less and less needed.  This was around the time when she started working for just one family at a time, helping mothers get back on their feet after they had their new baby and sometimes staying on with the family for several years.

You can tell that she is very much so in love with all of the children she has cared for and speaks of all of them fondly. This was quite an interesting book to read – a different perspective on the war!

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

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 of London and still occasionally cares for neighboring children. KATE THOMPSON is a freelance journalist with more than fifteen years experience. Previously, she was Deputy Editor of the award-winning Pick Me Upmagazine, helping to launch it in 2005. She writes for Marie Claire, theSunday Mirror, and Pregnancy, among others.

Category: Book Review
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