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Looking for family-focused books, TV, movies, etc.

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I've been reading "Hold on to Your Kids" and was just thinking about the lack of family focus in the kids' media. A lot of books, movies, etc. seem to be a kid with his friends (very peer focused). I was wondering if we could put a list together of family-focused media.

Here are some examples I've thought of so far:

The Family Book

My Neighbor Totoro (book and DVD)

Little House on the Prairie

The Seven Chinese Sisters (no parents in this, but siblings)

"The Littles" books

Henry and Mudge (sometimes has the family throughout the story)

Little Bill (books, VHS (!) )

I just looked through all of our DVDs and almost all of them were all peer-related. The only exception was Totoro. I think we definitely need some DVDs that show positive family role models!
post #2 of 20
How about Calliou? He does things with his peers, but many (if not most) of the storylines are Calliou with his parents/sister and/or his Grandparents.

Swiss Family Robinson

Little Women

hmm. those were just off the top of my head. I don't know if you were looking for a specific age range or anything. I like the idea of purposfully seeking out family-focused media. I'll keep thinking!
post #3 of 20
The Chronicles of Narnia. The Boxcar Children series. Both about groups of siblings...not parents though.

A lot of children's books about Central and South America are family-focused because the culture here is very family-focused.
post #4 of 20
The Saturdays and following books by Elizabeth Enright
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle
The Frances books, Russel Hoban
The Knuffle Bunny books, Mo Willems
Charlie and Lola picture books and TV series (books are by Lauren Child)
post #5 of 20
All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor is an outstanding book about a Jewish family with five daughters living in NY in the beginning of the 20th century. It's probably my favorite depiction of a family unit in literature.

There is, of course, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. A mouse mom and the kids have to move their house away from the field, so that it doesn't get plowed, but one of the children is sick. I think it shows a very tight knit family as well.

I also love Judy Blume's Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing. That's a laugh-out-loud kind of book about what it's like to be a big brother.

What a great thread idea...
post #6 of 20
I'm just thinking through the books and shows my kids like, and can think of a few -

Little Bear - the books and the cartoon
Max and Ruby, and Charlie and Lola - no real parental involvement, but siblings
Ponyo - Sosuke's family is portrayed so honestly - they aren't perfect, but you can tell they love one another
Ferdinand - maybe this is a bit far-fetched since Ferdinand's mom makes only a small appearance in the book, but it is such a positive portrayal, that I think it deserves to make the list
post #7 of 20
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew

The Moomin books by Tove Jansson.

To Kill A Mockingbird (probably not the age group you were seeking, but it is a story with a strong family unit)

There was a long thread about this recently, maybe in Parenting? I can't seem to find it though.
post #8 of 20
I just thought of another one

PBS's Dinosaur Train

The Pteranodon family has great dynamics, the parents do things with their four kids all together and in different configurations. They are also a good depiction of adoption.
post #9 of 20
picture books:
Little Fur Family - Margaret Wise Brown
Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, and Time of Wonder - Robert McCloskey
The Table Where Rich People Sit - Byrd Baylor
My Farm - Alison Lester
The Seven Silly Eaters - Mary Ann Hoberman

And I can think of a lot by Russell Hoban. Besides the Frances books, there's
They Came from Aargh!, The Great Gumdrop Robbery, The Flight of Bembel Rudzuk, The Sorely Trying Day, Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas, and The Mole Family's Christmas.

chapter books:
Ronia the Robber's Daughter - Astrid Lindgren
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
Happy Little Family - Rebecca Caudill
The Princess and the Goblin - George MacDonald
At the Back of the North Wind - George MacDonald
The Birchbark House - Louise Erdrich
Igraine the Brave - Cornelia Funke
Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath - Cornelia Funke
post #10 of 20
Yotsuba& is about 50% her with her dad, 50% with the neighbor kids. And the neighbor kids are constantly with their family doing family stuff.

Chi's Sweet Home
is entirely about a family and the kitten they bring home.

Baby and Me is another 50/50 one.

Most of E. Nesbit's books are with groups of siblings and the parents come in occasionally.

Edward Eager's books the Half Magic set are siblings doing things, the Well Wishers set is mixed age friends doing stuff, but with lots of interaction with parents/guardians too.

Harry's Mad is almost entirely set in a family home.

Peppa Pig is a very family oriented slice-of-life cartoon.
post #11 of 20
We order lots of movies from Feature fims for families. Rigaletto is probably my favorite.
post #12 of 20
I thought of another - The Kissing Hand, and all of the follow-ups to that book.
post #13 of 20
The Waltons were good tv watching. Especially the first few seasons. The ones later where Elizabeth is a teenager aren't so hot.
post #14 of 20
This might be a given for you (OP) after reading HOTYK but I wanted to mention that reading with (for independent readers, obviously) and especially watching with (with movies/TV) your child is probably the most important aspect of this discussion, even more so than the orientation of the characters in the show/movie/book. (This is coming from a woman who was primarily TV attached as a child! I gave up on my parents AND my peers in favor of the constant of the Disney Channel! )
post #15 of 20

I like the American Girl Movies   Kit, Felicity, and Samantha.  They do have strong friendships but find a great deal of strength and guidance from their families. 



Summer Magic with Hayley Mills


Miracle on 34th St


Finding Neverland


Miss Spider - a very large blended family








post #16 of 20

the ramona quimby books!  the books feature parents and family relations a good bit, as well as siblings.  i believe many of them are films.  love those!

post #17 of 20

DS likes Feast for 10, a counting where an African American family shops and prepares a meal together.




post #18 of 20

Movies or TV:

The Adams Family

The Incredibles

101 Dalmations


Mary Poppins

Bedknobs &Broomsticks

Max & Ruby


The Berenstain Bears

The Proud Family

The Sound of Music

The Parent Trap

Cheaper by the Dozen

Charlie & Lola



The Boxcar Children

A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

Ginger Pye

Pinky Pye


Mr. Popper's Penguins

Peter Pan

Stuart Little

Magic Treehouse books

Understood Betsy

Anne of Green Gables series

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

The Birchbark House

Children of the Longhouse

The Cabin Faced West

A Lion to Guard Us

Little Women


Sarah Plain & Tall

McBroom's Wonderful One Acre Farm

The Sword in the Tree

Jingle Dancer

post #19 of 20

You've gotten some really good suggestions already.  Also, how about The Donna Reed show?  You can get it on dvd.  It is all about the family's interactions and the closeness is very nice.  Also, The Attachments catalog has lots of great AP family books.  www.Attachmentscatalog.com

post #20 of 20

Just remembered Despicable Me!

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