Saturday, July 20, 2013

It's hard to find children's entertainment with good parental figures.  The great majority of offerings out there seem to have absent parents, no parents at all, or disinterested ones.  This is especially true of dads.  This topic came up in a facebook conversation with some other moms I know, so I thought I'd create my own resources for future reference.

Books/ shows/ movies for young kids with good depictions of involved and caring dads:

Charlie and Lola- we love them!  It's a little weird to have them on the list (especially first) as neither mom nor dad are characters in the books (or tv show).  They are mentioned frequently, however (mom and dad took us to the park, dad helped build a guinea pig run, etc.) I also really like how positive the sibling relationship is here.  And, the characters and stories are fun, creative and engaging.

Richard Scarry's Busytown (any of the books or tv shows)- another favorite series around here.   They have lots of different family groupings- all showed in positive ways with parents who are involved and siblings who care about each other. 

The Babar books- I loved these books when I was little, but the boys haven't embraced them yet.  Babar and Celeste do a lot with their kids in a positive way.

Curious George (if you count the man with the yellow hat as a father figure- and there is also a tv show).   The only problems I have with the series is that George always gets into trouble (and that he 'solves' the trouble by running away) when the man leaves him alone in some area.  But, he obviously cares for George and is always present in the story.  (I like the original stories better than the new tv show ones, but that's just my preference.)

Bob the builder (tv show only- we haven't read any books).  2 factors here- Bob is grown, but he and his father have a good relationship and every so often they show a flashback of he and his dad working together from when Bob was younger.  Also, Bob is a type of father figure to all the vehicles- and my boys love construction!

The "How a dinosaur..." books by Jane Yolen.  They tend to show moms and dads in the books.

"The way I feel" books by Spelman- we have When I feel Jealous, Sad, Scared and Angry.  These are great books for a couple of reasons- first they deal with "negative" emotions in a good way, giving kids some positive ways to address them.  Second, they show moms and dads having the same emotions and dealing with their kids emotions in positive ways.

The Berenstain Bears- Again, I loved these as a kid, and my boys have found some that they like, but haven't fully jumped in.

Sparkle Stories- a recent find for me: It's an audio story service providing a story per week in subscriptions or you can also buy single episodes.  The Sleepytime stories we've heard so far all have good and caring parental models and the Marvin and Sylvia ones do, too.

Single books or movies:
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang- Dick Van Dyke's character is a great dad and it has a car that turns into a boat and a plane- the kids loved it!  Although, we did have to have the conversation that just because someone has candy, doesn't mean they are nice.

Tubby time by Leslie Patricelli- she has a number of books, but this is the only one we've actually read- mom and dad are giving the baby a bath- very fun.  Was THE favorite book around here for a while.

Guess how much I love you- could be mom or dad

Finding Nemo- still a little scary for my boys- we skipped the shark and jellyfish scenes completely and fast forwarded through a couple of parts.

Monsters, Inc.- Good father figures- haven't watched it with the boys yet, though.

Another mom mentioned these shows, but I haven't watched them yet, so can't really comment on them:
  • Caillou
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Rescue Heroes
  • Dinosaur Train (I've heard really good things about this with a variety of reasons- we just haven't gotten around to watching it yet.)
  • Maya and Miguel
  • Liberty's Kids (generally positive male role models)

Some lists that are out there- I don't know much about most of the books listed:

Anyone know any others?


  1. I'm not that savvy on this subject obviously but I will say I love your writing. Got a notification that you posted and got all excited. :-)

  2. Thanks! :) I was looking at the site this morning and realized that I have more drafts saved than posts. Will have to try to fix that. :) Thanks for the compliment!