Family Tree

Common Sense Media says

Kids will have a wonderful time singing along.





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
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Sexy stuff
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that they're likely to enjoy this album every bit as much as their kids do -- especially the songs reminding them of their own childhood.

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What's the story?

Just try to keep the kids (or yourself, for that matter) from squishing, glubble-glubbing, plip-plopping, and otherwise marching their way through Tom Chapin's entertaining songs on FAMILY TREE. Chapin is at his best when he looks at the world from a child's perspective, as in \"Don't Make Me Go to School Today.\" (He cleverly sets the story to appropriately dark music from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.) Other highlights include a kid-friendly, sing-along round (with Judy Collins!), the attractive \"This Pretty Planet,\" and a song about a familiar behavioral pattern: rushing to get ice cream before your parents count to five, but moving much more slowly to kiss relatives goodbye.

Is it any good?


Several songs have catchy melodies and phrases that are easy to dance to. Also, hearing the children on the recording sing along with Chapin will encourage your own child to do the same. This one's a winner -- literally: Family Tree was selected for a Parents' Choice Notable Children's Recording award. Lyrics are included, and there's nice cover art, too.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what the songs make them imagine. For example, what do you suppose the Mayor of Blanketville, a person living in a telephone booth, looks like, and how do you envision the big rock-candy mountain? Children will have a great time expressing their creativity -- have them listen with paper, pens, and paint handy.

Music details

Artist:Tom Chapin
Release date:October 9, 2001
Genre:Children's Music
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Family Tree was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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