Family Tree

Music review by
Don Kaplan, Common Sense Media
Family Tree Music Poster Image
Kids will have a wonderful time singing along.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

Talk to your kids 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
  • Label: Gadfly
  • Genre: Children's Music
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: July 15, 2015

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