Children’s Books That Parents Can Enjoy, Too

Not all books, music and TV shows for kids drive parents crazy. Check out these children's books and more to entertain kids and not annoy Mom and Dad.

Shortly before Little One was born, somebody gave us a CD of children’s music for a shower gift. I popped it into the car stereo on the way home and almost had a panic attack. The stuff on that CD was so banal and horrid and sappy. Would having a child mean having to listen to crap like that on a regular basis?

I am pleased to report, no. If you know where to look, you can find all sorts of smart, fun, cool kids’ media—stuff grown-ups can enjoy along with their children. Let me introduce you to three of my current faves.


Meet Bing Bunny.


Created by British author Ted Dewan, Bing is cute, boisterous, and sometimes cranky. He doesn’t like to take turns on the swing, he doesn’t like tomatoes, and he sometimes pees his pants. In short, he’s somebody both parents and toddlers can relate to. Plus, he and his stuffed bunny friend Flop are rendered in awesome retro style. Our favorite Bing books are “Bing: Yuk!”, “Bing Swing” and “Bing: Bedtime.” My daughter has these children’s books memorized and can “read” them to herself. I give them to new parents as gifts now, because everybody can use a “Bing Thing.”


Hello, Wonder Pets.


If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you probably know all about Nick Jr. But I have only recently been able to sample more daytime TV, and our family has only recently been able to afford cable. My latest discovery is the Wonder Pets. The Wonder Pets are Linny the guinea pig, Tuck the Turtle and Ming Ming the duckling. They sing operetta and save baby animals from all sorts of predicaments (my favorite is the puppy who gets locked in the kitchen and can’t go outside to tinkle). The animation style is hilarious—it looks like stop motion, but I have since learned it’s a technique developed especially for this show. If you look for Wonder Pets clips on YouTube, you’ll find that many of them have adults laughing their butts off in the background. The “Wunnafits,” as my daughter calls them, rock.


And finally, music.


There really are a lot of great CDs out there for kids *and* their parents. One of my favorites is “The Bottle Let Me Down—Songs for Bumpy Wagon Rides.” A bunch of alternative country musicians got together and recorded kid tunes, from “Don Gato” (remember singing that when you were in grade school music class?) to “On Top of Spaghetti.” My favorite is the one about Godfrey the sickly unemployed amateur children’s magician. Yep, this is kid stuff with a twist.

What about you? What children’s media have you found that appeals to both kids and grown-ups? Don’t be ashamed to admit it if you like the “classics.” I could watch Sesame Street for hours, and have been shocked to find that I *don’t* mind Barney! When the first song your child sings is “I love you, you love me…” it’s hard to hate the purple dinosaur that taught it to her, y’know?

Not all books, music and TV shows for kids drive parents crazy. Check out these children's books and more to entertain kids and not annoy Mom and Dad.

7 thoughts on “Children’s Books That Parents Can Enjoy, Too

  1. I love Laurie Berkner. Her music is catchy and it doesn’t make me want to rip my hair out. If you are not familiar you can check her out on or Find her on Jack’s Big Music Show on Noggin. I My favorite albums are Buzz, Buzz & Victor Vito.

  2. I love They Might Be Giants. I actually saw them in college and now they do songs and have a video called Here come the ABCs. Tunes are totally catchy and great. They also sing the theme song to Mickey Mouse clubhouse.

    Right now in my car? A bluegrass CD (my husband’s coworker heads up the band) and my kids love it. It’s not “kids” music, but just plain old, good fashioned music.

  3. Hey, Amy, we have “Here Come the ABCs” and love it! And we, too, do the bluegrass thing in the car. It doesn’t have to be kid stuff for kids to love it!

  4. Aidan LOVES the Wonderpets. And Dora. And The Backyardigans. And many more things. 😀

  5. amaras_mom says:

    It never really matters what Amara is watching or listening to — if she leaves the room or if I drop her off at school, I tend to forget the TV or radio is on and find myself humming along to all her tunes!

    Just found your blog and think it’s great!

  6. We love watching the Pixar films, of course. Cars, the Incredibles, and Toy Story make us laugh.

    I did buy that They Might Be Giants CD, but I always forget to play it.

  7. Oh, and we love Drake & Josh! It’s more for childen ages 7+, but we let Jonah watch it. I wanted to get the soundtrack (Drake Bell sings) for him for Christmas but never did. I love the theme song to the show. Does anyone else have the Drake & Josh CD?

    You know what other show Jonah likes to watch? Full-House reruns. He thinks Michelle (Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen) is funny. One of the shows we watched was about Michelle going off to preschool. Jonah was glued to the screen. The drama! Even though it’s cheesy, I can’t help but watch the show, too. It’s fun to reminisce.

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