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Written for My Kids

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Some movie stars will only take roles for the money, regardless of whether the movie is good or complete garbage. Others will take roles so as to be in a work friendly for their children when most of their productions target older audiences. And in particularly bad situations, producers - or film stars - will end up needing to do a work only because their contract says so.

But this is for when the author writes a work specifically with their own children in mind.

Sometimes, it's because they want to depict issues they don't feel the media gives enough credit. Others, they want to give their child a starring role. But whatever the case, the work is written specifically for the author's children.

Distantly relates to Doing It for the Art, where an author writes a work because they want to, not for profit. Can sometimes lead to Write What You Know and/or Write Who You Know, where the author writes personal experiences and/or traits of people they know into their work written for their children. Musical examples may overlap with Parental Love Song. See also Creator-Chosen Casting for when an actor or actress is chosen for a role specifically by the creator.

Important to note: This is not the same as So My Kids Can Watch; that's when people normally known for adult works decide to make or star in something appropriate for their young family members, while this is works the author wrote with their children in mind.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Manga author Kia Asamiya made the shonen manga Steam Detectives for his son, and the Magical Girl Corrector Yui for his daughter.
  • Pokémon 3 is this in spades behind the scenes. Takeshi Shudō, the series' original head writer, wrote the story with his own daughter (who was born when he was 45) in mind, believing that the relationship between a father and their daughter is something the media too often shies away from depicting (he was also worried about his health and that he wouldn't be around much longer); thus the relationship between Mii/Molly and Entei paralleled that of himself and his own daughter.

    Films — Animation 
  • Ponyo was written by Hayao Miyazaki with his own estranged son Goro in mind, hoping to reconcile with him.
  • Coco: in-universe, many of Ernesto de la Cruz's songs, especially his biggest hit "Remember Me", were originally written by his partner Héctor as love poems to Héctor's daughter Coco.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Ranger's Apprentice author John Flanagan wrote the first book for his son Michael, wanting to encourage him to read and to show him that heroes don't always need to be big and strong.
  • Neil Gaiman wrote Coraline for his daughters, as noted in the book's dedication. He started out looking for some good horror books for them and realized that "horror for children" wasn't really a genre, so he wrote one himself.
  • Demigods in Percy Jackson and the Olympians have ADHD and dyslexia because their brains are hardwired for Ancient Greek. Rick Riordan came up with the story after his son (who disliked reading but loved Classical Mythology) was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia.
  • A heartbreaking case is Robert Munsch's Love You Forever, which was written after Munsch and his wife had two stillborn babies, making it written for the children he never really had.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien:
    • Tolkien wrote Roverandom to comfort one of his young sons after he lost a toy dog on the beach. The story was allegedly the dog's spectacular adventures after being turned into a toy by an offended wizard.
    • The Father Christmas Letters were originally written for Tolkien's children as letters from Father Christmas himself.
    • The Hobbit is a curious case — while the popular myth is that he conceived of it as a bed-time story for his children using the sprawling Legendarium he had been creating for decades but never published as a broad framework for it, and then made it the first published work of Middle-Earth when they were delighted with it, it was later revealed that he'd always intended it as a "serious" work of fiction but told his peers it was originally for his children when they inquired about it so as to avoid their potential scorn (since in the 1930s, an interest in "fairy stories" was still seen as highly unbecoming of a gentleman of Tolkien's age and position). And yet this contained, as his own saying goes, a grain of truth — he did evidently use his children, his son Christopher in particular, as a sounding board for the chapters (and it was Christopher whose imagination was especially captivated by it all) in order to get a feel for what worked and what didn't, even though he hadn't written it "for" them.
      • There's another episode that perhaps causes a little confusion about all this - when Tolkien finished the manuscript, he passed a few copies around to friends and favorite students. One of these traveled from one of his students to a friend of the student's, and eventually to the hands of Stanley Unwin, one of the heads of Allen & Unwin (Tolkien's first and greatest publisher). It was Unwin who then presented the book to his ten-year-old son Rayner to get an opinion of what a child thought of the book. After Rayner ended up loving it, Allen & Unwin's desire to publish The Hobbit was sealed, and the rest is history.
  • Watership Down was first made up by Richard Adams as a story to tell his two daughters while he was driving them in his car. It was the daughters who persuaded him to later write the story down.
  • English poet Ted Hughes wrote The Iron Giant (originally titled The Iron Man, but re-titled outside the UK to avoid confusion with Tony Stark) to comfort his children following the suicide of his wife Sylvia Plath in 1963.
  • Stephen King wrote The Eyes of The Dragon for his then-fourteen-year-old daughter Naomi Rachel King, who avoided her father's books because she disliked horror and preferred fantasy. The character Naomi Reechul is named after her.
  • While searching for something that would interest his young son in reading, Edward Eager discovered that the E. Nesbit books he himself had loved as a child were too old-fashioned. So he wrote some original novels in the Nesbit style, but set in contemporary times with more savvy, snarky modern children.
  • Believe it or not, Struwwelpeter was invented as a Christmas gift for Hoffman's young son.
  • Franny K. Stein author Jim Benton created the character because his daughter loved scary stuff and he noticed that there weren't many characters targeted towards girls who shared his daughter's interests.
  • The Wind in the Willows started as stories Kenneth Grahame told his son.
  • Winnie the Pooh was originally a bedtime story for A. A. Milne's son Christopher (Christopher Robin, in fact.)
  • Thomas the Tank Engine was for the Rev. W. Awdry's son, Christopher. He grew up to become his father's literary executor, as well as writing new material.
  • Norman Bridwell wrote Clifford the Big Red Dog for his daughter, named Emily Elizabeth.
  • Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats: T. S. Eliot had a bunch of cats, and wrote poems about their nightly singing and dancing as a gift for his niece.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland began as an improvised story Lewis Carroll told to the Liddell Sisters. His second-most famous work, The Hunting of the Snark, was dedicated to Gertrude Chataway.
  • The Just So Stories began with some bed-time stories Rudyard Kipling told his children.
  • Astrid Lindgren came up with the story of Pippi Longstocking when her daughter, who was sick with pneumonia at the time, wanted to hear a story about a character with that name.
  • Ian Falconer wrote Olivia as a Christmas present for his then three-year-old niece, who was also named Olivia.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The story goes that the Sesame Street song "I Love My Hair" was written after head writer Joey Mazzarino and his wife adopted a little girl from Ethiopia. They were concerned that questions would be raised about white parents raising a black child.

  • Brentalfloss released the album What If This CD... Had G-Rated Lyrics?, a Bowdlerised version of the album What If This CD... Had Lyrics? that he made upon realizing he had many child fans despite the material not being very appropriate for them, as well as wanting to share his work with his nephews. Rather than directly censoring the material and calling it a day, the G-Rated version features entirely new recordings with significantly rewritten lyrics, toning down the crass or vulgar humor in exchange for more family-friendly wordplay, and in some cases entirely different jokes.
  • Céline Dion wrote her 2002 hit "A New Day Has Come" after her first child was born, and the song is meant to be about him.
  • Scott Stapp of Creed wrote "With Arms Wide Open" upon learning that he was going to be a father.
  • Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" is a celebration of his daughter Aisha.
  • Christina Perri has an entire album recorded for her daughter, called Songs for Carmela.
  • Jewel had The Merry Goes Round, which was released a few months after she gave birth to her first child.
  • Voltaire wrote "Goodnight Demonslayer" as a lullaby for his son, and when his son got older he also wrote "The Beast of Pirate's Bay" for him.
  • Da Yoopers' "Yooper Kid" appears to be this, as drummer Jim DeCaire (who wrote nearly all of the band's material, including this song) let his then-child son Jesse sing it.
  • Van Halen has "316", an instrumental Eddie named after the birthdate - March 16 - of his son Wolfgang. Wolfie would take part in some live performances of the song before joining Van Halen outright.
  • Elmer Bernstein wrote an easy piano arrangement of his To Kill a Mockingbird Theme Tune as a tenth birthday present for his daughter.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • According to an interview, Jim Davis created U.S. Acres as a strip that his kids could enjoy.

    Western Animation