Barnyard Dance!

Common Sense Media says

Lively pace takes readers on an exhilarating ride.





What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that toe-tapping rhythms and playful verses encourage children to get up and move along with the animals; joyous illustrations celebrate dancing. Toddlers can provide the animal sounds sprinkled throughout the story.

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What's the story?

In the tradition of an old-fashioned hoedown, Boynton's trademark band of animals take to the floor in a rowdy square dance. A cool cow, sporting green shades and wielding a fiddle, calls out the moves as a collection of fleet, four-footed dancers spin, twirl, and promenade the day away. Rambunctious illustrations are rib-tickling kid pleasers.

In a parody of a square dance, barnyard animals execute classic hoedown moves such as bowing to, or swinging with, a partner. In addition to these traditional steps, Boynton's verses highlight each animal's unique movements, calling for the dancers to move like trotting turkeys, prancing horses, skittering mice, and so forth.

Is it any good?


BARNYARD DANCE's lively pace sweeps readers along for an exhilarating ride. Text and illustrations vibrate with an infectious joie de vivre, bringing smiles to readers' faces. The swinging verses tap into toddlers' love of movement and song; preschoolers can have a blast doing their own rendition of the dance. However, even a reader as young as 8 months old enjoyed a read-aloud session, flashing gummy grins and emitting happy coos.

Sandra Boynton's fanciful illustrations delight children; dogs and bunnies frolic together, while a pig whirls about a slightly bewildered-looking sheep. The simply drawn pictures on a pure white background focus the reader's attention on the comical characterizations. Little ones will be reaching for this book time and again. The catchy rhymes and humorous pictures make it easy for parents and caregivers to comply with repeated requests for this story.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about animal sounds. Try moving like some of the animals in the story, and make up your own silly dance. How can you learn more about the animals in the book?

Book details

Author:Sandra Boynton
Illustrator:Sandra Boynton
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Workman Publishing Co.
Publication date:January 1, 1993
Number of pages:24
Publisher's recommended age(s):2 - 4

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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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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay 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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Parent of a 2 year old Written byEDanner July 16, 2009

Fun to read aloud, great for practicing animal sounds.

My daughter and I both love this book. Very enjoyable to read aloud. My daughter likes to help by chiming in with the appropriate animal sounds.
What other families should know
Educational value
Adult Written byLyndaSLP April 9, 2008

Toddlers will love this book!

What a fun book! Pigs dancing! Cows bowing! Dogs twirling! Can you have any more fun than that? Sandra Boynton, as usual, does a wonderful job of entertaining us (and our young children) as she makes her well-known barnyard animals squaredance. If you're not familiar with her books, this is a great one to start with....and after you fall in love with it, go out and buy the rest of her books for your toddler. She is an A+++++ author for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers! And if you already love this book -- then you need to hear the song version (found on the album Rhinocerous Tap also by Boynton).
Parent of a 2 year old Written byAlice Luu July 30, 2010
I love it very much. It is useful.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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