Barnyard Dance!



Lively pace takes readers on an exhilarating ride.
Parents recommend

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.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

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

This review of Barnyard Dance! was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

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
Parent of a 2 and 6 year old Written byDogLover in DE June 3, 2011

Best of Boynton

My absolute favorite Sandra Boynton book. Fun and lyrical to read. Very catchey
Parent of a 1, 3, 4, 13, 13, and 16 year old Written byrachelinbar October 25, 2009


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide