Sandra Boynton has written and illustrated a lot of fun books for kids, but while we enjoy many of them, this one is hands-down our favorite. In this book, Boynton combines her whimsical animal illustrations with words written to a rollicking, square-dance style beat. Every time we read it, my boys get up and dance.
This wonderfully silly book is a hit with everyone in our family, even after reading it frequently for over six years. We began reading this book to our oldest son soon after he was born. Even as an infant, the rhythmic cadence and fun illustrations would capture his attention. After reading it to him daily until he was around 3-years-old (there is no exaggeration in this statement – we truly read this book at least once a day for almost three years straight), Barnyard Dance was left on the shelf more and more often as my son moved on to other favorites.
Yet, as soon as his little brother was born, my oldest son immediately started pulling this book out for me to read to the baby. And the baby, now 2-years-old, loves Barnyard Dance every bit as much as his big brother did.
The illustrations of square dancing farm animals are fun, and they bring in many of the classic characters we’ve seen in Boynton’s other books. My boys are often torn between looking at the charming pictures and dancing themselves (so we generally read through the book more than once, in order to give them the chance to do both).
The simple text, narrated by a fiddle-playing cow, is perfect. The cadence will can help you to channel your inner square-dance caller, and catchy lyrics and rhymes let the words flow smoothly.
In addition to being a toe-tapping, enjoyable read, this book can help your young child to identify animals, learn animal sounds, and acquire some verbs such as stomp, bow, twirl, clap, and prance.
It truly says something, that even after reading this book well over 1000 times, I still enjoy reading it. The same cannot be said of all of the other children’s books we own. Barnyard Dance really is a fun, giggle-inducing book to read out loud.
So, Stomp your feet! Clap your hands! Everybody ready for a Barnyard Dance!
NOTE: If you want your own copy of Barnyard Dance, whether for your own child or to give as a gift, it’s available HERE or HERE. Also, I wrote a post on My 6 Favorite Books for One-year-olds, if you’re looking for other book suggestions for this age group.
Have you read Barnyard Dance? What are you favorite books for young kids? Do you enjoy Sandra Boynton’s books?