Barnyard Animal Books

A Cow Says “Baa!” by Susan Fry

Why are so many children’s books about barnyard animals? Most kids today are rarely up close and personal with live chickens or sheep. City children, especially, probably don’t quite understand where milk really comes from. And as for hamburger? Well, maybe we’ll leave that lesson for third grade.

But it’s hard to walk into a library without learning that a cow goes “moo!”

Perhaps a book about the noises of the city, such as The Garbage Truck Says RRRRRRRRScreech at Four O’Clock in the Morning! just wouldn’t be as warm and fuzzy as Old MacDonald.

The following books kick the basic barnyard sounds up a notch: their animals aren’t afraid to try something new, and even parents will giggle at the results.


Moo, Baa, La La La, by Sandra Boyton. “A cow says, ‘Moo!’ A sheep says, ‘Baa!’” But what happens when “’Three singing pigs say, ‘La la la’”? Boynton’s board book is fabulous choice for a child’s very first book, though it may be loved even into preschool. Both parents and children will want to hug Boynton’s little cartoon animals, which cavort across the pastel-colored pages with wide eyes, floppy feet, and spiky fur.


The Little Rabbit Who Liked to Say Moo, by Jonathan Allan. Little Rabbit feels that rabbits don’t get to make enough noise. So he says, “Moo.” When other animals question him, Little Rabbit encourages them all to try out new sounds, from “oink” to “hee haw.” At the end, the other animals admit they like their own sounds best – except for Little Rabbit. His new favorite? “Woof!”


What the Ladybug Heard, by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Lydia Monks. A barnyard is full of noisy animals – and one ladybug who never says a word. But when she overhears two robbers planning to steal the cow, she hatches a hilarious plan to stop them.

Susan Fry is a writer and mother in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s written for Stanford Magazine, salon, the San Jose Mercury News, and many other publications.

You can check out the Sweet Peas & Stilettos’ children’s books page for quick access to all of Susan’s wonderful children’s book reviews.

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