Moo, Baa, La La La! – imitate silly animal sounds

thCows go moo, sheeps go baa, but Boynton’s pigs don’t oink… they la la la!”


Bibliographic Info:  Boynton, Sandra  Moo, Baa, La La La!  Little Simon (1982, 1995) 14pp  Formats: Board Book  ISBN 0-689-86113-3  $3.99, Hardcover, eBook, Kindle, App  Interest Level: Baby-3  Reading Level: preK and up  Genre: Classics  Themes:  Animals, Sounds

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1Moo, Baa, La La La! was given the StorytimeWOW Marquee Seal on March 4th, 2015.  This material meets the StorytimeWOW Standards and has been selected for three collections on this site:  PictureBookWOW, Picture eBookWOW and AppWOW.  Read the Storytime section below for details on why this book/app was selected.

th-3Summary:  A fun and silly echo-party starring Sandra Boynton’s popular and comedic characters.

Review:  As the story begins, animals start making their sounds on cue (and children begin echoing them back).  But wait, sheeps don’t say “La La La”!  And, what sounds do people make?  Ideal for reading aloud and available in both print and new media formats, Moo, Baa, La La La is a classic board book that invites toddlers and preschoolers to echo animal sounds made by Sandra Boynton’s hilariously illustrated and highly appealing animal characters.


Storytime:  Moo, Baa, La La La! meets the following StorytimeWOW Standards:

  • Dynamic writing and universal appeal.   Babies and toddlers love to make animal sounds. “Moo, Baa, La La La!” is a story that taps into this idea in a clever way.
  • The “WOW” factor is evident (children find it enjoyable).
  • “Moo, Baa, La La La” is fun and very short.  This makes it well-suited for repetition. The story has been popular since the 1980s and this speaks to its timelessness.
  • The illustrations work for groups. While the board book format is too small for big groups, the classic is now available in electronic formats (eBook and App) that can be used with a large screen monitor or projector to make its illustrations easy to see from a distance.  The illustrations are simple and unmuddied.  Once visible to all on a larger screen, children will find them easy to connect with.
  • The book possesses the happy takeaway of silliness and laughter.
  • Animals and Sounds are popular child-centered themes.
  • The story keeps the listener’s attention and is free of squirmy moments.
  • The interest level of this story is babies (9 months old) through preK.
  • Built-in participation involves babies and toddlers on every page by inviting them to imitate animal sounds.

th-2Storytime Tips:  Use this book to introduce animal sounds to babies and toddlers (9 months-2 years).  Preschoolers will enjoy it too.  Encourage children to echo the animal sounds after you read them.  At the end, insert your library or school storytime name…  “It’s quiet now Pleasant Hill Toddler Time kids, what do you say?”  This gives children an opportunity to be creative.


Early Childhood Education and Development:  The following lists Moo, Baa, La La La’s! stand-out benefits across various early childhood education (ECE) and child development checklists.

1. Moo, Baa, La La La! cultivates the following Pre-Reading Skills (see full list of pre-reading skills here):

  • Teaches toddlers names of animals (vocabulary)
  • Noticing print and following words on a page or screen (print awareness).
  • Hearing playing with smaller sounds in words like the “Ooo” or “Aaa” in “Moo” and “Baa” (phonological awareness).
  • Cultivates interest and enjoyment in books (print motivation).

2. This material provides opportunities to utilize the Early Literacy-  building Parent Practices (see full list of parent practices here):

  • Talking with kids, first by telling them this story, and next by stretching the book into a conversation about the story and the animals will help toddlers learn to express themselves using language.
  • Reading together is “the single most effective way to help children become proficient readers” (source:  Every Child Ready to Read).
  • Writing!  Help kids write their name in their own books.  For picture books in app or enhanced eBook formats, look to see if the option is there for children to type their name into a “This Book Belongs To ____” area on the first page.  All Boynton board book apps include this option.
  • Playing is a primary way in which children learn language (and this book is very playful).

3. This material builds children’s Kindergarten Readiness (see full checklist here).  Children well-prepared for kindergarten are able to:

  • Listen to stories without interrupting
  • Recognize rhyming sounds
  • Pay attention for short periods of time to adult-directed tasks
  • Look at pictures and then tell stories
  • Identify rhyming words
  • Identify the beginning sound of some words
  • Recognize some common sight words

4. This material follows these Common Core Guidelines (see full list here):

  • Integrate more new media materials and technology in group programs and classroom settings.  Cultivate media literacy behaviors through modeling.
  • Increase focus on children’s comprehension through dialogic reading. Ask questions before, during and after telling stories.
  • Create a more participatory culture in group programs and classroom settings. Use materials that invite participation and keep learners engaged.

5. This material supports young children’s “emerging mental abilities” by providing opportunities for “key experiences” that strengthen and broaden these abilities (see full list here):

  • Using Language (describing animals verbally, listening to others describe things, listening to stories)
  • Representing (recognizing animals by sound, imitating sounds and actions, relating pictures to real places and things)
  • Temporal Relations (using conventional time units “day/night”)

Significance:  Published in 1982 (more than three decades ago), Moo Baa La La La! is a bestselling board book that continues to entertain.  Great for a lap time read aloud, it’s now available as an interactive app and eBook for use in group storytime.

th-4Read-alikes:  Boynton’s But Not the Hippopotamous, Blue Hat, Green Hat and The Going to Bed Book are similarly funny board books for toddlers that are available as apps.  Here a link to Boynton’s Greatest Hits-Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Links:  Boynton’s website  Scholastic  teaching resources  Amazon  

Awards/Achievements:  This book has been listed among Publishers Weekly’s Bestselling Children’s Books of All Time.

App Awards/Honors:  Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice, Parents’ Choice Awards Recommended App, Apple New and Noteworthy

Other Reviews:  Goodreads   Kirkus App Review  Macworld iPad App Review

I chose to review this material because I enjoy sharing Boynton’s humor.  Also, the app was highly recommended for new media storytime by LittleeLit.com. 

3Make Reading More Fun


Go to your local library to check out books for free and get more great recommendations. Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!