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Top 100 Picture Books #69: Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton

#69 Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton (1995)
28 points

I found a copy of this book in the library book sale, and bought it for my young son. When I showed the other librarians, every single mother among them started reciting it from memory – some of them with children in college and beyond. – Ann Carpenter

Oh, this is a toughie.  Not tough in terms of praise.  This is indeed one of those board book staples we’ve come to love and rely on.  No, it’s just hard to find things to say about it.  We can say that it’s currently tied with Barnyard Dance for the bestselling Boynton book of all time.  But aside from that it becomes a little difficult.  The best I can do is mention that in keeping with the 21st century, the book currently has an app.  One that actually earned itself a star in a Kirkus review.  Should a long car trip present itself, I’ll consider it.  Here’s an image from the app:

The description of the book, such as it is, reads: “Various animals make their sounds, from the moo of the cow to the snort and snuff of the rhinoceroses.”

There was a time there where I had the greatest of difficulty hearing this title and not singing it to the tune of “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga.  This isn’t too crazy when you consider how much weirder it is that I sing her other board book Your Personal Penguin to Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus. Editor Molly O’Neill actually found great words to go with my Gaga version, but I’ve long since lost them somewhere.  Bummer.

I do love this alternate title:

Finally, the obligatory awwwwww video:

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Here’s something to say about this book – I have a board version of it from 1982. Every single illustration is different. I don’t know when it was re-done, though the new version is more lively. The text is the same, and winning even back in 1982.

  2. Jennifer in GA says

    YAY!! A book I voted for! I love this book so hard. A friend gave it to me when I was pregnant with my first baby. She’s now 14 and I still can (joyfully) recite it by heart. 😉

  3. If you haven’t seen (sister site of, it’s great — and they’ve used a number of picture books and other Fuse #8-worthy things in their daily posts…including this book!

  4. Once I was working in the church nursery and picked up a totally differently Boynton book to show a well-read and precocious toddler. She immediately said, “Moo, Baa, La La La!” I was enchanted.

  5. Genevieve says

    We read this so often I still have it memorized 12 years later. (And we read Muu Beee Asi Fue occasionally.) Have immediately recommended the app to my cousin with toddlers.

  6. Love this book. Even after we pack away the rest of our board books, the Sandra Boynton books will remain on the bookcase in the kids’ room – and this one will take prize of place.

  7. Mother Lydia says

    This is my favorite Boynton to give at baby showers.
    (though Doggies my favorite ever)