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Big Red Barn

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  11,554 ratings  ·  305 reviews
Margaret Wise Brown's classic barnyard story is now available in this sturdy board book edition. A lulling text and exquisite illustrations follow the animals' day on the farm as they make their noises, play in the grass, and return to the big red barn to fall sound asleep.
Board Book, 32 pages
Published January 6th 1995 by Balzer + Bray (first published 1956)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,554 ratings  ·  305 reviews

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Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another book has migrated downstairs for my review. Before I wrote this review, I had to do a little research on the author. I vaguely remembered that she had no children and died young -- I was right: she never married, had no children and died of a post-surgery blood clot in 1952 at the age of 42. Yet her work lives on in a big way. Why?

Big Red Barn, like Goodnight Moon, reads like a lullaby. It is about impossible to not lull your voice when reading it. Its phrases end with a gentle rhyme, no
Shanna Gonzalez
Jan 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-00-04
Big Red Barn is one of those baby books that provokes either charm or annoyance in adult readers, and delight in young listeners. It is marked by Brown's soothingly rhythmic, repetitive text, sprinkled with farmyard animal noises that toddlers will love to imitate. The story opens with "a pink pig/ who was learning to squeal" greeting the sunrise. Other farm animals go about their activities throughout the day, and (just as in Goodnight Moon) the pictures become progressively darker as night fal ...more
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-reads
"Big Red Barn" by Margaret Wise Brown was a really good book, and my daughter enjoyed it immensely. As a parent, I take great joy when I see my daughter really enjoying what I read and recognizing the pictures that she sees on the page. She was able to identify all the animals, and even wanted to know "Where they mama at?"
The author did a really good job of displaying a lot of colors in this book too. I think that really helps children as they are learning to read because all the bright colors c
Andrew Heyt
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown has been a truly influential book on my life. Not only is the story extremely cute, but I feel like it has one of the most important lessons for children to take away; animals are amazing. Animals are complex and sentient. They feel loneliness and sadness, as they do love and joy. I feel like this book really shows children that all animals, whether they be a piglet or a fat cow, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. This entire book and its very sim ...more
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
We got a themed box of books from the library about Farms and this was one of the books. Nothing out of the ordinary, except maybe the pretty illustrations. I loved the picture of the tiny pink pig. My preschoolers liked it and enjoyed the pictures, pointing out various things as I read, and so it was still worth reading. No real learning value except that it's a book. It might be considered a level 1 reading book, but it's debatable on whether or not it has enough words to warrant that.
Jason Wiseman
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you can get past the racy scene with the Scarecrow and his "ho," this is a pretty solid story of some animals doing their thing on a farm. While there is no central hero for whom to root, the overall character development is pretty solid. I truly enjoyed counting all of the eggs. SPOILER ALERT: There are 10 in total.
Abby Welker
Apr 09, 2009 added it
Shelves: kids-faves
totally, totally, a fave
Catie Currie
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was obsessed with the eggs in this book when I was little. Don't ask me why, I have no idea.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-purchase
I love this book so much more than “Goodnight Moon” or “Runaway Rabbit.” The content is richer, and the illustrations are wonderful!
Dustin Luke
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-books
"Big Red Barn" is one of those rare kid books that genuinely rewards a close read. It seems like a silly book about animals on a farm that do silly things (all of which rhyme... how convenient). However, upon closer inspection, it's a cautionary tale about the future the communists want in America. The animals are fending for themselves, living amongst each other in a fenceless farm where no one's needs are met. (Unless that "one" is Lenin!) It's only a couple pages in the animals are all fighti ...more
Rachel Herrington
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
This is a cute book about all the things that go on in a big red barn. There are horses, cows, dogs, mice, a little pig, and many other animals. It uses good descriptive words to explain each animal and what the animal is doing during the day. I would use this book to explain adjectives to a young elementary class. It has lots of great examples of good adjectives. I would also like to use it for its pictures, because there are many little images that you can look for that help describe the story ...more
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pretty basic book on farm animals. Not tons of text for storyline or teaching potential, but still a good storytime read. This would be a good bedtime book too, since it's a pretty mellow story, ending with all the animals winding down at the end of the day and heading back to the big red barn to sleep. I used it for a storytime on animals, and the kids enjoyed it. Would also be good for one on farms. Lots of interaction potential with animal noises (always a plus for the 3-4 year old crowd).
Kelly Wickham
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book to my children and continue to read it to all the children I know. The pictures and the flow of the words is beautiful and soothing. There is something so peaceful about a late summer afternoon on a farm and all the animals getting ready to sleep for the night in the big red barn. From the tiniest field mouse to the cow and the donkey. As the book progresses the lighting on each page reflects the duskiness of evening approaching and the sun going down. Ok, I like this book more ...more
Kristin Nelson
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We had this board book and read it lots when the kids were little. Today I discovered that I still like it. I read it to the preschoolers and realized that there's a lot going on in the pictures. So many details! Plus the writing flows. I don't like some of Margaret Wise Brown's other books because I think the text meanders. Goodnight Moon anyone?!? ...more
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrensbooks
I read this years ago, recently rediscovered it while looking for farm books. It provides basic information about animal life in the barn throughout the day and into the night. During this look back, I noticed that Felicia Bond illustrated it. I probably didn't know who she was the first time I read it.
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved romping through the barn and field with all the farm animals while the children were gone, but I have to say it bothered me that the book said "hay" while the illustration was definitely of straw. That's just one of my pet peeves as a farmer: animals eat hay and it's green; straw is what they sleep on and it's yellow. It's quite simple, but people get it wrong all the time.
Monica S. White
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this sweet little book! I especially love that she drew a tiny Snoopy dog (yes, as in ”Peanuts”!) hiding on one of the pages! 🤗 One if the 1-year-olds in the nursery of 1 of the previous churches of which I was a member would ask me to read it to him over and over again. I have never gotten tired of this precious story. 📖
This is a very simple, straight forward story of barn animals on the farm. There are opportunities for animal sounds to make with the kids.

I did not like the flow of this book however. It was awkward to read aloud and flip through. I suppose
Lara Lamb
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
The rhyming nature of this story is enjoyable for students and it talks about the different things that animals do on the farm as well what noises the animals make. It would be a good book to read to kindergarteners when talking about the animals that live on the farm.
Nov 19, 2018 marked it as children-s-literature-own
Shelves: aac
Core AAC:

I use picture books to help my nonverbal son learn to use his augmentative alternative communication (AAC) device to speak. This book has been great for us to practice the words listed above.
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A fun and colourful rhyming story about the many different animals that live in the big red barn. This book is great for storytime because the children will learn and enjoy making lots of animal sounds.
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens-books
Not bad for an older book (copyright 1956). Lots of rhyming, good read-aloud. I like how the images show the how the day is going by, from morning to night -- the sky goes from sunny to dusk.
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book, written in prose, teaches life on the farm for animals. A treasure for all young readers.
Luisa Knight
A cute introduction to barnyard animals for the little ones that enjoy colors and sounds.

Ages 1-3
Cecily V
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book makes me feel all cuddly. my Auntie Lacey got it for me. I like the pretty pictures. Mommy likes the picture of the baby mouse in a field of corn best.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Nice rhyme, but not a lot of story.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book as a child!
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lyrical account of all (my grandpa’s) animals gone off to lala land. Still enjoy the memories reading this to my children.
Pamela Murray
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathryn Bergeron
It was fine. I was never a fan of goodnight moon, and this is about the same. It's not terrible, but not something that I would choose again.
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Margaret Wise Brown wrote hundreds of books and stories during her life, but she is best known for Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. Even though she died nearly 60 years ago, her books still sell very well.

Margaret loved animals. Most of her books have animals as characters in the story. She liked to write books that had a rhythm to them. Sometimes she would put a hard word into the story or p

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