Skip to Content

The Best Sandra Boynton Books (That Parents Actually Love to Read)

Thank You for Sharing!

Inside: Wondering what the best Sandra Boynton books are? This author has so many great board books! But after a decade of reading these to my five kiddos, these seven titles are our absolute favorites.

I’ve been reading Sandra Boynton’s board books to my kids for over twelve years now. We’ve owned several that lasted through all five children’s babyhoods.

One toddler ripped several (yes, I had a book ripper), and we bought them all over again.

Yes, they’re just that good.

The ones we didn’t own? We checked them out of the library over and over again.

We (and by “we”, I mean my husband and I) can still recite them word for word to this day. For real.

Related: Top 12 Minimalist Baby Toys for the First Year (and beyond!)

beautiful mom reading Sandra Boynton book to baby on her lap

What Makes Sandra Boynton Books So Good?


All of Boynton’s books feature critters doing hilarious things.

Like showing off their belly buttons. Or lifting weights before bed.

Like following a song for miles, only to find it being played by a pig and a chicken. Or doing a barnyard dance.

The hilarity plus excellent rhyme and rhythm make her board books truly timeless favorites for babies and toddlers.

It doesn’t hurt that parents don’t mind reading them over and over again.

You Might Also Like: How to Get Things Done With a Clingy Baby (13 Ideas)

3 Sandra Boynton board books together - The Going to Bed Book, Belly Button Book and Happy Hippo, Angry Duck

7 Best Sandra Boynton Books of All Time

I’m sure we’ve read almost all of Boynton’s fifty board books.

Of them all, these are our absolute favorite titles – with descriptions.

1. But Not the Hippopotamus

All the other critters in THIS board book are spending time together, eating and drinking together, shopping together. They’re all having lots of fun.

But not the hippopotamus…

Throughout the book, the hippopotamus is continuously left out. Until all the critters finally invite him to join in.

The hippo is torn (probably especially after being left out the entire book?), but finally decides to join them! …leaving behind the armadillo.

The ending cracks me up. Every time.

2. Belly Button Book!

Belly Button Book might be my all-time favorite Sandra Boynton book.

It’s all about hippopotamuses who love their belly buttons! They love showing them off at the beach, or just in every day life.

And the toddler hippopotamus calls them “bee bo’s”. Which of course, my toddler loves to walk around say over and over again.

The book ends on a sad note because it’s winter. And they need to cover up all the belly buttons. I mean, bee bo’s.

3. What’s Wrong Little Pookie?

Boyton has several books about a pig named Little Pookie, but What’s Wrong Little Pookie? is my favorite.

Little Pookie is crying, and his mom is trying to figure out what’s wrong.

She asks him all the questions moms think to ask. When he’s not hungry or thirsty or hurt, she resorts to funnier questions like…

“Did tiny green elephants with wings oh-so-blue fly off with the cookies and leave none for you?”

Finally, when his mom has exhausted all questions – practical to ridiculous – she tells him she gives up. What is wrong?!

To which he responds, “Ummm, I forget.” Ha!

4. Moo, Baa, La La La!

Moo, Baa, La La La! covers all the fun sounds that animals make.

From the usual dog, cat and duck sounds to more unusual ones like the “snort” and “snuff” of a rhinoceros, it also has Boynton’s classic humor when the pigs try to say “la, la, la” instead of “oink.”

This short and sweet book is an easy read before bed – perfect for the littlest ones.

(And for tired parents who want a quick read.)

5. But Not the Armadillo

Remember the armadillo that go left behind by the hippopotamus earlier on? Well, now you get to find out what happened to said armadillo.

The armadillo’s nose takes center stage in But Not the Armadillo, with him letting his nose lead him from the beginning.

And readers are encouraged to stroke it that same nose at the end of the book when he’s left behind by the hippo – yet again!

My favorite part about this book is the small detail that the armadillo doesn’t like to hurry. An armadillo after my own heart.

6. Happy Hippo, Angry Duck

I love how this fun book covers all the basic emotions! Each emotion is paired with a hilarious image of an animal.

“Are you happy as a hippo? Or angry as a duck?”

“Are you grumpy as a moose or excited as a dog?”

Every page of Happy Hippo, Angry Duck makes me smile – literally. Introduce emotions to your toddler, and laugh along the way.

Plus, that ending. I’m smiling right now reading it.

You Might Also Like: Things to Do With Your Six Month Old (for bored parents)

7. The Going to Bed Book

Last, but certainly not least, this is the book that started it all.

We received The Going to Bed Book as a baby shower gift (board books make fantastic, inexpensive shower gifts, by the way!).

Back then with just one baby, we were obsessed with creating the perfect bedtime routine, and it just so happens that this book was chosen to be read every night for weeks on end.

We still have it memorized to this day.

“The sun has set not long ago. Now everybody goes below to take a bath in one big tub with soap all over scrub, scrub, scrub…”

young mom sitting on couch reading Boynton board books to baby

I Hope You Love Sandra Boynton Books As Much As We Do

Sandra Boynton was such a big part of my kids’ childhoods that when I hear parents say they’ve never heard of her, I gasp! How can it be?

But for real, if you little ones and don’t yet know the joys of Sandra Boynton books, I beg of you to choose one from my “best of” list and read it.

You won’t be sad you did. And if you are, you only wasted $5.

If you love it? You’ll have over fifty books to choose from over the course of your baby’s first years.

Read Next: 40 Best Books for Babies Under 1


Thank You for Sharing!