This is an adorable story about a cow and the farmer who loves him. Farmer Geck thinks Harry, his Holstein cow, is the finest cow to walk the earth. He treats him well and enters him in many contests that bring Harry accolades and blue ribbons. Then he discovers Harry can talk, but what Harry tells him makes him sad. Harry really wants to see the world. So the farmer lovingly lets him go, even buying him a car!
Of course the world that Harry sees is interesting, but he isn't treated very well by many people. And when someone is nice to him, it just reminds Harry of what it felt like to be with Farmer Geck. Soon Harry is homesick. When he arrives back at the farm, Farmer Geck is delighted, but he hopes Harry won't leave again. Harry doesn't want to leave the farmer, either. But they don't stay home - instead they both hit the road together.
The fun, cartoonish illustrations of Harry and his journey are accompanied by great music. This book is also very lightly animated in a lovely way. It is not really interactive, although there are a few scenes where you can spread out the snapshots Harry takes of his adventures across America. It's a fun touch, but not too much to take away from bedtime.
This book is primarily a great read, nicely enhanced. It has easy page swipe, although a little touchy. The audio narration also starts a few moments after intro music, which is actually a really nice experience once you realize why it's taking so long. The font, while easy to read, would be even better if it highlighted as read for young readers.
Overall this is a wonderful, original iPad book. It tells a classic tale with an important moral that goes beyond Harry the cow. While the outside world may seem enticing, after leaving home we often realize just how much the love of family really means. The unconditional love the farmer has for Harry, much like he would for a child, is especially touching. A great read at bedtime or anytime.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Daniel E. Kennedy/Kory Fluckiger
8 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
Farmer Geck was very proud of his Holstein cow Harry. He decides to enter Harry in a contest at the county fair. Harry wins a blue ribbon. He goes on to win at the State Fair and at a national award show, too. The prize money helps buy Harry a barn with all the amenities. Then Farmer Geck discovers that Harry can talk! Harry tells him that what he really wants is to see the world. Even though Farmer Geck is sad about Harry leaving, he buys Harry a convertible and teaches him how to drive.
Harry hits the road to discover America. After his first day of driving, he decides to stop and eat - seeing billboards for a new food, 'hamburgers'. At the restaurant, Harry realizes he doesn't know what's in a 'burger'. He asks a nice couple he meets in the parking lot. He is not happy to find out it's made of cow meat. He goes to an all you can eat salad bar, instead. Then Harry settles down for the night - checking into a motel. It is so loud from the room next door, though. When he asked them to turn it down, an angry man tells him that the only use they have for a cow like him, is to make a leather jacket or juicy steak.
Harry is dejected. He keeps thinking about Farmer Geck. He continues his journey, traveling all over the USA. He goes to the Gateway Arch, Great Salt Lake, Grand Canyon and Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately though, when he meets new people he mostly wonders what Farmer Geck would think of them. Then he decides to go back to the one place he still wanted to see ... HOME!