This Tractor Mac book is the first in the series, originally published in print form in 2007. This book tells the story of just how Mac came to live on the farm with Farmer Bill. At first Sibley the work-horse thinks there is no use for him anymore, but then Tractor Mac needs help to get un-stuck. Both realize the value of each other's contribution to the farm work and become best friends. All of the Tractor Mac books have this wonderful message for kids ... a message that encourages them to work hard, work together and help others as way to feel good about yourself. It's the kind of book series that teaches kids values through the time-honored method of good storytelling.
The small addition of a few sound effects, along with narration, makes this otherwise great children's book even better in digital form. The actual sounds are great, sounding very authentic for the animals and the tractor's motor. The narration is also wonderful, just the right tone for the story. My son & I have really enjoyed these books.
Parents should be aware that tapping on the little envelope on the front page of this and other PicPocket books takes you out of the app and into your email, to 'tell a friend' about the great book you're reading. An additional setting in the 'settings' menu to disable this would be nice, especially when not supervising young children with the iPad. I've read a lot of these books to my child, and must admit I never noticed this feature nor had any problems with it, but I also tend to keep my child (and my iPad) under pretty close scrutiny.
Overall, this and the other digital versions of "Tractor Mac" are ideal bedtime reads for kids of all ages. The detailed pictures of the tractor and Sibley will interest adults too, especially those of us who have heard stories of 'the farm' but no longer can return to such a place in real life. And unlike many of the other books I've reviewed, these titles continue to get requested, even without any extras or animation.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
8 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8 +
Tractor Mac Arrives tells the story of Mac & Sibley the workhorse. It is the arrival of the tractor and the displacing of the horse that is the feature of this title - the first one to tell us how Tractor Mac first became a part of Farmer Bill's life. Farmer Bill is very excited to have a new tractor, but Sibley the horse is a bit concerned about his place, now that a tractor is coming to do so much of the farm labor. "I can do the work of 10 horses," Tractor Mac declares. Sibley is upset and "Visions of mechanical horses danced in his head," the story tells us. "What good is a work-horse that cannot work?" Sibley wonders. But then Tractor Mac gets stuck in the mud and Farmer Bill gets Sibley to help with a job 'only a work-horse can do' - pulling Mac out of the mud. After that they work instead side-by-side, becoming the best of friends.
Billy Steers is an author, illustrator, and professional pilot. In addition to the Tractor Mac series, he has worked on over forty children's books. Mr. Steers had horses and sheep growing up on a farm and has a keen interest in machinery, history,and farm life. Married with three sons, he lives in Connecticut. [Source: Amazon.com]