Tractor Mac is a charismatic red tractor with headlight eyes. In "You're a Winner", based on the print book published by Billy Steers in 2007, Tractor Mac and Farmer Bill are getting ready for the county fair and a big tractor pull. The illustrations and artwork are a perfect fit for this story about being a good sport when you don't win and instead 'winning' by being helpful. In this story, the carousel breaks down, so even though Mac is disappointed when he loses the tractor pull, he gets to feel useful by using his motor to get the carousel turning again. All the children are very happy and Mac realizes there are more ways to be a winner than just winning a competition.
The book also has a little bit of interactivity, including animal sounds and the sound of Mac's engine chugging along when pictures are tapped. The animal and tractor sounds are high quality and have lots of variety in this title. My son really wanted the pig on the first page to make a noise like the other animals, but other than that, it was just the right amount of 'noise' to make the story come alive with the sounds of the county fair. This subtle interactivity, with just sound effects, is a nice addition to an already delightful series of children's books.
I would like to see a mute for the sound effects, but other than that, this is a solidly made digital book with easy page turn, simple settings and most importantly ... a great story. This one will be a 'winner' at bedtime, in particular. Amazon.com readers gave it 5 stars in all three reviews posted. I think of the three digital versions of Tractor Mac, this might be my favorite, too. My little boy loves them all, but this one does get requested the most.
You're a Winner HD is another digital edition by PicPocket books. While these types of iPhone/iPad books can't really stand up to the 'Wow!' factor of animated productions, they are essential in an iPad book collection if you ever want to really go without print books, particularly at bedtime. I've noticed that I am downright grateful for a book that is narrated after a long day. It's such a treat to be read to, even as an adult, and it can make storytime for sleep-deprived parents a treat instead of a chore.
So if you're looking for a good title to read or listen along with your child at bedtime or to occupy them in a less over-stimulating way, look no farther.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
8 - 10 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 10 +
Tractor Mac is entered in the tractor pull competition at the country fair. He's trained and ready to pull. When big Tractor Deke, the reigning champion shows up, the contest really begins! Tractor Mac proves he's a winner but in a different way than he imagined. [Source: Tractor Mac Shack Website] 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]