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Farm2Table app review

cow in patrick's kitchen titleLow-frills app Farm2Table (Little Pickle Press, January 2016; iOS only) — based on the 2013 picture book The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen by Diana Prichard, illustrated by Heather Devlin Knopf — gives young children a basic idea of where some of their food comes from.

One morning young Patrick O’Shanahan goes downstairs for breakfast and finds a cow in his kitchen. His father doesn’t seem to notice the cow and goes about preparing his World Famous French Toast (“We’ll need three eggs”). This leads Patrick to the refrigerator, where a chicken flaps out: “BAGAAAAWK!” On the next screen, tap the “play” icon to watch a short, 20-second video of a real-life little girl on a farm gathering eggs, accompanied by an upbeat, jazzy tune.

cow in patrick's kitchen chickens

cow in patrick's kitchen video

The story progresses, interspersed with a couple more short videos (the little girl milks a cow and a grownup taps a tree for eventual pancake syrup). At the end, there’s a pig in the kitchen (“Did he smell…bacon?”), but the book ends, thankfully, without a visit to the slaughterhouse.

Appended notes provide some information about the author’s real farm, along with links and information about the publisher’s mission (“Little Pickle Press is dedicated to creating media that fosters kindness in young people…”). There’s also a record-your-own-narration option and a memory matching game. It’s not the most scintillating of picture-book stories, but it does fulfill the mission and provides some entertainment to viewers. Pair with G. Brian Karas’s excellent new picture book On the Farm, at the Market (Holt/Ottaviano) for an enjoyable farm-to-table conversation starter.

Available for iPad (requires iOS 6.0 or later); $2.99. Recommended for preschool and primary users.

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.

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