In the past year, I’ve started to pick up books for my boys when we travel. Often times you can’t find a local children’s book before your trip, in our case a trip to Scotland, that really highlights the area you will be visiting.
Either book stores don’t carry any or you just don’t know how to search for a book that shows off your destination. While in Scotland, my boys and I were introduced to Harry the Highlander. We instantly fell in love with this shaggy cow with an open heart.
Harry the Highlander: Up the Glen by Cameron Scott (illustrated by Cee Biscoe) is an adorable tale about a Highlander calf who knows he is different from the other cows. If you have never met a highland cow before, you need to know that they have hair and a lot of it. They look like shaggy beasts, but make no mistake, these are prize bovine in Scotland.
Little Harry watches his mother go off to a big competition for the best looking cow. While she is away, Harry tries to hang out with the other cows on the farm, but they all make fun of him because he looks different. He wanders out of the farm, sad that everyone had laughed at his hairy coat. Harry soon finds other animals on his walk who also look or feel different in some way. By the end the readers learned that “we all are a bit different, but that’s what makes us special.”
I loved this story for the simple message it brought to my boys (and reminded me as an adult). Different doesn’t mean bad. Sometimes different can bring you the best of friends and the most amazing adventures. While in Scotland we came across many highland cows, which reinforced the book’s main character, but also had my boys looking for goats, ducks and even mice, who also show up in this beautifully illustrated tale.
We headed home with a copy of Harry the Highlander and our very own highland cow stuffed animals (both named “Harry” of course) to remind us of our adventure in the Scottish Highlands, and to be kind to those around us who may seem a little different.
Publisher’s Synopsis: Harry the Highlander is a young Highland cow who is shunned by other cows simply because he looks different. He sets off to find some friends who won’t laugh at his shaggy coat and finds himself faced with various challenges that help to unite him with his fellow travellers.
Title: Harry the Highlander: Up the Glen
Author: CameronScott Illustrator: Cee Biscoe
Publisher: GW Publishing (1st edition)
Publication Date: March 30, 2014, $2.99 paperback (£5.99 in the UK)
Pages: 32 pages
For ages: 2 and up
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