There have been hundreds of Berenstain Bears stories published since the first one debuted 1962. Hug and Make Up is one of HarperCollins square paperback series, published in 2006 after an earlier 1992 publication date. According to Wikipedia:
"The books feature a family of anthropomorphic grizzly bears who generally learn a moral or safety-related lesson in the course of each story. Since the 1962 debut of the first Berenstain Bears book, The Big Honey Hunt, the series has grown to over 300 titles, which have sold approximately 260 million copies in 23 languages."
This formula, sometimes criticized for being too moralistically simplistic, has been a fast favorite of millions of young readers and their families for several generations. The appeal of these books cannot be overlooked, however, covering useful lessons and topics that are nearly universal for most families. Children, my own included, seem to adore this ursine family and their quaint neighborhood, making the Berenstain Bearsa regular treat at bedtime in our house, in particular. While we don't love every story equally, we do love the characters themselves, almost unconditionally, like our own family.
In Hug and Make Up, brother and sister bear are fighting with each other, arguing at home, school and everywhere they go together. The whole family is upset by this discord, making everyone including Mama & Papa, grouchy. Eventually the whole family erupts in giggles after sister points out that Mama has her magazine up-side-down while trying to read to distract herself from the cubs unpleasant antics. The laughter breaks the tension and the family realizes they have been silly to fight so much. While this is a sweet resolution, it doesn't do much to teach families how to resolve problems, although it does highlight the value of comic relief.
Like the other digital Berenstain Bears books from Oceanhouse Media, this title is interactive in a way that enhances early reading skills. Most images (of the bears, items around the house & neighborhood), will name themselves aloud while the word briefly appears over the illustration. Settings include the ability to record your own narration, disable sound effects and/or interactivity, as well as a nice page-guide.
The Berenstain Bears books have been favorites of more than one generation of parents and children. Now, thanks to Oceanhouse Media, they have a new life in digital. But even in this modern medium, the messages themselves are timeless. We enjoyed this book and if you need to remind your children about the impact of in-fighting within your family (especially between siblings), this is a great choice!
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Jan and Mike Berenstain
Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
12 - 15 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8 +
Join the Berenstain Bears in this interactive book app as they all wake up grouchy one morning and spend the entire day being angry at each other for no reason! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. How will the Bears learn that hugs are laughter are often the best way to make up? [From iTunes]