There have been hundreds of Berenstain Bears stories published since the first one debuted 1962. Lose a Friend is one of HarperCollins square paperback series, published in 2007. 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 Loose a Friend, the cubs are sad when their fish dies, floating ominously at the top of its bowl. The family rallys to comfort each other with Mama and Papa helping the youngsters deal with their grief. Having a pet die is a unique and teachable moment in many children's lives, making this book an essential read for little ones dealing with love and loss. As the story explains, "It's sad to lose a friend. It makes us wonder why ... But a family's love and care can help us say goodbye."
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 app and if you need a book to help your child deal with the death of an animal, this is a great choice for handling a very specific type of loss that many families encounter. While no explanation is enough to understand the death of a beloved pet, reading stories about similar experiences can help young children to accept and move on after a loss.
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.
Stan, Jan and Mike Berenstain
Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
10 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8 +
Join the Berenstain Bears in this interactive storybook app as Sister experiences heartbreak after losing her dear pet fish Goldie. Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. How will Sister cope with the loss of her beloved pet? [From iTunes]