Oceanhouse Media adds to its eBook library with another fun holiday title featuring the Berenstain Bears: The Berenstain Bears Trim the Tree, based on the lift-the-flap book by Mike Berenstain. I reviewed the Apple versions of the app for the iPad and iPhone.
In The Berenstain Bears Trim the Tree the Bear family — Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear — decorate their Christmas tree. The illustrations are bright and colorful, and the abilty to "lift" the flaps will amuse young children. Parents can share their own holiday traditions as they read about the Berenstain Bears and Sister's favorite angel ornament.
Although an eBook, it mimics the lift-the-flap features of the original, with shadowed areas showing children where to tap the flap. When the screen is tapped, the flap flips open or closed.
There are three ways to enjoy the story:
"Read to Me" — The narrator reads the story, each word highlighted as they go. Children can tap an illustration with their finger to cause associated words to pop up, such as "Papa Bear," "Christmas tree," "ornament," and "angel," as well as tap the flaps to reveal a surprise.
"Read it Myself" — Children can read the story at their own pace, but still have the option to turn the pages by swiping and highlight words by tapping on the illustrations, flip open the flaps.
"Auto Play" — The narrator reads the story, with each page turning automatically. In this feature children can still tap the pictures to see highlighted words and tap to reveal the illustrations beneath the flaps.
The ability to discover what's hidden beneath flaps works seamlessly with the other many interactive features that have become standard in these ebooks: swiping to turn a page and tapping pictures to highlight words. The Berenstain Bears Trim the Tree is a fun holiday app that adds another level of interactivity to ebooks.