The Berenstain Bears go on a Ghost Walk is a fun Halloween-themed story, a cautionary tale to remind children that not everyone enjoys scary costumes or props for Halloween.
Here, Papa Bear from the classic series of Berenstain Bears needs to be reined in as he goes overboard in preparing for the children’s school Ghost Walk, as his chosen costume is a gruesome pirate outfit, complete with play dagger, fake sword and blood which disturbs brother and sister bear.
Papa Bear then gets a taste of his own medicine as he has a nightmare of his own, starring the creepy characters that he devises during his preparation for the Ghost Walk. He learns that it is not fun to be scared beyond one’s comfort level and makes changes to his costume so as not to upset children during the Ghost Walk.
This story reminds me of the Halloween when my son was two years old. A neighbor had a motion-activated ultra-realistic skeleton with glowing eyes, lights and sounds all hidden until it was triggered by my son approaching their house. It was too much for my boy to handle, and he began to scream and sob. I will never forget the sight of my son petrified and hysterical, dressed in a fluffy yellow chicken outfit, and a year later he asked me to skip over this house.
I am sure this was not the reaction this family was expecting, and there will also always be some children more into scary things than others, and because of this I enjoy this tale as it has a gentle message about empathy that some kids and even adults may need to remember at this time of year.
At our preschool, they ask for all the scary masks and costumes to be left at home, keeping in mind the feelings of all children. Yet there is always one older kid who pushes these limits. Last year a boy dressed as a mummy in full macabre makeup, raising an eyebrow with many parents.
For children like this who need to be reminded about other children's feelings around Halloween as well as children who enjoy Halloween-related stories, this app is a nice choice.
I enjoy how, although Brother and Sister Bear become scared by Papa Bear's costume, the image itself is not terribly over-the-top, making this book still family-friendly.
I do however, think that my son may actually empathize too much with the scared bear children or Papa Bear during his nightmare because his fright during Halloween years ago gave him nightmares for a few days after as well.
As usual, Oceanhouse Media does a great job adapting this previously published book by the same name, including original artwork, as well as the chance to listen to narration or read this book by oneself. Auto play is an option.
One will notice the panning or zooming around these pages to draw the reader's attention, as well as including some fun festive music and sound effects. Children also have the chance to tap on objects or characters for them to be labeled both in text as well as narration.
It is also nice how this story includes the gentle message that “One person’s fun is another person’s nightmare” while expressing this message in a way that is not specifically religious, as this story is not part of the Living Light Series, tales told from a specifically Christian point-of-view that may not suit the needs of families looking for secular experiences.
All in all, The Berenstain Bears go on a Ghost Walk is a fun Halloween story children will enjoy. I would love to see more early Stan and Jan Berenstain Bear books be adapted in the future.