E-books and apps have provided all sorts of new ways to tell favourite stories.
The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland was first published in 2008. It fast became a favourite – likeable animal characters (especially the very sweet, “plain but thoughtful” Sheep), rhyming text and lots of opportunities for little readers to ‘roar’.
Finding himself apologising to parents and teachers for requested repeated readings of the book, having strangers recite parts of the story and of course having children roaring at the very mention of The Very Cranky Bear prompted Bland to create an app. Despite being a self-proclaimed “picture-book purist”, Bland sees the The Very Cranky Bear app as an interactive accompaniment to the book.
The app has all sorts of neat surprises – hidden treasures, animated pages and a very nice three-dimensional effect when you tilt your device (so you can really peer into the cave along with Sheep). Choose to have the story read to you (narrated by Australian actor Angus Sampson) or read and record it yourself – I’m sure with so many fans of the Cranky Bear, this feature will be put to work by lots of families.
The Very Cranky Bear app is available from iTunes for $4.49. It is suitable for use on the iPhone and iPad. For ‘picture-book purists’, The Very Cranky Bear is available from Book Depository for approximately $9.50, including shipping.