Last Friday Jan Berenstain, the beloved author of the Berenstain Bears books, passed away at age 88. Jan and her husband, Stan, wrote and illustrated over 300 books together, later assisted by their son Michael.
The Berenstain Bears books were a part of my childhood, as I’m sure they were with many of you. It always warms my heart to know that parents are still seeking out the Bear family, introducing new generations to the goings-on of Mama, Papa, Sister and Brother.
I have learned quite a bit this week about the series’ authors in the many articles that have been released about Jan’s passing. I would like to share some of those facts with you now.
Did you know:
- Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, was their first editor at Random House.
- Stan and Jan met when they were 18 on the first day of classes at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. They married in 1946.
- The couple decided on bears because they are “more like humans” but had first considered using penguins. Imagine how different The Berenstain Penguins would be!
- The first Bears book was The Big Honey Hunt and it was published in 1962.
You can read the full obituary from the New York Times here.
Kerry Clare wrote a very touching post about why children and parents alike love The Berenstain Bears on her blog, Pickle Me This.