When I heard about the death of Berenstain Bears co-creator Jan Berenstain earlier this week, my heart sank a little bit. A piece of my childhood had just died. Growing up, the Berenstain Bears was my favorite book series. They were among the first books I learned to read on my own. In fact, those books were probably the reason I fell in love with reading–a hobby I continue to enjoy to this day.
I know I’m not the only one who was touched by the books Mrs. Berenstain wrote and illustrated with her husband, Stan Berenstain, who passed away in 2004. The books contained valuable life lessons as well. I still remember the “stranger danger” book.
Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Brother Bear and Sister Bear were like members of our family, kind of like the Simpsons, but in bear-form and way more wholesome. The first Berenstain Bears book, “The Big Honey Hunt,” was published in 1962, according to an article in the Huffington Post. In total, there have been more than 300 titles which have been published in 23 languages. Talk about a worldwide impact.
Even the Mr. and Mrs. Berenstain are gone, their books will live on forever–gifts that can be passed down from generation to generation. And you’d best believe my future kids will be Berenstain Bears fans as well.