Who didn’t love the Berenstein Bears as a child? I can still remember going to my local library to check them out and begging my parents to buy me my own copies. I remember reading about the perils of eating too much junk food and not cleaning one’s room. Looking at those covers brings me back to my childhood more than almost any other books. I loved the beautiful illustrations and simple messages, why is perhaps why they’ve become such timeless classics and I can still appreciate them as an adult.
Mrs. Jan Berenstein, who created the series with her husband, died at the age of 88 this weekend. This post is in honor of both of them and the lifetime of work they left behind. The couple met during WWII, when he worked as a medical illustrator and she as a draftswoman for the Army Corps of Engineers. They had two sons together, and it was their sons’ love of the Dr. Seuss books that prompted them to try writing and illustrating a children’s book of their own. With input from Theodore Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) himself, they began working on the Berenstein Bears series. They published more than 300 books over their career, making them responsible for teaching and reiterating good values to millions of children. Their sons will carry on this tradition and have plans to publish 19 more books in the series this year. It’s good to know the Berenstein Bears will stay alive for future generations. There are always more lessons to be learned!