Berenstain Bears for Poppy Time

Berenstain Bears for Poppy Time (Photo credit: wickenden)

How Many Berenstain Books Do You Have?

We have five, of the more than 300 books Stan and Jan Berenstain wrote.

The only author we have more books of is Dr. Seuss.

My six-year-old grandson counts these among his favorite books. They are among the few books he asks me to read over and over again.

They were his father’s. We bought them or he was given these books between the ages of two and six.

Are There Really Any People Named Berenstain Who Write About Bears?

Jan Berenstain died last week, February 24, a week after a stroke. She was 88. Her husband, Stan, died at 82 in 2005.

They met at art school and began a lifelong collaboration that started with cartoons.

After noticing their children’s fascination with Dr. Seuss, they decided to try children’s books. They chose bears as the main characters because they were easy to draw.

Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodore Geisel, was a children’s book editor at Random House, where the Berenstains submitted their first book. He edited the first in the bear series, then sixteen more.

It was Geisel who shortened their names to Stan and Jan, from Stanley and Janice,  so they would rhyme.

Tomorrow, March 2, I will be reading a Dr. Seuss book at a local elementary school to celebrate Read Across America.

The Berenstain Bears’ series went on to sell more than 280 million books.

Click here to read Jan Berenstain’s obituary in The Washington Post.

What Lessons Do the Books Teach?

For parents, putting children in charge of their lives and teaching them the right thing to do in a set of timeless lessons makes the books delightful.

  • Courage – facing up to your fear of going to the dentist
  • Kindness – not allowing Big Brother to tease Sister about her fears
  • Responsibility – poor manners have consequences, even if imposed by Mama
  • Equality – even Papa has to observe good manners
  • Confidence – bullies eventually lose their friends
  • Change – moving can lead to new friends and fun.

For children, enjoying the bear illustrations and watching Sister and Brother navigate common, everyday problems with caring and confidence gives them a model for their own lives.

Have Your Grandchildren Discovered the Berenstain Bears?

Every library is likely to have copies of the Berenstain Bears books.

They have been favorites since the first book, The Big Honey Hunt, was published in 1962.

Now, it almost time for my grandson to read them to me.

If you would like to order copies of the books mentioned above from amazon, click below.

  • Click here to order The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day
  • Click here to order The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby
  • Click here to order The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist
  • Click here to order The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners
  • Click here to order The Berenstain Bears and the Bully
  • Click here to order the 40th anniversary edition of The Big Honey Hunt

To you and the timeless lessons you teach your grandchildren.

Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Click here to order “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers”