Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Stan Berenstain

Stan Berenstain of the Berenstain Bears died this Saturday from Lymphoma. Douglas Martin has written his obituary for the New York Times.

I am sure I have read all 250 Berenstain Bears books over the past years. I first read them to my youngest sister who is 12 years younger than I am (Hi, Kate!) and then to both my children. If there is one thing you can say about the Berenstain Bears, it is that children love them and their world. As an adult, I must admit I've had mixed feelings about the Bears, mostly because of Mama Bear who often infuriates me for in her all-knowing perfection.

But, Stan and Jan's mission was writing for children. And in this, they are a great success. As Martin writes,
  • The Berenstain Bears hail from the mythical land of Bear Country and for more than a generation have helped children just shy of reading age glimpse the connection between stories and pictures, both of which the human Berenstains amply provided....The stories often center on the young bears' anxiety about new experiences, like having a baby sitter or visiting the dentist for the first time. Happy endings and a clear moral are de rigueur.

Good wishes to Jan and all the Berenstain family and here's to a life well lived.

(And check out Camille and Susan's comments on Stan Berenstain at BookMoot and Chicken Spaghetti respectively.)