Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Goodbye and Thank You

I was so sad to hear of the passing of Jan Berenstain.  She and her husband Stan created over 300 books in the "Berenstain Bears" series.  These warm family stories used humor to soften the message of the teachable moments they contained.  The husband/wife team worked together on this series for 50 years.  Now their sons are continuing their work. 

As much as I loved the story lines, I also loved the illustrations.  Who doesn't want to live in a treehouse full of teapots and quilts and squishy armchairs?

Here are a few of the books from our collection.

I loved this one!  Mama Bear gets a job doing something she loves - making quilts.

Over the course of their adventures, the brother and sister bear learned the perils of too much television, forgetting their manners, and one of my other favorites:

having a messy room.  I read this one over and over to the kids.  Clearly the message didn't totally sink in with one of them, but the bears and I tried.

  The Bears' Picnic is probably the favorite of everyone in our family.  Papa bear sets out to find the perfect spot, only to be thwarted by forces of nature that are out of his control.  There are a lot of talking points here, even with very young kids - about the nature of authority and questioning it vs. humoring someone even when you think they might have a bad plan.

All of these books have one central theme - family love.  It permeates everything they do, even when members of the family have moments where they get mad or don't get along.  That model is timeless and reading these and many more Berenstain Bears books to my kids was a very happy part of my parenting journey.

Do you remember these books?  Did your family have a favorite?

7 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Melissa said...

We've never owned them but we do read them whenever we do nursery at church.

Cynthia said...

Oh my, these were a favorite of mine growing up and I was SO happy to find my children all enjoyed the books as much as I did. My go-to story is definitely the "Green-Eyed Monster" but there are so many others we've loved as well. Particularly, I am thankful for "...Visit the Dentist" which they each heard in advance of their first trips to the dentist and "...Get Stage Fright" which my daughter has heard many times before a performance. So many wonderful memories!

Tami said...

These were a fav. at our house for many years - and should be in any home with children. The Great Honey Hunt is the best! Jan's death is a huge loss to the literary world.

Handmade Redhead said...

I was so sad to hear this yesterday. These are some of my favorite children's books after Dr. Seuss. I remember reading the Messy Room to my kids over and over hoping it'd sink in too! LOL

Laura said...

Both my younger brother and I read them growing up, but they were more his books than mine. Our dad used to make up lines to go along with the pictures and since my brother had the real words memorized he'd get super frustrated. And then mom would come in and ask dad why he was getting my brother all riled up at bedtime. But we loved the books!

Roslyn said...

Our youngest DGS LOVES Berenstain Bears on the Sprouts channel he comes running when he hears the music!

Sarah said...

We read the book about a new baby bear coming a million times. Fond memories!

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