Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
Jan Berenstain, who inspired Mama Bear and co-created the beloved Berenstain Bears book series, passed away from a stroke on February 24 at her home in Solebury, PA. She was 88 years old.
Along with her husband, Stan, who passed away in 2005, the husband-and-wife team collaborated on writing and illustrating simple and sweet stories, with good family values and strong morals, for preschoolers. Each book focused on a specific lesson, as experienced by human-like Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Brother Bear, and Sister Bear. Their first book, “The Big Honey Hunt,” was published in 1962 by Random House under the guidance of children’s book editor Theodor Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss), who encouraged them to rhyme each story’s text.
There are now over 300 titles in the Berenstain Bears series, published by HarperCollins, that have sold more than 260 million copies worldwide, in 23 different languages. In addition to books, the Berenstain Bears have been featured on TV cartoons and movies, toys, clothes, video games, and mobile apps. There is even a show touring around the country, The Berenstain Bears Live! in Family Matters the Musical.
The Berenstain’s two sons, Leo and Mike (who helps illustrate the books), will continue the family business and 19 new titles will be released this year.
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
This post is written by John O’Sullivan, Digital Art Production Manager for Parents magazine.
Our daughter has a weird nickname. It’s “The Emily Bear Show.” Neither my wife nor I are completely certain how it solidified. But, like any good nickname, it stuck.
So, when we had the opportunity to take The Emily Bear Show to an Off-Broadway bear show, we certainly snapped at the chance. We took her to “The Berenstain Bears Live! in Family Matters, the Musical,” a touring show now playing in New York City.
Seeing the Berenstain Bears again—and this time in the flesh—brought about flashbacks from my own childhood. The show was taken from the books. And, just like the classic stories, the musical brought about an entertaining and informative lesson on living the good life—ursine or otherwise.
Of course, Emily’s favorite bit involved Father Bear splitting his pants because he indulged in a few too many candy bars. Pants splitting is always a win-win in early childhood comedy.
The show is a perfect introduction to the realm of musicals for your little ones. It was long enough to entertain, but not too long for jumpiness to ensure. There’s face painting if your kid wants to become a bear, and the cast poses for pictures on the way out. It was a great experience for our little Emily Bear Show, it’ll be great for your little one…even if he or she has a relatively normal nickname.
The show is extended through October, and it can be found at the MMAC Theater at 248 West 60th Street in New York City. More info about the touring show is available at http://berenstainbearslive.com/