Jan Berenstain, who wrote and illustrated the popular Berenstain Bears children's books (and animated TV series, and records, and so on) with her husband Stan, has died at 88 years of age. The Berenstain Bears celebrated their 50th anniversary this year.
Berenstain suffered a severe stroke on Thursday and died Friday without regaining consciousness, her son Mike Berenstain said.
The gentle tales of Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Brother Bear and Sister Bear were inspired by the Berenstain children, and later their grandchildren. The stories address children's common concerns and aim to offer guidance on subjects like dentist visits, peer pressure, a new sibling or summer camp.
From an interview with Jan at Scholastic, via Galleycat:
Why did you decide to give them your name?
That wasn't our decision. The first book we did was called The Big Honey Hunt. We didn't call them The Berenstain Bears. Our editor was Dr. Seuss. When we did the second book, it was called The Bike Lesson, and Dr. Seuss put on the cover The Second Adventure of the Berenstain Bears. So it was Dr. Seuss who named them, not us.
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