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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Jan Berenstain, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 7 of 7
1. How Dr. Seuss Helped the Berenstain Bears

In the early 1960s, the great agent Sterling Lord began to work with Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain, helping the couple sell a new children’s book to Beginner Books.

The Random House imprint was founded by Theodor Geisel (who wrote under the legendary pen name, Dr. Seuss). In his new Lord of Publishing memoir, the literary agent recalled how Dr. Seuss dissected the entire first draft in front of the aspiring writers.

We’ve collected Dr. Seuss’ advice below–this draft eventually became the classic kid’s book, The Big Honey Hunt.

continued…

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2. Berenstain Bear Family Responds to Chick-fil-A Controversy

The Jim Henson Company recently ended its relationship with Chick-fil-A after the fast food chain’s CEO Dan Cathy told The Biblical Recorder that he does not support the legalization of gay marriage.

Since then, the chain has filled kid’s meal bags with picture books from The Berenstain Bear series. As controversy spread about Cathy’s stance, the Berenstain family posted an official statement.

Here’s an excerpt: “Our publisher, HarperCollins, is marketing several of their Berenstain Bears titles through a kids’ meal promotion at Chick-fil-A scheduled for August…The Berenstain family does not at this time have control over whether this program proceeds or not. We hope those concerned about this issue will direct their comments toward HarperCollins and Chick-fil-A.” (Via Hollywood Reporter)

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3. Jan Berenstain Has Died

Jan Berenstain, one half of the couple that created The Berenstain Bears book series, passed away this weekend.

The series began in 1963 with The Big Honey Hunt. This GalleyCat editor grew up reading the series and now loves reading Bears in the Night with his daughter. What is your favorite Berenstain Bears book?

In a Scholastic interview, Berenstain shared the story of how she created the series with her husband Stan Berenstain. Both are pictured above…

continued…

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4. Creator of Berenstain Bears Passes Away at 88

The Berenstain Bears

According to the AP, Jan Berenstain, who with her husband, Stan, wrote and illustrated The Berenstain Bears books that have charmed preschoolers and their parents for 50 years, has died. She was 88.

Berenstain, a longtime resident of Solebury in southeastern Pennsylvania, 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.

The first Berenstain Bears book, “The Big Honey Hunt,” was published in 1962. Over the years, more than 300 titles have been released in 23 languages — most recently in Arabic and Icelandic — and have become a rite of passage for generations of young readers.

“They say jokes don’t travel well, but family humor does,” said Jan Berenstain told The Associated Press in 2011. “Family values is what we’re all about.”

Stan and Jan Berenstain, both Philadelphia natives, were 18 when they met on their first day at art school in 1941.

They married in 1946, after Stan Berenstain returned home from serving as a medical illustrator at a stateside Army hospital during World War II. During that time, Jan Berenstain worked as a draftsman for the Army Corps of Engineers and as a riveter building Navy seaplanes.

Before their family of bear books was born, the young couple had already built a successful career in periodicals. A cartoon series they produced called “All in the Family” ran in McCall’s and Good Housekeeping magazines for 35 years, and their art appeared in magazines including Collier’s and The Saturday Evening Post.

Stan and Jan Berenstain created hundreds of books until Stan Berenstain’s death in 2005 at the age of 82.

Mike Berenstain is an illustrator who collaborated on the books with his mother in recent years. His elder brother, writer Leo Berenstain, is involved with the business end of the family franchise.

The books in recent years have tackled modern subjects such as online safety and childhood obesity, and the bears (or their human helpers) answer children’s emails and letters, but the goal is to tell enduring, universal stories. Perennial favorites cover challenges of getting kids to doing chores, defuse fears of the first day of school and teach values of kindness and generosity.

“It’s wonderful to do something you love for so many years,” Jan Berenstain told the AP in 2011. “Not everyone has that.”

About 260 million copies of Berenstain Bears books have been held in the hands of children and their parents since the earliest books were published with the help of Theodor Geisel, a children’s books editor at Random House better known as Dr. Seuss.

Mike Berenstain said his mother worked daily at her home studio in an idyllic part of Bucks County, north of Philadelphia, which served as inspiration for the books’ setting. He said he will continue writing and illustrating future Berenstain books.

“Every day she was very productive,” he said. “She was working on two books and had been doing illustrations until the day before she passed away.&

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5. Gallimaufry Friday

The past seven days have been busy ones for lovers of children's literature. Here are some of the highlights that kept me blogging and tweeting all week.

Last Sunday I stayed up past my bedtime to watch the Oscars to the end (11:30). Although much was ho-hum, Christopher Plummer and Meryl Streep gave classy acceptance speeches. I haven't had a chance to see Hugo (it's on my list), but I was still glad it snagged five awards. I did watch The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, a short animated film by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, and you can too, here.

In sad news, Jan Berenstain, who with her husband Stan created the Berenstain Bears series, died last Friday at age eighty-eight.

I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of A Brief History of Picture Books.

Be sure to check out February's Carnival of Children's Literature over at The Fourth Musketeer, cleverly tied to Mardi Gras. It has a fantastic roundup from kidlit bloggers, including a post by yours truly.

Publisher's Weekly gives us a sneak peek of some upcoming fall  children's books.

Yesterday was National Pig Day. I have a fondness for pigs (surprisingly smart animals), as does my daughter. Imagine children's literature without pigs. Why, there would be no three little pigs, no Piglet, no Wilbur, no Mercy Watson.

And last, but by no means least, today is the birthday of Dr. Seuss, born in 1904. Here are seven facts you might not know about the good doctor, courtesy of Huff Post. Back in 1997, NEA started Read Across American and tied it to his birthday. There are tons of events throughout the country. Check here to see what's taking place in your state. March 2 is also the day the movie The Lorax debuts. I've found other recent Seuss movies unwatchable (Jim Carey's The Grinch. Need I say more?), and unfortunately this one might be another, at least according to a review in today's NY Times.

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6. Jan Berenstain Remembered & Professor Snape Tweets: Top Stories of the Week

For your weekend reading pleasure, here are our top stories of the week, including tributes to the great Jan Berenstain, Professor Snape‘s massively popular Academy Award tweet and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore Oscar win (the complete film is embedded above).

Click here to sign up for GalleyCat’s daily email newsletter, getting all our publishing stories, book deal news, videos, podcasts, interviews, and writing advice in one place.

1. Professor Snape ‏Wrote the Most Popular Tweet of the Academy Awards
2. Jan Berenstain Has Died
3. Free iTunes U Courses for Writers & Readers
4. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore Wins Oscar for Best Animated Short
5. One Million Moms Group Targets Archie Comic
6. Hunger Games Soundtrack List Unveiled
7. How To Find Free eBooks on Pinterest
8. Jackie Collins to Self-Publish
9. Mass Market Paperback Sales Down Nearly 41%
10. Why Self-Published Authors Need Editors

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7. Jan Berenstain Has Died

Jan Berenstain, one half of the couple that created The Berenstain Bears book series, passed away this weekend.

The series began in 1963 with The Big Honey Hunt. This GalleyCat editor grew up reading the series and now loves reading Bears in the Night with his daughter. What is your favorite Berenstain Bears book?

In a Scholastic interview, Berenstain shared the story of how she created the series with her husband Stan Berenstain. Both are pictured above…

continued…

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