February 24, 2012, Mama Bear passed away, leaving behind gentle memories for those of us who grew up reading their stories and for our children whom we read to and now for future generations to come. The gentle manner in which the lessons were presented was thoughtful, was easy to understand and you knew that in the end everyone would be okay, that the family still loved and cared for each other. The Berenstain Bears have been a major part of most our lives. They are right up there with Dr. Suess, whom I read helped to publish thier first book. What an honor!Of course, from there, in 1962, was the beginning of a very long and successful career of books, toys and just plain good reading and fun.
Reading stories about brother and sister bear, you learned to share, to be honest, to help others in need. Seems the Berenstains wanted to help parents teach thier kids some valuable lessons through the antics of their characters. Making them even more real was the fact that each was based on themselves, their parenting issues. The authors included pieces of themselves in each story so as to expose a bit of weakness, some humor, some reality while bestowing a lesson for the parents too.
I am delighted that their son Michael will carry on the legacy of the bear family that many have come to love. Bears, majestic, beautiful, protective, and yet in these stories, they are vulnerable, human in some ways, playful, kind, and they make you want to hug them. Seems they reached children all over the world with their adventures, their stories, and just good writing. Now, Papa Bear isn’t lonely anymore, he has Mama Bear to keep him company. How sweet is that.