Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In Memoriam: Jan Berenstain

Monday brought us the news that Jan Berenstain has passed away after suffering a stroke at the age of 88.  While she isn't the only picture book luminary we've lost recently, she did have unique impact on my life in particular, so I hope you'll indulge me in a brief remembrance.

The Berenstain Bears were a staple in my childhood.  He Bear, She Bear was the first book I ever read (although, to be fair, I probably had the whole thing memorized).  Despite not having seen the attached books for years, I can still vividly recall paws stuck to floors with airplane glue and birds patterned like soccer balls.  I remember my father illustrating the chords that made up the page turning music from their Golden Sight'N'Sound Story, The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Fun House.  I remember taping balloons to paper airplanes a la The Berenstain Bears' Science Fair.  In the tangentally literary realm, I often fought to be the first bear out of the Spooky Old Tree in their board game (always as Sister, thank you very much), and I still have the theme song to their television show pop into my head every time Foursquare informs me that "I'm the mayor!"

Those oh-so-literally-named bears wormed their way into many aspects of my life, always with a welcome invitation, and they've remained there far past most children's books.  Jan Berenstain can rest assured that she and Stan have had a lasting impact on several generations already and many more to come.  Rest in peace.

No comments:

Post a Comment