With death of ‘Berenstain Bears’ co-creator Jan Berenstain, Boulder High students remember impact of the books on their childhoods

By Joey Danaher, assistant editor

Many children and adults have been raised in the Berenstain Bears’ tree house, learning with Brother Bear and Sister Bear. After 50 years, the series has produced roughly 300 books.  Authors Janice and Stanley Berenstain married after Stan served in World War II. The couple worked together on magazine comics that had a focus on family. When they had two sons of their own who adored Dr. Seuss, they were inspired to try their hand at children’s books. As the couple has aged, their Berenstain Bear empire has expanded to videos and a TV series.

In 2005, Stan died, leaving Jan and their son to continue the series. Jan recently died on Feb. 24 at 88. 

“I remember they all had a moral lesson in each,” junior Tate Moore said.

These lessons ranged from manners, experiencing stage fright, welcoming a new sibling and preparing to move from a beloved house.

The bears have been a part of many children’s childhood experiences even if the memories are vague.

“I remember that one of them had hair shaped like broccoli and an old grandma,” junior Zivvy Epstein recalled.

Although many members of their audience are well past childhood, the influence of the Berenstains is still remembered.

“It’s definitely sad because she impacted so many kids’ lives,” senior Faye Titchenal said.

The legacy is not going to be lost through the faithful readers and the continued production of the books by their son. Regardless, the tradition of reading the books is ingrained in many families’ lives. As with Dr. Seuss, their books will not soon be forgotten.

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