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Authors And Illustrators: Stanley And Janice Berenstain

889 words - 4 pages

Stan and Jan Berenstain are considered to be one of the most prolific literary duos in the field of children’s books. The Berenstains’ catalog consists of over three hundred titles, and they have sold more than two-hundred and fifty million copies worldwide. There have also been; three animated series, five NBC holiday specials, more than twenty television movies, and several educational software titles. The Berenstain Bears series sells approximately 2.5 million books a year and is published in over twenty-three languages. (“Berenstain Facts”)
Both Stanley Berenstain and Janice Grant were born in 1923 and grew up in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. They met in 1941, on the first day of ...view middle of the document...

(M. Berenstain)
The Berenstains had two sons; Leo, born in 1948, and Mike, born in 1951. Their sons were often the inspiration for themes in their cartoons and stories. For example, Leo’s challenges, while learning to ride a two-wheeled bicycle, became a story line, in an It’s all in the Family cartoon, published in the January 1959 McCall’s. Mike joined his parents in the 1980s handling some of the magazine work. Eventually, he began illustrating and co-writing the Berenstain Bears series in 1992. Leo runs the business side of the operation. Stan Berenstain passed away in November 2005, and Jan passed away in February 2012. (Martin)
The first bear story began in 1962 and was called The Big Honey Hunt. It is a story about a family of bears who live on a sunny dirt road in bear country. The Berenstains’ mentor was Theodor Geisel, president and editor-in-chief of Random House, Beginner Books division. He is better known as Dr. Seuss. During the creation of their first children’s story, Dr. Seuss provided guidance to Stan and Jan. He provided them insight into developing “their trademark simplicity in language and illustrations” (Vitello).The second in the Berenstain Bears series was also about learning to ride a two-wheeler bicycle. It was in this book that Dr. renamed them, Stan and Jan, and renamed the series The Berenstain Bears. (Berenstain, S. and Berenstain, J.)
The Berenstains chose bears as the characters since they display humanistic qualities; such as standing on their hind legs and they were easy to dress. The Berenstain Bears series focuses on family values; it also deals with difficult subjects such as teasing, strangers,...

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