Monday, July 26, 2010

26th July Jan Berenstain (1923 - 2012) Terry Denton (1950)

Jan Berenstain is half of the husband and wife team who invented the Berenstain Bears, a series of very popular books about a family of bears who behave like and have the same problems as any family of humans. Their first book The Big Honey Hunt was done for the Cat in the Hat books in 1962. It was so popular that they kept on coming up with new titles, and now 48 years later, Jan is still producing Berenstain Bear books with her son Mike. Her husband, Stan died in 2005.

The books are popular because they are fun and easy to read family stories, but they do tackle some serious subjects, such as sibling rivalry, teasing, friendship problems and stranger danger.
In an interview with Scholastic Jan and Stan answered questions that children often ask me, like how old are Sister and Brother?

How old are the Berenstain Bears?
Mama is 27 and Papa is 29. Sister Bear is in first grade and Brother Bear is in third. They won't ever get older!

Why won't the bears grow older?
Stan: Because the books are written for children who are about the same age as Sister and Brother Bear. And we think they'll be more interesting and more fun for our audience. We also do Berenstain Bears Chapter Books, and there are older cubs in those books.

Terry Denton is an Australian illustrator/author whose style is usually of the humorous cartoon type. He has illustrated several series of books, two that Andy Griffiths has written and his own series, one about a very wayward fish called Gasp and another about an adventurous wombat and fox. These series are very popular with the children who use the library. Look on Terry Denton's website for more details about these books.

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