Tuesday, February 28, 2012
28th February Jan Berenstain
I'm not sure if this is an example of serendipity, but it is certainly a bit unnerving. In my library, series of picture books are kept in blue boxes on the bottom shelves. We do this because these are the most popular books in the library, there is a lot of them and if they are interfiled on the shelves, the shelves are always a mess. Today one of the kindergarten children had the box of Berenstain Bear books off the shelf so that she could browse through it to find the book she wanted. Later in the lesson I asked her to put it back on the shelf and she picked it up to do so and the bottom of the box gave way and all the books dropped onto the floor. She was devastated, but we picked them up and I assured her we could fix it or make a new box. Then later when I had a few minutes between classes I checked my email, to find that I had an email from the head of prep saying that Jan Berenstain had died. Certainly not good news, but given her age (88) and her immense body of work it was one way to be reminded of her presence in our library. In fact, so often it is one of her books that a child brings to me and saying, 'I can read this by myself'. It is the first book they have read by themselves and they are so excited that they want to read it to you. I never get sick of hearing Inside Outside Upside Down or He Bear She Bear because of the joy that goes with them and the excitement that comes with the creation of a new reader.