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‘Berenstain Bears’ Co-Creator Jan Berenstain Dies at 88

Berenstain Bears, Facebook

Fans of the Berenstain Bears children’s books are in mourning today after it was announced that co-creator Jan Berenstain died of a stroke on Friday at the age of 88.

Jan and her husband Stan (who died in 2005) created the Berenstain Bears back in 1962, and since then, the family — consisting of a Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Brother Bear, Sister Bear and later a Baby Bear — has appeared in some 300 books, which have sold upwards of 260 million copies in more than 20 languages. The Berenstain Bears have also had two television series, and they’re featured on a wide variety of products.

The bears typically learn a moral or safety-related lesson in each story, and while some critics have derided the books (covering everything from bullying to poor sportsmanship) as formulaic and sticky-sweet, Stan once said of his fictional family, “Kids still tell fibs and they mess up their rooms and they still throw tantrums in the supermarket … [but] nobody gets shot. No violence. There are problems, but they’re the kind of typical family problems everyone goes through.”

What was your favorite Berenstain Bears book?

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