© 2017, The Berenstain Bears
How a Berenstain Bears Book Gets Made! Go behind the scenes of a Berenstain Bears book released last year—Thanksgiving All Around—to learn about Mike Berenstain’s illustration process. Thanksgiving All Around is a Lift-the-Flap adventure in which Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, and Honey stroll through the lush autumn landscapes of Bear Country. In search of a wild turkey after stumbling upon his tracks, the Bears find many surprises along the way. --Continued--
“Art is whatever you can get away with.”  Marshall McLuhan Author/Cultural Theorist
Child’s Play The following is the Introduction to Child’s Play, the Berenstain Baby Boom, 1946-1964, Cartoon Art of Stan and Jan Berenstain, by Mike Berenstain, published by Abrams, Inc., 2008. When asked “What is art?” in the 1970s, cultural theorist Marshall McLuhan replied, “Art is whatever you can get away with.”  In Stan’s and my day, it wasn’t.  Talented art students in the Philadelphia area schools in the 1930s were singled out by discerning art teachers, mentored, and sent on for advanced instruction by accomplished artists at the city’s distinguished art schools.  Meeting for the first time at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (now the University of the Arts), we both were surprised and bemused that we would meet at all.  We came from different high schools – city and suburban.  Our backgrounds were different – Jewish and Protestant.  But we thought of ourselves as, simply, American and, primarily, as artists… --Continued--

About the Berenstains

How it all got started Stanley Melvin Berenstain and Janice Marian Grant were both born in 1923 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, growing up in families struggling through the Great Depression. They met in 1941 while attending the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts. Stan was drafted into the Army during World War II and served from 1943 to 1946. Blind in one eye, he was given limited service, and spent most of his army career as a medical illustrator at an army hospital in Indiana. During the war, Jan worked as a draftsman for the Army Corps of Engineers and as an aircraft riveter building the US Navy's PBY flying boat. During his service, Stan began drawing cartoons and publishing them in magazines. Stan and Jan were married right after the war and began careers as a magazine cartoonist team. They published cartoons focusing on humor about children and families in The Saturday Evening Post, Colliers Magazine, McCall's, Good Housekeeping and many more. Many of these cartoons were also published as book collections. The start of their own family came with the birth of son, Leo, in 1948, followed by Mike in 1951. Since both sons were big Dr. Seuss fans, Stan and Jan decided to try their hands at creating a children's book themselves. Their efforts became The Big Honey Hunt, which featured Papa, Mama and, at that time, Small Bear. It was released in 1962 with Dr. Seuss (aka Ted Seuss Geisel) himself as the editor and publisher. More than two hundred Berenstain Bears books have followed in the fifty- three years since, and total sales of the series have topped 250 million copies. A few changes have come along the way: Small Bear became Brother Bear with the birth of Sister in 1974, and the littlest sister, Honey, arrived in 2000. The names, "Papa," "Mama," "Brother," and "Sister," were chosen for ease of reading and to emphasize their archetypical roles in the family. Until the late ‘80s, Stan and Jan continued their work as magazine cartoonists along with their children's book creation. Their son, Mike, had become a children's book author-illustrator in the 1970s and, in the 1980s, joined his parents in their magazine work. By 1992, he had moved on to illustrating and co-writing Berenstain Bears books. Soon the popularity of the Berenstain Bears spread beyond the world of children’s books. The first animated adaptation, an NBC Christmas special called The Berenstain Bears’ Christmas Tree, was produced in 1979. Four other NBC seasonal specials followed in the early ‘80s. From 1985-1986, two seasons of a Saturday morning Berenstain Bears cartoon aired on CBS, and in 2002, PBS created a season of daily Berenstain Bears cartoons. The characters have also been featured as dolls, toys, games, puzzles, software, clothing and many other products. --Continued--
  • Bedtime Blessings
  • Big Machines
  • Bless Our Gramps and Gran
  • Play Football!
  • We Love the Library
Bedtime Blessings1 Big Machines2 Bless Our Gramps and Gran3 Play Football!4 We Love the Library5
© 2017, The Berenstain Bears
How a Berenstain Bears Book Gets Made! Go behind the scenes of a Berenstain Bears book released last year—Thanksgiving All Around—to learn about Mike Berenstain’s illustration process. Thanksgiving All Around is a Lift-the-Flap adventure in which Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, and Honey stroll through the lush autumn landscapes of Bear Country. In search of a wild turkey after stumbling upon his tracks, the Bears find many surprises along the way. --Continued--
Child’s Play The following is the Introduction to Child’s Play, the Berenstain Baby Boom, 1946-1964, Cartoon Art of Stan and Jan Berenstain, by Mike Berenstain, published by Abrams, Inc., 2008. When asked “What is art?” in the 1970s, cultural theorist Marshall McLuhan replied, “Art is whatever you can get away with.”  In Stan’s and my day, it wasn’t.  Talented art students in the Philadelphia area schools in the 1930s were singled out by discerning art teachers, mentored, and sent on for advanced instruction by accomplished artists at the city’s distinguished art schools.  Meeting for the first time at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (now the University of the Arts), we both were surprised and bemused that we would meet at all.  We came from different high schools – city and suburban.  Our backgrounds were different – Jewish and Protestant.  But we thought of ourselves as, simply, American and, primarily, as artists… --Continued--
“Art is whatever you can get away with.”  Marshall McLuhan Author/Cultural Theorist

About the

Berenstains

How it all got started Stanley Melvin Berenstain and Janice Marian Grant were both born in 1923 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, growing up in families struggling through the Great Depression. They met in 1941 while attending the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts. Stan was drafted into the Army during World War II and served from 1943 to 1946. Blind in one eye, he was given limited service, and spent most of his army career as a medical illustrator at an army hospital in Indiana. During the war, Jan worked as a draftsman for the Army Corps of Engineers and as an aircraft riveter building the US Navy's PBY flying boat. During his service, Stan began drawing cartoons and publishing them in magazines. Stan and Jan were married right after the war and began careers as a magazine cartoonist team. They published cartoons focusing on humor about children and families in The Saturday Evening Post, Colliers Magazine, McCall's, Good Housekeeping and many more. Many of these cartoons were also published as book collections. The start of their own family came with the birth of son, Leo, in 1948, followed by Mike in 1951. Since both sons were big Dr. Seuss fans, Stan and Jan decided to try their hands at creating a children's book themselves. Their efforts became The Big Honey Hunt, which featured Papa, Mama and, at that time, Small Bear. It was released in 1962 with Dr. Seuss (aka Ted Seuss Geisel) himself as the editor and publisher. More than two hundred Berenstain Bears books have followed in the fifty-three years since, and total sales of the series have topped 250 million copies. A few changes have come along the way: Small Bear became Brother Bear with the birth of Sister in 1974, and the littlest sister, Honey, arrived in 2000. The names, "Papa," "Mama," "Brother," and "Sister," were chosen for ease of reading and to emphasize their archetypical roles in the family. Until the late ‘80s, Stan and Jan continued their work as magazine cartoonists along with their children's book creation. Their son, Mike, had become a children's book author- illustrator in the 1970s and, in the 1980s, joined his parents in their magazine work. By 1992, he had moved on to illustrating and co- writing Berenstain Bears books. Soon the popularity of the Berenstain Bears spread beyond the world of children’s books. The first animated adaptation, an NBC Christmas special called The Berenstain Bears’ Christmas Tree, was produced in 1979. Four other NBC seasonal specials followed in the early ‘80s. From 1985-1986, two seasons of a Saturday morning Berenstain Bears cartoon aired on CBS, and in 2002, PBS created a season of daily Berenstain Bears cartoons. The characters have also been featured as dolls, toys, games, puzzles, software, clothing and many other products. --Continued--
  • Bedtime Blessings
  • Big Machines
  • Bless Our Gramps and Gran
  • Play Football!
  • We Love the Library
Bedtime Blessings1 Big Machines2 Bless Our Gramps and Gran3 Play Football!4 We Love the Library5