This is really not my typical blogging material. But…
Dark told me on Monday that Jan Berenstain, co-author of the Berenstain Bears, had died. It didn’t really register until last night, when I started looking it up for myself. Then I realized the Berenstain Bears had been a large piece of my childhood.
I love reading; I always have. I remember the Berenstain Bears from when I first encountered them in the first grade. I remember a corner of the classroom where we had a bookshelf with books we could read when we had free time. I went to the library to try to read as many different Berenstain Bears books as I could. The thing I loved most about the Berenstain Bears was that it was all so “relate-able”: I could see how it was wrong for Brother Bear and Sister Bear to misbehave, I could see Mama and Papa Bear’s struggles. At the end of every story, there was always a lesson to learn.
When I was in my adolescence and my sister was regularly enjoying the Treehouse channel, I was thrilled to find that the Berenstain Bears were animated and played regularly on Treehouse! Grown-up, schmown-up – I am never too old for Berenstain Bears! I sat right alongside my sister and watched the Berenstain Bears on Treehouse after school. I am not ashamed to admit it because they are amazing. It is very reminiscent of my childhood and to this day, I would still watch it, given the chance (we cut our cable so no more TV haha).
We have this one. I got my dad to buy it during Book Order at school. Teehee.
I really feel that the Bears have given me so much. It certainly couldn’t have harmed the development of my reading skills, or my love of reading. There were morals and lessons to every book. The TV episodes made me smile and it was time I spent and enjoyed with my sister. And I still love them.
I can’t say I am despairing over the passing of Jan Berenstain, as I obviously did not know who she was except as the name of one of the authors of my favourite Bears. It is their work that I fell in love with. I guess I just wanted to take the time to be properly thankful to Stan and Jan Berenstain for shaping much of my childhood with their creation. And I’m glad I got to share the Bears with my sister. The Berenstains are now gone, but I know the Berenstain Bears will live on for many of us.
My other remembered loves from childhood (we’re talking 1st-3rd grade here) were Amelia Bedelia, The Pony Pals, the Quimby family authored by Beverly Clearly, Robert Munsch, and Roald Dahl (I always used to think his name was Ronald Dahl – it didn’t occur to me until about 5th grade that Roald was missing the N).
Re-reading all of them now would make me enjoy them no less, and would still bring smiles to my face.
How can any child not find Amelia Bedelia hilarious?! She took everything literally. Everything. The same things most kids would mistake the meaning of.
I loved horses. Didn’t every little girl want her own pony?
8 was a very difficult age. I knew. (We have this one too. Also from Book Order)
I can’t decide on any one book to use – I love them all! My first introduction to Robert Munsch was The Paper Bag Princess. She had spunk, I liked her. And I did not realize until just now that Millicent and the Wind (which I own) and Love You Forever were also by Robert Munsch. He is spectacular.
I love them all! And now I want to read them all over again. RIGHT NOW!
When was the last time you revisited your childhood?
(Image sources: quiltpatchlane.blogspot.com; busybeeandrosebud.wordpress.com; http://www.walmart.com; houseofgoose.tumblr.com; farawaynearbybooks.com.au; edweb.fdu.edu; http://www.robertmunsch.com; http://www.roalddahlstore.com)