In Loving Memory of Jan Berenstain

Did you have a series of books you would read more than others as a kid?

Here at the BYU Bookstore we have shared some popular series  that we read back in the day like Clifford, Dr. Seuss, Toad and Frog, or the Magic School Bus.

My favorite series that I read most was the Berenstain Bears.

It was a popular one in my family of six kids. To this day my mom still refers to "The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Television," quoting the line, "In the past the Berenstains used to have many lively conversations but lately the bear family just sat around and chewed."

Perhaps there was a bias in children book selection by the time I came around in my family (I am the youngest), I recall receiving many hand-me-down books, and we mostly had the Berenstain Bears. This series did a lot for me, it taught me how to not fear the doctor, how to be a better friend, how to have a balanced lifestyle, how not to judge others, and eventually how to enjoy reading.

In third or fourth grade I had an issue transitioning from storybooks to chapter books. I was a competent reader, but I had a hard time enjoying reading until I pulled out a Berenstain Bears chapter book. It made it easier because I knew the Bear family well and came with the occasional picture. I don't remember what the book was about, but I do remember how the book helped me overcome my fear of chapter books and how it helped me catch up to my peers to the right reading level without embarrassment.

Jan and Stan Berenstain not only helped me deal with the concerns and troubles I had as a child, but they also taught many other people valuable lessons about life, family, and friendship. Although I don't read the Berenstain Bears for personal reasons anymore, I will always hold a place for Jan and Stan Berenstain in my heart and will remember how much I loved them as I read their books to my nieces, nephews, and children.

Stan Berenstain died in 2005 and Jan joined him a week ago. Thank you two for your great children series. May you rest in peace.

The BYU Bookstore carries the Berenstain Book series in the Children section located downstairs.

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