Welcome to Bear Country and the imaginations of Stan and Jan Berenstain! Our Storywalk® authors planted the early literacy seeds for over 370 books published since 1962. Stan and Jan Berenstain created a family of bears that have captivated audiences around the world. The books were created with guidance from Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and with the focus of being easy/first readers. The books star a family of bears-- Mama, Papa, Brother and Sister-- who have adventures like human families do—school, camping, nature walks, babysitters, new babies, manners, and car races to name just a few—and they learn a valuable lesson from each adventure.
Our Storywalk® book, The Spooky Old Tree, has the fun of a repeated question and delicious vocabulary like “shivers” and “dare.” Using position words (prepositions), young readers and their caregivers follow a path of “up, through, into, over, down, and out” inside a spooky, old tree, armed with just a stick, a rope, and a light. Conversations with your young ones about the book can include daring to do something scary, facing up to dangers, and feeling safe. Families have fun reading the book, but also take a moment to talk about courage.
The Berenstain's (human ones) met in art school and started out their married life as art teachers. They wanted a career in illustrating comics. They began writing with a focus on parents but then turned to children’s books in the 1960s. Theodore Geisel was their first publisher, suggesting they choose another animal as characters (too many bear books!). On behalf of Mama, Papa, Brother, and Sister Bear, we are grateful that Stan and Jan Berenstain did not listen to that advice. The Berenstain Bear family has outlived their creators, but the creators’ own 2 sons have continued as writers, illustrators, and business managers. The early literacy seeds continue to grow!