The Berenstain behind Papa Bear

Character Profile

October 06, 1999|By Tom LoBianco

Sporting blue overalls, an orange flannel shirt and a brown hat, Papa Bear is the collaborative creation of Stan and Jan Berenstain. He lives with his two children and wife, Ma Bear, in a comfortably furnished tree. Their wooden abode lies amid rolling green hills and farms in a simple setting.

Whether he's leading bear scouts or adventurous space bears, Papa Bear maintains a resemblance to his co-creator, Stan Berenstain. Though much furrier than Berenstain, Papa Bear shares with Berenstain a goal of teaching values to children. It is often Ma Bear, however, who delivers the story's moral.

In an interview in the book "Something About the Author," Stan Berenstain says, "A great deal ... came directly from our experience. The one about riding a bike came directly from teaching our sons to ride. There are others as well -- some of our present books are based directly on our experiences as parents, such as in 'The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room.'"

The Berenstains have been writing about the Bear family since 1962 and have written more than 135 books. Their most recent is "The Berenstain Bears Mad, Mad, Mad Toy Craze," published this year.

Dealing with everyday problems, such as going to the dentist and cleaning rooms, are only some of the Berenstain Bears' adventures. To read about the Berenstain Bears, visit their Web site, www.berenstainbears.com, or look for these titles:

* "The Bear Detectives"

* "The Berenstain Bears' Christmas Tree"

* "The Berenstain Bears' Trouble With Money"

* "The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV"

* "The Berenstain Bears meet Santa Bear

Pub Date: 10/06/99

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