When my youngest was in pre-school, one of his favorite books was “The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree.” I can still hear his little voice reciting along with me as we would read the story three and four times in a row.
Jan Berenstain, half of the husband-and-wife team who created the Berenstain Bears series, died a week ago today at age 88 after suffering a stroke. Her husband, Stan, died in 2005. Their books have taught generations of children about things like dealing with siblings, fearing the dark, cleaning their room, minding their manners, not polluting, and the dangers of eating too much junk food.
In “The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food,” Mama Bear notices that Brother and Sister Bear have “gotten in the habit of eating not-so-healthy foods while watching TV, at the movies, and at the mall.” (They may be bears, but their eating habits are certainly human-like). After noticing that Brother and Sister Bear (and Papa Bear, too) are getting a little chubby, Mama Bear decides the junk food needs to disappear.
While Mama Bear changes her family’s diet, human children learn about why eating healthy food is important and how foods affect their bodies. Exercise is also emphasized in the book.
The perfect way to honor Jan and Stan Berenstain and the wonderful work they did would be to get a copy of “The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food” and share it with a child this weekend. Borrow it from the library, buy it from the bookstore, or download on your eReader, stick a child on your lap, and read aloud together.
Do you have a favorite Berenstain Bears book?