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November 28, 2005 7:06 PM   Subscribe

Yet another part of childhood gone. Stan Berenstain passed away today. [MI]
posted by bluedaniel (66 comments total)
 
There aren't any news stories to post (that I know of currently), the Berenstain's are neighbors of ours and word is just now spreading around town.

To refresh any memories, Stan and Jan Berenstain are the creators of the Berenstain Bears, of which I'm sure many of us grew up with.
posted by bluedaniel at 7:06 PM on November 28, 2005


Very sad. "The Berenstain Bears' Moving Day" was the first book I ever read.
posted by interrobang at 7:17 PM on November 28, 2005


I dressed up as Papa Berenstain Bear for "Storytime," atthe bookstore I used to work at (I made a co-worker dress as Mama, you gotta draw the line somewhere). I don't think I've ever been hgged as much.

RIP, Mr. berenstain.
posted by jonmc at 7:18 PM on November 28, 2005


My dad used to read me those books changing a few of the words to make it "funnier". I'd protest, "No! Read it RIGHT!!"

Anyway, it makes me sad to hear part of my childhood pass by.
posted by piratebowling at 7:21 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by sbutler at 7:28 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by bardic at 7:35 PM on November 28, 2005


My wife's an early childhood development consultant. She just walked into the room and I read the FPP to her.

Her reaction? "Too bad for his family. But maybe there won't be any more of those books." I gather that the Berenstain Bears are no longer welcome in progressive preschool curricula.

Feel free to put quotes around "progressive" if you disagree with that sentiment.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:36 PM on November 28, 2005


I just read "Bears on Vacation" and "Inside Outside Upside Down" to my kid. Oh well, we all have to go sometime, but if you get to leave a legacy like that, consider yourself lucky.
posted by fungible at 7:36 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by shoepal at 7:44 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by Parannoyed at 7:44 PM on November 28, 2005


Mayor Curley, if you've never read a Berenstain Bears book, I don't understand why you're commenting.

The books are about things like sharing, not watching too much television, not being greedy about toys, being creative rather than passive, not eating too much, and not being obsessed with buying things. Hardly an affront to progressivism.
posted by interrobang at 7:44 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by teletype1 at 7:48 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by LeeJay at 7:49 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by unreason at 7:59 PM on November 28, 2005


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Very sad.
posted by sdrawkcab at 8:00 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by bz at 8:07 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by mayfly wake at 8:08 PM on November 28, 2005


I am sorry for his family and others who loved him. And every man's death diminishes us all. But suffice it to say that his work was not universally held in high regard. However this is not the thread to go further on that subject.
posted by smellycheese at 8:09 PM on November 28, 2005


NO person's work is held in universal high regard, there are always detractors.

Those where good children's books.

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posted by edgeways at 8:14 PM on November 28, 2005


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:(
posted by sugarfish at 8:19 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by Lynsey at 8:19 PM on November 28, 2005


I seem to recall that the books we had in our library at school were about The Berenstein bears. Maybe I've been wrong all this time.... either way, I do remember them as being very sweet-natured books.
posted by bunglin jones at 8:22 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:24 PM on November 28, 2005 [1 favorite]


:--(
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:28 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by cmfletcher at 8:30 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by luriete at 8:35 PM on November 28, 2005


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(Am I missing something? There's nothing in MC's comment to indicate that he's never read any of the books.)
posted by goatdog at 8:37 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by Robot Johnny at 8:42 PM on November 28, 2005


z'l
posted by kosem at 8:47 PM on November 28, 2005


:{
posted by JB71 at 8:49 PM on November 28, 2005


It's certainly sad he passed. Though I am not sure what the criticism is of his books, I can say unequivocally I can't stand them. Maybe it's the surreal, matronly get-up of mama bear.
posted by docpops at 8:52 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by geekyguy at 8:56 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by Busithoth at 8:59 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by one.louder.ash! at 9:06 PM on November 28, 2005


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posted by S.C. at 9:20 PM on November 28, 2005


no offence but wtf is up with the "." posts?
posted by jdg at 9:21 PM on November 28, 2005


OH NOW I SEE
http://www.mssv.net/wiki.cgi?ThePeriod

THX GOOGLETRIMMER™
posted by jdg at 9:22 PM on November 28, 2005


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memories: my childhood obsession with a cross section of the tree house. I wish I could remember the title of that one. ...
Also, reading "The Bike Lesson" to my daughter -- "dad, that doesn't look too hard, going down-hill through a chicken-yard!"
posted by simra at 9:31 PM on November 28, 2005


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"The Bear Detectives" was my favorite. For a long time, I wouldn't let my mom send me to bed without reading it to me.
posted by sambosambo at 9:58 PM on November 28, 2005


I seem to recall that the books we had in our library at school were about The Berenstein bears.

Me too. But I just went and googled and it looks like we are just part of the great population of people who misspell it. (It's really pervasive, though -- there are pictures of book covers where it's clearly spelled "Berenstain", and the captions or articles, on the same page, spell it "Berenstein".)

Anyway, death is sad, but those were some bad books.
posted by blacklite at 4:48 AM on November 29, 2005


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posted by prostyle at 6:05 AM on November 29, 2005


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posted by AJaffe at 6:19 AM on November 29, 2005


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posted by bitmage at 6:21 AM on November 29, 2005


(Am I missing something? There's nothing in MC's comment to indicate that he's never read any of the books.)

It's how you argue on the Internet. My wife doesn't think that the books are good for children, and that runs contrary to interrobang's opinion. interrobang is obviously also an experienced preschool educator. Therefore I am talking out my ass because I married a woman so stupid that she would disagree with interrobang.

It's all very simple.

posted by Mayor Curley at 6:22 AM on November 29, 2005


I can say unequivocally I can't stand them.

It's kind of like Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood: Whether or not you can stand it is dependent on where you were when first exposed to it. I think they are great "safe" books for early readers. But if you're beyond that stage when you first see them, they seem very baby-ish and patronizing. My first experience with them was as an adult reading them to my own kids, so even though I could see the lameness of the story lines, I thought they were good books to read to my kids, along the same lines as "Little Golden Books".
posted by Doohickie at 6:39 AM on November 29, 2005


Oh, and:

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posted by Doohickie at 6:39 AM on November 29, 2005


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posted by May Kasahara at 6:44 AM on November 29, 2005


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That being said, anything after the first dozen of so books is crap. The first books were charming and genuine. The rest were preachy crap. I would not be at all surprised to learn that they were produced by committe rather than by the esteemed Mr Berenstain.
posted by cosmicbandito at 6:49 AM on November 29, 2005


I don't mean to cast aspersions on anyone, but there's still not a hint of this in the media, anywhere.

bluedaniel, have you got anything else?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:59 AM on November 29, 2005


mr_crash_davis, agreed. Living near Bucks County and knowing most of the news web sites that have obits around here, I did a fairly exhaustive search and couldn't find a hint of it either.

Now, there may just be a delay in Net posting, but some source would be most welcome.
posted by hrbrmstr at 7:11 AM on November 29, 2005


Hmmmmmm....good point, mr_crash.

In case the death report happens to be erroneous, I'm ready to unload with a truckload of snark on why these are absolutely the shittiest books ever written for children.

In case not, though, I give the Berenstains an "A" for good intentions and mourn Stan's passing.
posted by soyjoy at 7:12 AM on November 29, 2005




Bluedaniel's pedigree on this sort of thing is pretty good if you look at his posting history, so I'm gonna go ahead and say not a hoax. Sad.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:25 AM on November 29, 2005


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(but I couldn't help but laugh at the forgotten berenstain bears books)
posted by heatherann at 7:27 AM on November 29, 2005


No offense is intended to the recently deceased, but The Little Golden Books series wipes the floor with the Berenstain Bears.

And - smellycheese? Huh?
posted by stinkycheese at 8:07 AM on November 29, 2005


Confirmed.

(So I will save the truckload for another time.)
posted by soyjoy at 8:13 AM on November 29, 2005


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the berenstain bears were important to me as a child. my mom read them to me along with the Little Golden Books, Mercer Meyer books, and countless others both classic and not.

what the Berenstain bears taught me was that even the people you love aren't always right, and can sometimes even be a good example of what NOT to do.

i'm better for that knowledge. thanks, mr. berenstain.
posted by ab3 at 9:22 AM on November 29, 2005


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posted by provolot at 9:38 AM on November 29, 2005


I remember my father reading me The Berenstain Bears' New Baby when I was about two, not long before my sister was born.
It's actually one of my earliest memories.


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posted by Kellydamnit at 9:55 AM on November 29, 2005


As preachy as the Berenstain Bears could be, I think the simple story of Papa Bear building a new bed for Brother Bear is a terrific example of male bonding.
posted by Spatch at 10:02 AM on November 29, 2005


Thanks, soyjoy.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:03 PM on November 29, 2005


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posted by Smart Dalek at 1:36 PM on November 29, 2005


The Berenstain books are, IMO, almost wholly inappropriate for today's culture.

If you think Richard Scarrey's "screaming lady in distress" and "handsome heroic firefighter" are sexist, you ain't seen nothing until you've read a Berenstain book.

I abhor the family model presented by the Berenstains. I think it is very unhealthy.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:21 PM on November 29, 2005


The Berenstain books are, IMO, a great way to prepare children for today's culture's attack on the family unit.

If you think Richard Scarrey's "screaming lady in distress" and "handsome heroic firefighter" are merely easily understood examples rather than offensive declarations of how all things should be, you won't have a problem with reading a Berenstain book.

I love the family model presented by the Berenstains. I think it is very healthy.
posted by Fontbone at 4:01 PM on November 29, 2005


I should have logged on earlier, it would have been difficult to actually confirm it via mass media at the time, but SoyJoy was good enough to find today's mention in the Philly Burbs. My knowledge came only from local talk here in town, and from the lady sitting next to me who knows them rather well.

Normally I wouldn't post something unconfirmed per se (especially a death), and though MeFite's are a staunch crowd with very fine-tooth combs, we're also a mighty sentimental lot when it comes to childhood memories, thus thought you'd want to know about it.

In reading PinkStainlessTail's comment (thank you for the confidence/compliment by the way), I checked my own posting history and damn is it (unintentionally) grim. And I do mean unintentional, that's not a momentum I want to keep, shees.

Speaking of grim, here's a blatent self link that I'd (cough) love to see (cough) as an fpp, but wouldn't dare to of course, thus will toss it in here (cough hurl cough).

hrbrmstr, will you be at Christkindlmarkt?
posted by bluedaniel at 4:58 PM on November 29, 2005


Ah, fontbone, if I had the inclination and the books, I'd point out how time and again the Berenstains teach that mothers should stay at home in the kitchen, that fathers are inept buffoons, that there things that boys can and should do that girls can't or should not do, etcetera.

The Berenstains present a Leave It To Beaver family unit that is pretty damn repressive and not at all representative of our current needs.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:01 PM on November 29, 2005


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