The Washington Post

RIP JAN BERENSTAIN: Co-creator of Berenstain Bears dies at 88

Jan Berenstain works on art for a Berenstain Bears book in January of 2011, in Solebury, Pa. (MEL EVANS/AP)

THEY MET on the first day of art school. As classmates, they often went to the Philadelphia zoo to draw bears. And over more than five decades, Jan and Stan Berenstain sold more than 250-million children’s books.

The anthropomorphic creatures in those picture books, of course, were bears — featuring a wise, assuring Mama Bear and an oft-hapless Papa Bear somewhat modeled after the real-life Berenstains themselves.

On Feb. 24, Janice Marian Grant Berenstain died at age 88 near her near Bucks County, Pa., home, reports The Post’s Emily Langer — seven years after Stan Berenstain’s death.

Jan and Stan Berenstain in 1999. (Gian Luiso/AP)

Langer notes the Berenstains’ other collaborations as cartoonists, writing: “Their work regularly appeared in magazines including the Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s. They began a cartoon series, ‘All in the Family,’ that ran for more than three decades in magazines such as McCall’s and Good Housekeeping.”

Survivors include two sons, illustrator-writer Michael Berenstain and businessman Leo Berenstain, both of whom have worked for the family’s multimillion-dollar Berenstain Enterprises

To read the full Post obituary, you can click here.

Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.

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