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The Berenstain BearsThe Berenstain Bears are a family of fictional bears appearing in a series of children's books written by Stan and Jan Berenstain.
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The family consists of Papa Bear, the carpenter father; Mama Bear, his homemaker wife; and their three children: Brother Bear, Sister Bear, and baby sister Honey Bear.
The inspiration for the characters came when the Berenstains' sons, Leo and Mike, were learning to read, and their parents had an idea for a book they would enjoy learning to read with. This book became The Big Honey Hunt, which was published in 1962 by Dr. Seuss's Beginner Books imprint. The bear family in this title consisted of Mama Bear, Papa Bear, and son Small Bear (later Brother Bear). They began their own line of books about the bears in 1974 with The Berenstain Bears and the New Baby which added daughter Sister Bear to the family and changed Small Bear's name to Brother Bear. In 2000, baby sister Honey was introduced with The Berenstain Bears and Baby Makes Five, after having dealt with Mama Bear's pregnancy in the previous book The Birds, the Bees, and the Berenstain Bears. Between the two books, there was a contest for readers to name the baby.
The family lives in fictional Bear Country alongside many other bear characters, such as Too-Tall Grizzly (the school bully), Queenie McBear (Too-Tall's on-and-off girlfriend and friend of Brother and Sister), Cousin Fred (Brother and Sister's cousin and friend), Lizzy Bruin (Sister's best friend), Bonnie Brown (former part-time model and actress, friend to Brothe and Sister, and love interest of Brother's), Raffish Ralph (a swindler who also goes by the name Ralph Ripoff), and Professor Actual Factual Bear (who runs the Bearsonian Institution).
The Berenstain Bears have appeared in dozens of stories, both in chapter book and picture book format. They have also appeared in a variety of edutainment software and two animated series. The original series was produced by Southern Star Productions in 1985, and featured two 11-minute stories per episode. While the first story to be shown was usually an adaptation of one of the books, a new story would make up the second half of the program. Some of these new stories prominently featured a villain in the form of Archweasle McGreed, who was out "to take over Bear Country lock, stock, and honeypot." Unlike most of the characters from the books, McGreed was created entirely for the cartoon, but managed to find his way into several novel books. The latter cartoon was a short-lived series on PBS, which has since been released on DVD in some regions. A Berenstain Bears ride once existed at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. Today, sons Leo and Mike also take part in the production of new titles, with Leo writing many of the novels and Mike illustrating over 40 of the picture books.
All images and characters depicted on this site are copyright their respective holders, and are used for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.
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