Jan Berenstain, of the Berenstain Bears, died last week. I loved the Bears when I was kid and really identified with the tumultuous relationship between Sister and Brother. I was wondering if there was any criticism of the books’ simplicities and formulas, and sure enough there is. But you know what? Kids like formulas. Kids like lessons. Tone is incredibly important, of course, because kids don’t like being talked down to, but having such a rigid structure can be a huge plus. “Overly” simple books aren’t any more damaging to kids than “overly” complex ones.
Anyway, NPR had a nice piece where they talked with Stan and Jan’s son, Mike. You can listen to it here.