tagged w/ Children's Literature
Famed children's book co-author Jan Berenstain dies
By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:55 PM EST, Mon February 27, 2012
Jan Berenstain authored and illustrated "The Berenstain Bears" books with her husband, Stan.
Jan Berenstain authored and illustrated "The Berenstain Bears" books with her husband
"The Berenstain Bears" books have been in publication for 50 years
The children's books were made into a popular TV series on PBS
(CNN) -- "The Berenstain Bears'" co-creator Jan Berenstain has died at the age of 88, according to a Facebook page dedicated to the furry characters Berenstain and her husband created.
"It is with very sad hearts we inform you that our dear Jan died on Friday, February 24. We are grateful for all of your very kind thoughts. Please remember her family at this very difficult time," said a statement on the Berenstain Bears Facebook page.
Berenstain and her husband, Stan, were already successful cartoonists when they decided to transition to writing children's books.
According to publisher Harper Collins, "The Big Honey Hunt," published in 1962, was the first book starring the bear family.
Since that time, more than 330 "Berenstain Bears" books have been published over the past 50 years, the publisher said.
More than 260 million copies have been sold, making it one of the best-selling children's book series in history, Harper Collins said.
The Berenstain Bears stories were so popular that the storyline was made into an animated TV show special on NBC in 1979 and then a hit daily TV series that began on PBS in 2002.
After Stan Berenstain died at age 82 in 2005, Jan Berenstain and her son Mike continued to write and illustrate new adventures for the Berenstain Bears, according to the Berenstain Bear Facebook page.
Berenstain lived in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, according to her publisher.
Famed children's book co-author Jan Berenstain dies
By the CNN... more
The New York Times
February 9, 2011
Brian Jacques, Writer of Redwall Series, Dies at 71
By MARGALIT FOX
He was a longshoreman and a long-haul trucker; a merchant mariner and a railway fireman; a boxer, a bus driver and a British bobby. But it wasn’t until he became a milkman that Brian Jacques found his métier.
Nearing midlife, Mr. Jacques (pronounced “Jakes”) took a job driving a milk truck in Liverpool, where he was born and lived to the end of his life. On his route was the Royal School for the Blind.
Invited in for a nice cup of tea one day, he volunteered to read to the students. Over time, he grew dissatisfied with the books available — too much adolescent angst, he later said — and vowed to write his own.
He wrote what he called “a proper story,” brimming with battle and gallantry. Titled “Redwall” and published in 1986, it became the first installment in what is now a best-selling 21-volume children’s fantasy series.
Mr. Jacques died on Saturday in Liverpool, at 71. The death was announced by his North American publisher, Penguin Young Readers Group. The Liverpool newspapers reported that he died after emergency heart surgery.
Set at the pastoral Redwall Abbey in the misty English past, the books are written for children 8 and up. They center on the triumph of good over evil — specifically the hard-won victories of the abbey’s resident mice, badgers and squirrels over the marauding rats, weasels and stoats that perennially threaten their peaceable kingdom.
There are quests and riddles; cunning treachery and chivalric derring-do; and, in a feature that became a hallmark of the entire series, groaning boards spread with sumptuous feasts, lovingly described.
Published in more than 20 countries, the Redwall books have sold more than 20 million copies and inspired an animated series, broadcast on PBS in 2001.
Later titles in the series include “Mossflower” (1988), “Martin the Warrior” (1993), “Doomwyte” (2008) and “The Sable Quean,” published last year.
A truck driver’s son, Brian Jacques was born on June 15, 1939, and reared by the Liverpool docks. At 10, after writing a fine short story about a bird and a crocodile, he was caned by his teacher, who thought it too good to have been the work of a child.
He left school at 15 to work as a merchant seaman, the first in a decades’-long series of blue-collar jobs.
Mr. Jacques’s other books include “The Redwall Cookbook” (2005), a collection of recipes for the dishes featured in the series; his unstinting descriptions of food, he often said, sprang from childhood memories of wartime rationing.
He wrote several non-Redwall books, including a series about the Flying Dutchman, the storied ghost ship.
Mr. Jacques’s survivors include his wife, Maureen; two sons, Marc and David; and a brother, Jim.
His 22nd Redwall book, “The Rogue Crew,” is scheduled to be published in May.
As successful as he became, Mr. Jacques could never quite countenance a life in which labor meant sitting in his garden, under an apple tree, with a typewriter.
“I have a working-class ethic,” he told The New York Times in 2001. “I get up in the morning, and I still feel guilty about being a famous author.”The New York Times
February 9, 2011
Brian Jacques, Writer of Redwall Series, Dies... more
While Sarah Palin is certainly making waves with her own best-selling book “Going Rogue,” the former governor and vice presidential candidate is also in the spotlight with a cameo appearance as a heroine in the recently released children’s book “Help! Mom! Radicals Are Ruining My Country!”
In the book written by Katharine DeBrecht, “Governor Sarah” (a character based on Palin) attempts to help two young boys hold onto their dream of a swing-set business which is struggling as a result of high taxes, heavy regulations and 246 czars.
“I am trying to let all Americans know that these radicals are killing the American Dream and I want to stop them from hurting people that produce products and provide jobs,” the Palin character consoles the frustrated boys after their business is destroyed by “Marxus Obunduf” who is based on President Obama.
“I used Palin because I wanted to point out that there is nothing wrong with standing up for your values regardless of who attacks you,” DeBrecht told Foxnews.com. “The book also shows that “Marxus” and his radicals are basically killing the American Dream in their grab for power. I want to tell kids that they can achieve their dreams by working hard and not relying on the government to help them.”
The book also touches on the former governor’s life in the limelight and shows the boys “ruffling through their bills” when they see a special report on the TV.
“We have breaking news just in from a 37-year-old man who lives in his parents’ basement that Governor Sarah’s mother is actually an alien,” the excited anchor woman said. “And from this exclusive source, we can confirm that Governor Sarah feeds her children dog food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”’
And with a moral in every children’s story, the boys learn that it is “mean” to spread rumors about people and that Governor Sarah “seems like a nice lady” and thus feel for a really nice girl in their class who is running for student council and bound to be the victim of malicious and untrue gossip.
“In this Internet age, we need to let our kids know that it is wrong to spread rumors and lies,” DeBrecht explained. “Unfortunately, many so-called journalists have basically told children that this is permissible as long as you disagree with someone’s opinions. Our kids deserve better than the shameful example that has been set before them. What message does this send to little girls who may want to enter the political arena? Don’t you dare lest you be Palinized?”While Sarah Palin is certainly making waves with her own best-selling book... more
...Norma was an award-winning writer for children and young adults...