Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Berenstain

Yesterday, Jan Berenstain passed away, a few years after her husband, also her longtime creative partner. Stan and Jan Berenstain created the popular series The Berenstain Bears.
When I left France for the USA with my eleven-months-old daughter, I decided to talk and read to her exclusively in French so she wouldn’t catch my French accent. I trusted the outside world to teach her English.
I stuck to this decision, not only with my eldest but also with her three younger siblings. 
My only exception to the rule was when I discovered the Berenstain Bears. Back then we lived in Palo Alto, two blocks away from Printers Inc. The bookstore had a wonderful selection of children’s books and also good coffee.
I often met a friend, also from Europe, at the terrace on sunny days or at one of the small tables tucked inside the cozy shop on cold rainy days. Our little girls wouldn’t mind our long chats as long as they had a book.
That’s how I started to buy the Berenstain Bears books that I would read in English.
I credit the authors for providing hours of entertainment to my kids and valuable American lessons to their mother.
As one by one, my four children, leave home for college, I have packed many books away.
But I haven’t been able to remove the adventures of Papa, Mama, Brother and Sister Bear from our shelves.
More than any other books I bought for my children, the Berenstain Bears series are filled with precious memories when time only followed the rhythm of childhood.
And to me, they remain the books that introduce me to the American children literature.
Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Berenstain.

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