Reading has always been one of my favorite activities. Even when I was a kid. I remember the very first book that I ever read by myself was The Berenstain Bears and the Big Race and I was so excited that I managed to read it all on my own.

So, I'm sad to hear today of the passing of Jan Berenstain, who wrote the Berenstain Bears books along with her husband Stan.

The books were based off of her children, but she has been quoted as saying that she wasn't the one that named them. According to Jan, the bears were actually named by Dr. Suess, she told Scholastic:

That wasn't our decision. The first book we did was called The Big Honey Hunt. We didn't call them The Berenstain Bears. Our editor was Dr. Seuss. When we did the second book, it was called The Bike Lesson, and Dr. Seuss put on the cover The Second Adventure of the Berenstain Bears. So it was Dr. Seuss who named them, not us.

I'm pretty sure that I owned more of the Berenstain Bears books than any other book when I was little. And the books were passed down to my younger brother, and now have been given to my niece. The morals taught in the stories are priceless, and the problems discussed are ones that kids still have today (bullying, manners, being afraid of the dark, etc.). In recent years, the books have tackled modern subjects such as online safety and childhood obesity, and the bears (or their human helpers) answer kids' emails and letters, but the goal is to tell enduring, universal stories.