Behind the Scenes under the Sea

Behind the Scenes: Under the Sea

Our Newest Book The Berenstain Bears Under the Sea Comes out this month on April 19th Through Harper Collins. Check out all of the prep work behind Under the sea, and some of the featured creatures!

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Before starting on a book, Mike Berenstain does some research. In Under the Sea one of the stops the Bear Family makes is to visit a coral reef, and he wants to make sure every creature is depicted accurately. After some preliminary research a sketch is created.

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In the Coral Reef scene there is a lot going on. The sketch is a good way to layout how the animals will interact with each other and create the composition of the page . Once the page is laid out it is time to add color!

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Once the final watercolor is finished, text is added digitally, and the spread is ready to print.

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Below are some of the animals featured and their real life counterparts. You can see how the animals are depicted to fit into the world of the Berenstain Bears!

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Clownfish.jpg

Starfish.jpg

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Octopus

Moray Eel

These are only a few of the many animals featured in Under the Sea, keep an eye out at your local bookstore for Under the sea, or pre-order online today!

 

 

Back to School Reading Header copy

Back to School with the Berenstain Bears

With just a few weeks of summer left, back-to-school season is almost here! Whether your cubs are starting a new grade or attending school for the very first time, the Bear family has stories to help get them through all the troubles, triumphs, and new experiences they may face this year. Click on the images below to view them at full size!

The Berenstain Bears Go to SchoolGo to School copy

The Berenstain Bears and the Excuse Note

Excuse Note

The Berenstain Bears and the Homework Hassle

Homework Hassle

The Berenstain Bears Come Clean for School

Come Clean for School

The Berenstain Bears Sick Days Sick Days
The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble at School

Trouble at School

The Berenstain Bears’ Class Trip

Class Trip

The Berenstain Bears and the Big Spelling Bee
Big Spelling Bee
The Berenstain Bears Get Ready for School

Get Ready for School
Good luck, and happy reading!

Summer Reading Guide copy

The Berenstain Bears’ Summer Reading Guide

With the changing of the season comes summer vacation, warmer weather, and lots more time for little cubs to get reading! Here are our picks for the books most suited to the long, hot days of the next three months. Click the pictures to view them at full size!

The Bears’ Vacation

The Bears' Vacation

The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Car Trip Too Much Car Trip The Berenstain Bears’ Lemonade Stand

Lemonade Stand

The  Berenstain Bears’ Dinosaur Dig

Dinosaur Dig

The Berenstain Bears Gone Fishin’ Gone Fishin The Berenstain Bears’ Seashore Treasure Seashore Treasure The Berenstain Bears God Bless Our Country God Bless Our Country The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Vacation

Too Much Vacation

The Berenstain Bears Go to Camp Go to Camp Happy reading!

Hospital Friends header copy

Behind the Scenes: The Berenstain Bears Hospital Friends

On April 21st, HarperCollins Children’s Books will release a special new Berenstain Bears book: The Berenstain Bears Hospital Friends. Hospital Friends represents the fulfillment of the Berenstains’ long-cherished dream of adding a story about visiting the hospital to the Berenstain Bears series. All author’s royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to the Stan and Jan Berenstain Healthy Kids Foundation, which is devoted to the funding of children’s health and well-being initiatives!

In order to make Hospital Friends as accurate and informative as possible, Mike Berenstain based the book’s illustrations on sketches he made while visiting a local children’s hospital. Read his account of the process below, accompanied by a few sneak peaks of the finished book alongside the sketches that inspired it!

Being given the run of a children’s hospital to do visual research by on site sketching was crucial to making The Berenstain Bears’ Hospital Friends as medically accurate and authentic as possible. It was also very satisfying for me as an artist to be able to directly experience and record the behind-the-scenes workings of this great institution. An additional personal reward for me was the opportunity to witness my wife, Laura, in action in her professional role as anesthesiologist–something I would not, otherwise, be allowed to do–there is no normal provision for “Spouse’s Visiting Day” in the OR. Over many days, I visited and sketched several ORs, pre-op and recovery rooms, Radiology, Physical Therapy, the Emergency Department, waiting rooms, a patient unit, and an outpatient surgery center. In addition to using this experience for the general background of the book, I tried, wherever I could, to use the literal scenes, poses and situations of the patients and medical staff I sketched as the basis for the characters and scenes in the book. The only difference is that instead of people–they’re bears! Everyone at the hospital was immensely gracious and cooperative in making this possible. They all seemed genuinely pleased to have me there, constantly getting in their way, as they went about the immensely demanding and exacting work of providing care for those children who need it the most.

– Mike Berenstain

Walker

Ambulance

Ambulance Interior

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Corridor

Doctor Bedside

MT - Drum

MT - Mandolin

PT - Treadmill
Pre-order The Berenstain Bears Hospital Friends today!

Thanksgiving All Around copy

Behind the Scenes: Making Thanksgiving All Around

The Bear Family has a new Thanksgiving adventure this year in Thanksgiving’s All Around, a Lift-the-Flap book recommend for children ages 4-8. In it, Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, and Honey stroll through lush autumn landscapes. In search of a wild turkey after stumbling upon his tracks, the Bears find many surprises along the way.

To get an insider’s look at how this book came together, check out our Q&A with author and illustrator Mike Berenstain below.

Thanksgiving All Around is a Lift-the-Flap book. Could you talk a little about the mechanics of illustrating a book in this format?

Lift-the-Flap books are very difficult to design—they’re like putting together an elaborate puzzle. The story has to be planned around a series of hidden surprises, these hidden elements must be logically worked into each illustration and each flap that covers the surprise must be created as a separate illustration which much line up precisely with the illustration underneath.

TGiving

The book takes place, of course, in November. What sort of adjustments do you make when illustrating the Bear Country landscape in autumn?

Everything needs to take on a mellow autumn tonality—the greens are a warmer, yellower hue, autumn leaves must be a variety of yellows, oranges and reds.

Turkeys

Do you make any changes to the characters to reflect the season?

The Berenstain Bears are quite cold-tolerant—after all, they have thick fur. So, they only wear jackets and scarves when things get very chilly.

In addition to Bears, Thanksgiving All Around features all sorts of animals, like a woodchuck, kittens, turkeys, and more. How did you decide which animals to include?

The decisions about which ones to include was based on what would work with the flap book format. For instance, the idea of making a cloud in the sky into a flap suggested having a flock of geese flying by underneath.

Clouds and Geese

What is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving?

Pumpkin pie, without a doubt!

Pie

Thanksgiving All Around was published by HarperCollins on August 26th.
You can purchase it online here.

Celebrating 50 Years

       Our blog this year has reflected on the Berenstain Bears and their creators Jan, Stan, and Mike Berenstain as they mark their 50th Anniversary.

       In celebration of our anniversary, HarperCollins Children’s Books and Random House Children’s Books worked with Jan and Mike to document the creation of the Berenstain Bears.  Filmed just 3 weeks before her death in February 2012, Jan never saw the completion of the five videos.  Now, for the first time ever, Random House and HarperCollins have  released excerpts from this phenomenal interview for all to see.

       We are very grateful to Harper Collins and Random House for these wonderful and very timely videos of our beloved Jan Berenstain.

       The interviews are available on the Berenstain-ology tab of the Parents Den on our website: 

50th Anniversary Interviews

www.berenstainbears.com