Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Berenstain Bears...and Jesus?

Anyone else remember the Berenstain Bears? I think I used to own just about every adventure of the oh-so-originally named Brother, Sister, Mama, and Papa Bear. I read in rapt excitement (okay, maybe not quite, but really they were pretty decent) as they learned their manners, blazed a trail, trick-or-treated, and put on a school play about Grizzlystiltskin. I laughed as I got a little older and saw just how much my own parents resembled Mama and Papa Bear. But eventually I became too old, the Berenstain Bears books got put away and I thought of them but rarely.

Rarely, that is, until my friend "Hadassah" and I were perusing the children's section of my workplace and made a happy discovery. The Berenstain bears had experienced a renaissance, both spiritually and physically. After a decades-long dry spell, new Berenstain Bears books are being written, this time by Mike Berenstain, the son of original writers Stan and Jan Berenstain. And this time, they're not just learning how to mind their manners, they're learning how to do so with the help of Sweet Baby Jesus. Titles in the new series so far include "The Berenstain Bears Go To Sunday School," "The Berenstain Bears Say Their Prayers," "The Berenstain Bears: God Loves You," and "The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule." And even though it's amusing to see the characters I'd seen throughout my childhood talking about God all the time, and I still don't know why they inserted a new baby bear named Honey Bear, I'm pretty happy to see the return of the Bears. The original books were pretty great for teachign moral lessons, and spiritual lessons are a good bonus. If I had kids, I'd probably buy the books for them. Heck, I bought one of them anyway and passed it on to my little brother. Anyone else remember the Berenstain Bears? And what other children's entertainment phenomena should be next in line to be Christianized?

5 comments:

Ryan B said...

Oh yes, I remember the Berenstain Bears. They were sweet. They should Christianize Rugrats. That show was awesome.

Christina said...

Hmm, if I saw Christian Rugrats DVDs at work I think I would die of happiness. Except they may be just a little harder to Christianize than the Berenstain Bears.

Bruce IV said...

Wow - almost makes up for the de-Christianization of VeggieTales ...

Christina said...

Speaking of which...Veggietales is coming out with the story of Abraham this month.

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

They added the baby because that's what any TV show does when the children outgrow their cuteness. Case in point: the Cosby Show. Rudy's a cute kid. Then she turns into an awkward teenager. So they add cute little Olivia. Olivia starts to grow up - no problem, they just add copious close ups of the twin babies. No more twin babies? They just added a troubled inner-city cousin. That's how you'll know the Berenstein bears are passed their prime - when they add a dope smoking cousin to the family.