Berenstains get wacky!

Well, I’m going to make one last effort to convince you to read The Berenstain’s autobiography.
My recent posts on Stan & Jan have been getting less traffic than the dirt road in front of the Bear family’s tree house, but I’ll soldier on.
One reason that the Berenstains don’t get the proper respect, I think, is that some folks may think that Stan & Jan lacked the creative spark. After all they turned out 200-300 books about the same bear family.
Well, take a look at this:
berens1.jpg
This was their initial drawing for Inside Outside Upside Down.
Don’t try to tell me that’s not kung-fu because it is kung-fu.
But, Dr. Seuss said no. That’s right. Dr. Suess, Mr. WackyTobacckyGetMeTheFlit, told them to convert the book to a bear book.
They did and they did it masterfully, but less wackily, and the result sold 3 million copies.
So maybe Dr. Suess knew what he was talking about saleswise,  but it seems unfair that today he is revered as The God of Wacky and The Berenstains are considered “safe.”
The New Yorker had a fascinating piece recently about Raymond Carver and his editor who hacked and sliced and changed titles like a madman. Well, the Seuss/Berenstain relationship seems to have had a similar thing going.

Folks, I tell you, you’ve got to read this book. You’ve got to read about the crazy alchemy between Seuss and the Berenstains and see how it effects your own work.

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One Response

  1. I’m sorry … I haven’t been around much. I live in NH, and there’s this thing, you know?

    Anyway … I love the Berenstains, and I love Dr. Seuss (who doesn’t?). I didn’t realize that there was a relationship between them, and I’m very interested in looking into it, and reading these other posts that you’ve put up.

    I’ve just been insanely busy over the weekend, and haven’t been able to spend much time doing much else.

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