Jan Berenstain, who wrote and illustrated the Berenstain Bears childrens books with her husband Stan, has died. She was 88.
Berenstain suffered a stroke on Thursday and died Friday, her son, Mike Beresnstain, told The Associated Press.
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Both Philadelphia natives, Stan and Jan met at age 18 in 1941 on their first day of art school. Twenty-one years later, they published the first Berenstain Bears book, The Big Honey Hunt
.Since then, the books have become preschool staples, with more than 300 titles being published in 23 languages. More than 260 million copies have been printed."They say jokes don't travel well, but family humor does," Jan Berenstain told the AP last year. "Family values is what we're all about."
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After Stan's death at 82 in 2005, Mike, an illustrator, collaborated with his mother on recent books, which focused on such modern issues as online safety and childhood obesity. "Every day she was very productive," Mike said. "She was working on two books and had been doing illustrations until the day before she passed away."Besides Mike, Berenstain is survived by her elder son, Leo, a writer who oversees the business end of the family franchise, and four grandchildren.What are your favorite Berenstain Bears books?