The popular "Berenstain Bears" series by Stan and Jan Berenstain are the latest children’s books to allow young readers to put themselves in the middle of their story.
The Berenstains have teamed up with the company Sourcebooks to release versions of at least three of the "Bears" books within the Put Me In The Story e-reading app. "The Berenstain Bears’ Home Sweet Tree," "The Berenstain Bears’ Pet Show," and "The Berenstain Bears and the Talent Show" will all be coming to the app this fall.
Other kids’ titles that have already been made available for personalization through Put Me In The Story include “My Name is Not Alexander” and “My Name Is Not Isabella” by Jennifer Fosberry and Sesame Street Workshop’s “Elmo Loves You.”
“We are delighted the Berenstain Bears will be part of the exciting interactive experience of Put Me in the Story,” Mike Berenstain, son of Stan and Jan, said in a statement. (Stan died in 2005 and Jan passed away in 2012. Mike illustrated many of the “Bears” titles.) “We hope kids and families everywhere will be able to enjoy our books in a fun new way by becoming part of the story themselves.”
In addition to putting a child’s name in stories through the Put Me In The Story app, Put Me allows parents to purchase print versions of the book with a special name, and Berenstain print versions with a child's moniker added will be available beginning in June.
The "Berenstain Bears" books, the first of which was released in 1962, followed a family of bears that included blundering Papa Bear, wise Mama Bear, and their two children Brother Bear and Sister Bear (a third sibling, Honey Bear, was later added). The family usually learned lessons on topics like telling lies and behaving in public. The series was adapted as several TV specials in the late 1970s for NBC and has since been adapted for other channels such as PBS.