Mike Berenstain< Back to author list
Mike's earliest memory is of his parents studio in suburban Philadelphia. He remembers sitting on the floor scribbling on yellow typewriter paper with a big black pencil. His mother looked at the tangled hairball he had created, pointed out some random shape and said, "Look! Youve drawn a fish!" It did, indeed, look like a fish. That was his first drawing lesson. Hes been drawing ever since.
Aside from drawing, Mikes primary interests growing up were playing whiffle ball with his older brother Leo, collecting insects, stamps, coins, bottle caps, baseball cards, etc., building model planes, playing Davy Crockett in the backyard and fishing. He was also interested in watching the creation of his parents magazine cartoons during the 50s and finally, the birth of the first Berenstain Bears book in 1962. Hes often asked which is his favorite Berenstain Bear book. The answer is THE BERENSTAIN BEARS PICNIC, created when he was twelve. It features a picture of Papa Bear getting a big load of garbage dumped on his head. He thought this was very funny. Ever since, hes enjoyed drawing garbageapple cores, banana peels, old bed springs and the like.
Mike attended art school in Philadelphia in the early 70s, then worked as a designer in the Childrens Book Department of a New York publisher before starting his career as an author and illustrator. His first childrens book was published in 1976 followed by some thirty more over the next sixteen years. These ranged in subject from wizards to dinosaurs.
Since the late 80s, he has been very much involved as a writer and illustrator with his familys creation, the Berenstain Bears. He continues to work with his mother, Jan, creating new books, writing and illustrating.
Aside from the bears, Mike is interested in many thingsin classical music, American history, astronomy and physics. He likes to ski. He spends a lot of time with horses.
Mike is married, his wifes name is Andrea. They have three children whose antics and activities growing up have provided inspiration for many Berenstain Bears books over the years."