During the summers of his childhood, Mike Berenstain remembers the annual trips he would take with his family to his grandparent’s beach house in Brigantine, NJ. The Berenstains’ fondness for the beach comes up often in the bear books, and can even be seen in their early “All in the Family” cartoons published years prior to their children’s books.
A drawing by Stan Berenstain in the 1940’s of the 44th St. Pier in Brigantine NJ. Jan and Mike Berenstain at the Jersey Shore around 1954. Stan, Jan, Leo & Mike Berenstain at the Jersey Shore around 1960.
Although the Bear’s beach house has evolved over the years from the tiny bungalow seen in “Bears’ Vacation” to the roomier family home seen in “Pirate Adventure”, all of the Bear books that take place at the beach reference the Berenstain family experience in Brigantine.
The family beach house as seen in Stan & Jan’s comic series “All in the Family” from the 1950’s. Beach House and Mama Bear in “Bears’ Vacation” published 1968 The Bears’ Beach house depicted in “The Berenstain Bears By the Sea” published in 1998. Papa, Brother, and Sister Bear headed to the Bears’ beach house in “The Berenstain Bears’ Seashore Treasure” published in 2005. Bears’ beach house in “The Berenstain Bears Go On Vacation” published 2006 Bears’ family beach house in “The Berenstain Bears’ Pirate Adventure” published in 2016.
To get ready for the summer, we have pulled together a reading list of our favorite Berenstain Bear books that take place at the Beach! We have them in chronological order, so you can see how the characters, the location, and the Bears’ activities evolve over the years!
The Bears’ Vacation, 1968
“Hooray! Hooray! We’re on our way! Our summer vacation starts today!” School’s out, and the Bear family is ready for a vacation at the beach. Whether the Bears are sailing, swimming, surfing, snorkeling, or having a run-in with an angry whale, Father Bear certainly knows how to find trouble.
The Berenstain Bears By the Sea, 1998
Brother and Sister can’t wait to go swimming. But first, there are many jobs to do in the Bear Family’s summer house. There are rooms to clean, groceries to put away, closets to air out, suitcases to unpack, and on and on. Will the cubs ever get to dip their tootsies in the sea?
The Berenstain Bears’ Seashore Treasure, 2005
The Bear family is all set to have a relaxing time at the shore–but that’s before Papa Bear finds a treasure map! Now Papa Bear, Brother Bear and Sister Bear are diving into the task of finding the booty. Might it be silver, gold, glittering diamonds or rubies?
The Berenstain Bears Go on Vacation, 2006
It’s summer vacation, and the Berenstain Bears are off to the seashore for sun and fun. There is so much to do — swimming, fishing, building sand castles, browsing through the general store, eating delicious dinners at Gull Island Café. Each glorious sunrise heralds a new adventure. Even a rainy day becomes a fun day with a visit to Gull Island Museum. Everything they see there tells them a story, from the pirate flag to the splintered oar of a whaler’s dory. Days at the shore pass quickly, and the Berenstain Bears must head home. But they know the sand and sea will call them back soon for another great vacation.
, The Berenstain Bears’ Pirate Adventure 2016
Ahoy, beary! Join the Berenstain Bears as they embark on a high seas adventure full of cannonballs, scallywags, and”of course”treasure in this low-cost paperback format! X marks the spot for Captain Cub, Brown Bear the Pirate, and Honey Bones on the isle of their imagination.
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