Last week I was responding to an Instagram post from the San Francisco Public Library (“What is the first book you remember reading?”) and I wanted to check my memory and make sure there really was a book called Bears in the Night (or, as I read it out that first time, “Bears in the Ny-guh-hut”)
So, yes, Bears in the Night does exist, and here’s what else I learned on Wikipedia about how the Berenstain Bears got started:
It seems that Stan & Jan Berenstain had Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss!) as a very tough editor for the first book of their hugely successful Berenstain Bears series. And when the book was finally published in 1962 after two years of tinkering, Geisel urged them to write about a different animal for their next book, because there were “already too many bears” in children’s literature. So they were starting another book about a penguin, when they got a call from Geisel: “We’re selling the hell out of the bear book.”
Guess there was room for some more bears!