(I only recently discovered that the book series actually began with “Brother” being an only child, at the time called “Small Bear,” when I found an old book in which the family, with Papa predictably being the doofus, gives lessons on safety during a beach vacation.)
Now I’d be interested to know if the Ein’s vs. Ain’s break down by when you were first introduced to the stories. If they break sharply around a certain decade, the “altered timeline” scenario would suddenly look creepily true.
I always thought the series looked kind of lame, and don’t recall them being among the reading choices for my son when he was growing up in the early 80s.
However, in another lifetime I was once a radio talk show host, and I actually interviewed Stan and Jan. Oddly enough, it was right at the time they published this book, a somewhat unconventional entry in their canon!
I had the books read to me as a child in the '70s, but it was only when my kids began watching the TV cartoons in the last decade that I heard the name in the theme song distinctly pronounced “-stain” and then I noticed the spelling.
I got it right, but only because it was an issue on a Jeopardy! episode about three years ago. The contestant said “-stein” which was accepted at first but later overruled. If she had gotten it right, she would have had an extra $1200 at the end of Double Jeopardy and probably would have won the game. As it was, she lost by $201. I felt so bad for her.
As soon as I saw option #2, which I hadn’t considered, I knew I was going to vote for the wrong one! But, respecting the op’s instructions, I voted for #1 because that was my true response. Hell, I thought I was on the ball because I remembered the additional syllable: Berenstein, not Bernstein.
Wrong on both counts. Nice one!
I knew it was “Berenstain,” because I’ve always kind of thought of the books as a “stain” on children’s literature.
After Mr. Legend read a couple of these in which Papa Bear is almost criminally incompetent and stupid, he asked if we could just get rid of any that we owned (one) and discourage the reading of them to our children anywhere else. We just read a little more Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein and Maurice Sendak and the kids never missed the stupid bears and their stupid overalls. Feh.