GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., January 21, 2009—Zonderkidz™, the children’s division of Zondervan, is releasing four new titles in the popular Berenstain Bears® Living Lights™ series with a focus on faith. The first four titles in the series authored by Jan and Michael Berenstain together sold more than 100,000 copies in just six weeks after releasing in fall 2008.

The next four titles in the series will release in May and August 2009 with The Berenstain Bears® Play a Good Game (May 2009, ISBN: 978-0-310-71252-7), The Berenstain Bears® Love Their Neighbors (May 2009, ISBN: 978-0-310-71249-7), The Berenstain Bears® Give Thanks (August 2009, ISBN: 978-0-310-71251-0), and The Berenstain Bears®: Faithful Friends (August 2009, ISBN: 978-0-310-71253-4).

“Zonderkidz is thrilled to receive constant positive feedback from families and retailers about these new Berenstain Bears® books,” says Alicia Mey, Vice President of Marketing for Zonderkidz. “We are proud to partner with Michael Berenstain on these new books that are inspiring young readers and teaching them in such a fun, familiar way that they are very special children of God.”

Zonderkidz signed a contract in 2007 to publish 12 Berenstain Bears® books, authored by Jan and Michael Berenstain. The soft cover picture books focus on a range of inspirational topics such as doing the right thing, saying your prayers, going to Sunday school, and more.

“My mother, Jan, and I are thrilled by the overwhelming response to our new Berenstain Bears® Living Lights™ books from Zonderkidz. The instant bestseller status of the first four titles and the many warm and supportive e-mails and letters we've received confirm just how important faith-based books are for children and parents, alike,” says Michael Berenstain. “Over the years, my parents and I often heard from Christian families how much they appreciate the values-based themes of our books. By dealing with religion through the fun and laughter of the Berenstain Bears®, we hope to nurture these families in their goal of raising children secure in their faith.”

Zondervan’s parent company, HarperCollins, will continue to publish Berenstain Bears® books for the general market. The general market books have sold more than 260 million copies since the series inception.

About the Berenstain’s: Stan and Jan Berenstain published their first book about a bear family who lived “deep in Bear Country” in 1962 under the editorial oversight of Dr. Seuss. In 1974, they started their own line of books about everyday family experiences published by Random House. In 2003, the Berenstain’s began publishing with HarperCollins and in 2005 began an exclusive relationship with them. Their youngest son, Michael, joined his parents many years ago writing several books and becoming the exclusive designer and illustrator of a series of large picture books. Since Stan Berenstain’s death in 2005, Michael and Jan work as an author/illustrator team for their general market books. Michael is married to Andrea, and they have three children. They live in Pennsylvania, in an area that looks a lot like Bear Country.

The first eight titles in the Living Lights™ series are:

The Berenstain Bears® and the Golden Rule (October 2008, ISBN: 978-0-310-71247-5)

More information about Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule

The Berenstain Bears® Go to Sunday School (October 2008, ISBN: 978-0-310-71248-3)

More information about Berenstain Bears Go to Sunday School

The Berenstain Bears® Say Their Prayers (October 2008, ISBN: 978-0-310-71246-7)

More information about Berenstain Bears Say Their Prayers

The Berenstain Bears®-God Loves You! (October 2008, ISBN: 978-0-310-71250-5)

More information about Berenstain Bears: God Loves You!

The Berenstain Bears
® Play a Good Game (May 2009, ISBN: 978-0-310-71252-7)

More information about Berenstain Bears Play a Good Game

The Berenstain Bears
® Love Their Neighbors (May 2009, ISBN: 978-0-310-71249-7)

More information about Berenstain Bears Love Their Neighbors

The Berenstain Bears
® Give Thanks (August 2009, ISBN: 978-0-310-71251-0)

More information about Berenstain Bears Give Thanks

The Berenstain Bears
®: Faithful Friends (August 2009, ISBN: 978-0-310-71253-4)

More information about Berenstain Bears: Faithful Friends

The books are available in soft cover for $3.99 wherever books are sold. Visit for more information. For more information about The Berenstain Bears® and Bear Country, please visit the official Web site at

Zondervan, a HarperCollins company, is a world leader in Christian communications and the leading Christian publishing brand. For more than 75 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through general and academic resources by influential leaders and emerging voices, and been honored with more Christian Book Awards than any other publisher. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., with offices in San Diego and Miami, Zondervan conducts events and publishes its bestselling Bibles, books, audio, video, curriculum, software, and digital products through its Zondervan, eZondervan, Zonderkidz, Youth Specialties, Editorial Vida, and National Pastors Convention brands. Zondervan resources are sold worldwide through retail stores, online, and by Zondervan ChurchSource, and are translated into nearly 200 languages in more than 60 countries. Visit Zondervan on the Internet at (mobile site:

Zonderkidz™, a division of Zondervan, inspires young lives through imagination and innovation. As the leader in Christian children's communications, it produces bestselling and award-winning Bibles, books, board books, graphic novels, audio, video, and digital products that awaken the hearts and touch the souls of kids under 16 and the people who love them, from family members to educators. Zonderkidz is the publisher of the NIrV (New International Reader's Version) Bible translation, the 3rd-grade reading level edition of the NIV that is ideal for children and those who speak English as a second language. Visit Zonderkidz on the Internet at
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About The Author

In 1962, Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bear books. Their son Mike grew up watching his parents work together with these lovable bears—and eventually started drawing and writing about them too. Stan died in 2005, and Jan died in 2012—but Mike continues the family tradition.