Carrying the Torch: Keeping a Character Alive
The other day I was reading Fred and Ted’s Road Trip, when I noticed something – the name on the cover of the book was Peter Eastman, not P.D. Eastman.
I had assumed the book was written by P.D., author/illustrator of classics Go, Dog, Go!, but Fred and Ted is the creation of Eastman’s son.
While Fred and Ted’s Road Trip isn’t a Go, Dog, Go! sequel, it certainly has a similar look and spirit. It made me think of other instances of family members keeping a well-known character/style alive. Here are the cases I can think of.
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parrish
This series about The Most Literal Woman in the World continues on (in a few variations) with nephew Herman Parish at the helm:
The Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain
This series about the family of bears who live down a sunny dirt road deep in bear country was originally written and illustrated by husband and wife Jan and Stan Berenstain. It went through a period when son Mike Berenstain joined them, then a period where it was Jan and Mike. Now that both Jan and Stan have passed away, the series lives on solely through Mike.
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
This series about the little girl from Paris was originally written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans. Grandson John Bemelmans Marciano is now at the helm.
Babar by Jean de Brunhoff
The human-esque elephant first brought to life by Jean de Brunhoff is still around, with new adventures by son Laurent de Brunhoff
I’m sure I’m missing some – let’s hear it in the comments.
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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