SHARECOMMENTMORE

PHILADELPHIA -- Jan Berenstain, who with her husband Stan created the Berenstain Bears books that have charmed preschoolers and their parents for 50 years, has died. She was 88.

Mike Berenstain said his mother suffered a severe stroke on Thursday and died Friday without regaining consciousness. She was a longtime resident of Solebury in southeastern Pennsylvania.

PHOTOS | Deaths in 2012

The Berestains' gentle stories of Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Brother Bear and Sister Bear address childhood subjects like coping with new siblings, summer camp and peer pressure.

Stan and Jan Berenstain, both Philadelphia natives, were 18 when they met on their first day at art school in 1941. Stan Berenstain died in 2005.

The first Berenstain Bears book, "The Big Honey Hunt," was published in 1962. More than 300 titles have been released in 23 languages.