Else Holmelund Minarik, who recently died at the age of 91, began her career as an elementary school teacher. When she couldn't find good books for her students, who were just beginning to read, she decided to write one herself. Thus the Little Bear books were born. Since then generations of children have learned to read with the help of these gentle adventures. The first of the Little Bear books was published in 1957; that book and several others in the series have never gone out of print, and remain very popular with beginning readers at our library.
Else Holmelund Minarik, Children’s Writer, Dies at 91 - NYTimes.com