The Bears were real characters. They had Everybear sorts of names, but they also had personalities that could play off each other in funny ways. Once you'd read one or two, you knew that
The family dynamic in these books is pretty similar to that of a lot of sitcoms, and I think they've been popular for similar reasons. For one, it's fun to feel smarter than the dad. But also, sometimes, it's helpful to see what you sort of already know (honesty is the best policy, we should include each other in our games, a new sibling will change things but your parents will still love you) spelled out. It feels good to nod and say, "Silly Brother Bear, I knew that."
Thanks, Berenstains. Even if your eight-by-eight books barely fit in the spinner.