Finally! An actual book!
“The Big Honey Hunt” marks the introduction of the Bear Family – Papa, Mama and . . . Small. Notice how many ideas that would carry over into later books are already in place: the tree house, the outfits, the attitudes of the bears. This was due to Dr. Seuss’s very exacting editorial hand. He insisted that Stan and Jan build these characters from the ground up; that the Bears exist as fully realized characters before the Berenstains begin writing about them. And, it shows. The Bears arrive fully realized as characters. Not, of course, as the characters they would eventually grow into, but as characters in their own right.
Now, there is a strong Seussian influence on these early books. Specifically, the ramping up of craziness and the physical comedy perpetrated by Papa Bear. This intentional “zaniness” will lighten over the course of the early books, but never fully leave until we get into books for younger children. For now, it’s all zaniness, all the time.