STARRED REVIEW
November 24, 2015

Reluctant motherhood, to say the least

By Ryan T. Higgins
Review by

Bruce the bear leads a quiet, orderly life. He is particular about his food (organic), his friends (none), and is a determined grouch. That is, until his dinner plans go way off quack—I mean, track. After a slight cooking mishap, Bruce’s dinner eggs become noisy goslings. Bruce tries to return the goslings to their nest, but his unfortunate dinner episode follows him home. There is little that Bruce can do to reclaim his comfortable existence. Like a goose to open water, Bruce’s new babies are sticking around.

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Bruce the bear leads a quiet, orderly life. He is particular about his food (organic), his friends (none), and is a determined grouch. That is, until his dinner plans go way off quack—I mean, track. After a slight cooking mishap, Bruce’s dinner eggs become noisy goslings. Bruce tries to return the goslings to their nest, but his unfortunate dinner episode follows him home. There is little that Bruce can do to reclaim his comfortable existence. Like a goose to open water, Bruce’s new babies are sticking around.

Author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins (Wilfred) skillfully combines clever, dry-wit text with vivid pictures, artfully playing classic storytime themes against a contemporary backdrop. While the tale of bachelor-turned-reluctant-parent is familiar, images of Bruce trekking through the woods with his shopping cart and scouring the Internet for gourmet recipes keep the story quirky and current. Readers will giggle at Bruce’s lovably dour and stern countenance, knowing his external grouchiness hides a big heart. The four goslings are perfectly depicted in all their adorable, irresistible (if occasionally annoying) charm.

While full of kid-friendly humor, Mother Bruce doesn’t forget about his older readers. Adults will sympathize while Bruce carries the critters in a four-gosling baby carrier, grudgingly cooks for their picky taste buds and eventually attempts, unsuccessfully, to slingshot the adult geese into migration. Anticipation grows as summer turns to fall and hibernation season approaches. Will Bruce ever regain his empty nest?

The perfect read for any time of day, Mother Bruce will find its way to the top of your reading pile again and again.

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Mother Bruce

Mother Bruce

By Ryan T. Higgins
Disney-Hyperion
ISBN 9781484730881

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