by Ryan T. Higgins
Interest level: Everyone!
Reading level: 2.7
5 out of 5 stars
Mother Bruce is hysterically funny, while at the same time endearingly sweet, with just a little bit of snarky thrown in for fun. It is a book that can be enjoyed by young children in a read-aloud, or by older children who will completely get and enjoy the humor, and adults will appreciate all aspects of the story.
Bruce is a grumpy bear, who enjoys gourmet cooking. The story features Bruce scrolling the internet for egg recipes, pushing a shopping cart through the forest in search of local, free-range, and organic ingredients, and then having to survive a case of mistaken identity when his meal mistakes him for their mama.
The goslings are more stubborn than Bruce, and he ends up raising them. The illustrations show Bruce teaching them to swim while wearing flowered water wings, an inner tube, and flippers, and one of my favorites has the four goslings strapped to his chest in a baby sling. They all survive the stubborn teenage geese stage, but migration is when they really encounter trouble. The resolution fits the humor and sweetness that is prevalent throughout the story.
In addition to a creative and fun story, Mother Bruce has several other features that make it stand above other books. First, be sure to remove the dust jacket if you read the hard copy version. I always love to be surprised by the different cover hidden underneath. The end pages are also well done and perfect book ends to the story. Even the paper in this book is thicker and higher quality.
This should be a must read for everyone, but will especially be good for read-alouds.