‘Mother Bruce’ by Ryan T. Higgins: Picture book kids and adults will adore


Rating: 5 stars

“Mother (Goose) Bruce,” written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins, is an absolutely adorable, terrifically funny, and totally enjoyable peek into the life of one Bruce the Grumpy Bear, who is hilariously trapped on the rollercoaster ride that is parenting.

The reviewers’ cliche that “adults will love it as much as children” is almost applicable here, but in this case, though children will eat it up, their parents will find it even more delicious. It’s such an accurate representation of what the author might laughingly refer to as the “joys” of parenting that most adults will say, “Oh, I remember that age. Unfortunately.”

Bruce is an ill-tempered guy whose only love in life is preparing and eating eggs. And he prepares them in every single variety of fanciness that he can find or dream up. But he must find all his eggs himself, wherever he can.

One day, he discovers some goose eggs, which he takes home, figuratively licking his chops in anticipation of the feast to come. Then — uh-oh — the eggs hatch, and the first thing the baby geese see is Bruce. So he, of course, becomes Mama. Try as he might, Bruce can’t get rid of them. They love him far too much to ever let him escape their clutches — or their affection. Ultimately, he accepts his fate, and we read and see his struggles and trials as he becomes Mama, Papa, caretaker, and everything else the geese need in their lives.

This reviewer could not stop laughing at and identifying with poor Bruce. The ride is so much fun, from babyhood to adulthood and from grumpy to loving and patient, that you will want to read about Higgins’ crafty character creations twice, but the kids will demand several more readings. No doubt.

And let’s all hope for a bunch of sequels — at which the last two pages of the book hilariously hint. There at the end lies an unexpected and wonderful turn of events. A perfect conclusion and, just maybe, a new beginning.

Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by Disney-Hyperion for review purposes.