With the release of the third “Bruce” book, “Bruce’s Big Move,” author Ryan Higgins agreed to answer some questions that delve deep into the heart of this wonderful series and its grumpy but lovable main character, Bruce.
Who would have thought that the character of Bruce was based on the author’s grandfather? Higgins shares that:
“Bruce is based loosely on my granddad. Even though my bear is significantly grumpier than my grandfather was, they share a tendency to find themselves in humorous, unlucky situations — and both possess a propensity for grumbling.
Beyond sharing strings of bad luck, Bruce and my granddad share the quality of having hidden layers. On the surface, Bruce might seem like a curmudgeonly old grump —- and he is. But underneath his bristles, there’s more to him than just his grumblings. My granddad may have seemed rather stoic, and perhaps sometimes he was a grump, but under all that was a kind, caring person.”
Higgins’ fans know that the three rowdy mice in the Bruce books also have their own book, “BE QUIET!,” in which Bruce has a cameo appearance. What readers might not know is that “BE QUIET!” was written before the Bruce books. He had been drawing the mice for years, and he included them in the Bruce books because he liked them and “I felt like they’d be really good at pestering my bear in an endearing sort of way.” Higgins always wanted to put the mice in a series, and this worked out perfectly.
But the biggest secret, at least to this reviewer, was Higgins’ secret love of mice. When asked about the mice in his life, he responded that he literally has saved the lives of dozens of mice. He says,
“I have a knack for finding and/or being given orphan baby mice. I used to work at a wildlife rehabilitation center, and hand raising little baby animals became one of my specialties. Less so now that I have human children, but in the past, I would wind up with a half-dozen or so little baby mice that I’d feed a special milk formula (every two hours) until they grew up and I’d release them back into the wild…usually. Sometimes I got a little too attached to the mice and they’d become too tame to go back to the wild. I kept those as pets. Some of my favorites were named Nibbs, Thistle, and Rupert. The mice in BE QUIET! are named after them.”
Worth repeating: Ryan Higgins saves mice! If that isn’t even more reason to love Higgins and all his wonderful books, then there’s no pleasing you.
Read the review of “Bruce’s Big Move” and enter to win copies of all the “Bruce” books at this link.
Please note: Giveaway books provided by Disney-Hyperion. Answers to questions provided by Ryan Higgins.