March 7, 2016
Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
Bruce is going about his life like any bear would — looking for eggs and cooking them using fancy recipes he found on the internet. One day he found a fantastic goose egg recipe and knew he had to give it a try. Bruce sourced the freshest ingredients starting with the salmon and honey. When he came to the goose eggs he was lucky enough to find a nest with four lovely eggs.
At home, he put them in a pot on the stove only to discover that he didn’t have enough wood. While Bruce was out gathering wood, something happened.
His eggs hatched.
When Bruce came back home, the goslings decided that he was their mama. Bruce tried to eat the goslings on toast, but somehow he had lost his appetite. He tried to take them back to their mother, but without the responsibility of a nest she had headed south early.
Bruce tried to leave the goslings behind, but they followed him everywhere. He pointed out that he wasn’t their mother, but it didn’t seem to make any difference. “Goslings always follow their mother, even if SHE is a HE and HE is a bear.”
Suffice it to say that Bruce makes the best of things even when the time comes to send the goslings south for the winter. I’m not going to give a play-by-play because, really, you want to read this one for yourself. It is just that fun.
Now I have to admit that this book is fun for me in ways that may not be fun for you. One of my son’s boy scout leaders is Bruce. Bruce does a lot of the cooking for the troop and their troop meals are always head-and-shoulders above what the other troops are eating.
Whether not you know Leader Bruce, you are going to love this Bruce because really and truly all of us who work with kids feel this was every now and again. “Quit following me.” “I’m not your mother.” And he’s a bear who’s a foodie! That just cracked me up.
Higgins’ art work is perfect for capturing the full range of emotions from Bruce’s grumpy scowl to the goslings’ clueless wonder. I think my favorite illustration is the dinner table when Bruce has one gosling sitting on a slice of toast, butter pat on his head, another gosling on the butter, and two more just trying to figure out what’s what.
Share this one with your clueless but adorable young goslings and the adults who teach them the many things that they need to know.