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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Too Much of A Good Thing? The Bruce Swap by Ryan T. Higgins


There was a forest in front of the little cabin Bruce the curmudgeonly bear shared with three goslings and four mice.

Sure, it's the North Woods, so there are some evergreens around the lake, but Bruce's yard was mostly a forest of signs beginning with the word NO--NO TALKING, NO SWIMMING, NO FISHING, NO CAMPING, NO PICNICKING, NO TRESPASSING...! Bruce was no fun. The mice longed for adventures. The geese just wanted--sandwiches!

ONE MORNING THERE WAS A LETTER IN THE MAILBOX AT 13 GO AWAY LANE!

It was a letter from Bruce's fun-loving cousin Kevin, saying he's coming for a fun-filled vacation. But nobody knew that--because one of the goslings ate the letter. So on the day of fun-loving Kevin's arrival, nobody knew they were about to have guests! Bruce went fishing, leaving a note, but one of the goslings ate that, so nobody knew that either.

So when fun-loving Kevin arrived with outdoor equipment and a bag of sandwiches, the mice and geese thought he was Bruce. But not the party-pooping Bruce they knew. This was a different Bruce.

"ALL OUR WISHES HAVE COME TRUE!" SAID THISTLE.

"WAIT! THIS MUST BE BRUCE'S DOPPELGANGER!" SAID RUPERT.

"DINGLE POOPER?" ASKED NIBB.

But no matter! This version of Bruce was nothing but fun. He gave them all the candy they could eat and then inspired a candy battle. He pulled out a pogo stick and hopped all over the cabin. He ordered endless pizzas. Then he flooded the cabin to make an indoor swimming pool. His rowdy buddies showed up and finished wrecking the cabin, so the party moved outside. Dingle Pooper Bruce taped Rupert to a kite and sent him up for his first flight. The cabin and yard were a dreadful MESS! Since MESS is not fun, fun-loving Kevin and his chums piled into their van and left the premises.

SOME OF THE FUN WAS.... QUESTIONABLE.

"NO MORE FUN! NO, NO, NO! PLEASE!" THE GOSLINGS PLEADED.

THEY ALL WISHED FOR REGULAR BRUCE TO COME BACK!

There's such a thing as too much fun for the mice and goslings, who were actually glad to see the real party-pooper Bruce putt-putting back up the road on his motor skooter, in Ryan T. Higgins' latest in his Mother Bruce series, The Bruce Swap (Disney Press, 2021). (But at least there's plenty of pizza left over!)

Author-illustrator Higgins combines hilarious comic illustrations, oddball family affection, and one of children's literature's greatest grumpy bears in his Mother Bruce series, which began with Mother Bruce (Mother Bruce, Book 1) (Mother Bruce Series, 1)

"A gentle, silly picture book about balancing fun and responsibility," says Kirkus Reviews

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3 Comments:

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