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Review: Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

Finally, here’s a children’s book that makes sense! Mother Bruce is an amazingly clever book that brings a modern day spin to a very popular moniker: Mother Goose. Traditionally, we have come to know Mother Goose as a lovable motherly figure who has graciously bestowed upon us the wondrous world of fairy-tales and nursery rhymes. Had she in fact been a real goose, there’s no doubt she would have been a doting mother. Mother Bruce, on the other hand, bears no resemblance (excuse the pun). To begin, Mother Bruce is not quite a mother, at least not in a biological sort of way. She, I mean he, is a grumpy old bear who becomes the victim of mistaken identity.

It all starts with a batch of eggs that he collects from Mrs. Goose. He intends to use the eggs as ingredients for a recipe. However, while out fetching fire wood for his stove, Bruce returns home to find that the eggs for his “would be” dinner has hatched. Instead of satisfying his appetite for a gourmet meal, Bruce has to contend with a flock of goslings- and they think he is their mother. As the story unfolds, Bruce does everything within his power to get rid of the annoying birds but to no avail. In the end, he finds a way to really take care of his unwanted guests once and for all. Will they finally leave? Or, will they continue to hang around?

The beauty behind this story lies in its humor and educational value. Both teachers and parents alike will find that this book is an excellent teaching tool. It is perfect for read-alouds. The book provides its readers with a robust selection of vocabulary words and real world connections. Teachers can definitely take advantage of the story’s literary elements, including the use of personification and its unintended plot. Although Mother Bruce is not your typical mother, I’m sure Mother Goose would be proud!

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