Motherhood is full of surprises. I know that there were many experience that I was not expecting when I became a mother, some of which were hard, and some of which were delightful. I can only imagine what it would be like to experience these things if one is not expecting to be a mother at all. In this picture book you will meet a very grumpy male bear who ends up becoming a mother. A reluctant mother it is true, but a mother nonetheless.
Ryan T. Higgins
For ages 5 to 7
Hyperion, 2015, 978-148473088-1
Bruce is a grumpy bear who lives by himself. He does not like sunny days, or rainy days, or cute little animals because he is such a big grump about just about everything. The only think Bruce does like is eggs. He goes out and collects them and then cooks them, using “fancy” recipes that he finds on the Internet.
One day Bruce decides to make boiled goose eggs drizzled with honey-salmon sauce. He gets some salmon and honey and then steals four of Mrs. Goose’s eggs. Bruce starts to prepare his boiled eggs when the fire in his stove goes out. By the time he gets wood to stoke up the stove the four eggs have hatched and the little goslings think that Bruce is their “MAMA!”
Bruce is very disgruntled by this unexpected turn of events. He prepares goslings on toast but for some reason cannot seem to eat the goslings, who look at him questioningly. Bruce then tries to take the goslings back to their mother, but she has headed south early and her nest is empty. Bruce leaves the goslings in the nest and heads for home, and the goslings follow him. Bruce tells them that he is not their mother. He runs away. He climbs a tree. Nothing he does makes the slightest bit of difference. As far as the goslings are concerned, Bruce is their mother, even if he “is a HE and HE is a bear.”This hilarious picture book explores how one very grumpy bear ends up becoming the mother of four very demanding goslings. Bruce dearly regrets the day when his meal hatched, but there is nothing that he can do except to make the best of things. Which is what he does, bless his grumpy bearish heart.