Mother Bruce – Perfect Picture Book Friday

4 Mar

Time again for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday nomination:

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I haven’t laughed so hard while reading a picture book in a lonnnng time. Yes, I’ve smiled, giggled, or uttered the occasional guffaw. But here I found myself laughing through page after page of the most hilarious sight gags that only an author-illustrator can conjure. And my twelve-year-old son who’s too cool for school? He laughed out loud over and over againβ€”and then read it again.

Story: Bruce, the grumpy bear, doesn’t like sunny or rainy days or cute little animals. But he DOES love eggs and makes extravagant gourmet dishes with them. He believes in supporting local businesses (a beehive) and asks Mrs. Goose if her eggs are free-range.


That’s when this San Francisco dweller started laughing. Bruce’s epicurian lifestyle proves uneventful until one fateful day when he tries to hard boil eggs on the stove and the fire goes out, leaving the eggs in a cuddly warm bath. He runs out to find more wood, only to return home to:


Yes, Bruce is stuck with a gaggle of goslings who thwart his attempts to abandon them. So ol’ Bruce makes the best of parenting (as we all do) until it’s time for the grown goslings to migrate. But Bruce still can’t get them to leave. His solution to this problem is downright ingenious and even more hilarious than what has come before.Β 

And the final twist that follows Bruce’s “dreams of new recipesβ€”that don’t hatch” is a perfect last page. Parents won’t be filing this one away in desperation, saying that “it must be lost.” It’s a book they’ll want to read again and again and again and again to their little goslings.

TITLE: Mother Goose Bruce


PUBLISHER: Disney/Hyperion 2015

AGES: 3+





42 Responses to “Mother Bruce – Perfect Picture Book Friday”

  1. Beth Anderson March 4, 2016 at 8:06 am #

    LOVE this book!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 4, 2016 at 9:57 am #

      Yes! I can’t stop laughing. And Bruce turns out to be such a teddy bear. πŸ˜€

  2. Carrie Rubin March 4, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    Sounds wonderful! I’ve got some nieces and nephews who would love it. Thanks for the heads-up.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 4, 2016 at 9:58 am #

      Yes, they will. And there are plenty of visual jokes that are quite entertaining for parents!

  3. dkatiepowellart March 4, 2016 at 9:40 am #

    Sounds delightful!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 4, 2016 at 10:27 am #

      Yes, Bruce and “the kids” turn out to be irresistible. πŸ˜€

  4. FictionFan March 4, 2016 at 9:46 am #

    Hehe! Sounds great! But it may have put me off boiling eggs for a while…

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 4, 2016 at 10:31 am #

      Ah, yes. I’m with you. Recently, I watched a video about “factory” farming of chickens. I couldn’t watch the whole thing. Made me ill. Free range may be pricey, but at least it’s more humane. And if you buy unfertilized eggs, you’ve got no worries. πŸ˜€

      • FictionFan March 4, 2016 at 10:34 am #

        I became vegetarian for two years after watching a documentary about chicken-farming. I couldn’t stick it in the end (not being overly keen on vegetables doesn’t help) but I’ve only bought free-range chicken and eggs ever since. Worth it, for the sake of my conscience…

  5. Patricia Tilton March 4, 2016 at 11:33 am #

    You left me wondering about the ending. Sounds like I’m just going to have to get a copy for a great grandson!

  6. Sue Heavenrich March 4, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

    Hooked! definitely need to FIND THIS BOOK! Thanks for your take on it.

  7. Keila Dawson March 4, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

    Love the idea of a grumpy bear who turns out to be a teddy bear. Nice twist.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 4, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

      Yes, a true sweetheart. And his wardrobe (especially at the end) is worth the price of admission. πŸ˜€

  8. Mrs. P March 4, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

    Just ordered it. I’ll be visiting my grandson at the end of this month and we’ll have a bunch of laughs together! πŸ˜€

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 4, 2016 at 9:15 pm #

      Yay! Enjoy it. I’ll always associate the name “Bruce” with the bear in this book.

      • Mrs. P March 5, 2016 at 11:01 am #

        πŸ˜€ I let you know what we think of the book!

  9. julie rowan zoch March 4, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

    Oh, yeah. Great pick!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 4, 2016 at 9:17 pm #

      I’m really jealous of authors who are illustrators, too. But I’m thinking it’s also twice the work. So maybe I shouldn’t be so jealous.

      • julie rowan zoch March 5, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

        Not twice the same, though two art forms that work well together.

  10. Kirsten W. Larson March 6, 2016 at 6:42 am #

    Oh yay, my library has this one. I can’t wait to read it.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 6, 2016 at 10:19 am #

      Put a hold on it, so it’s waiting for you when you get there! Not to be alarmist, or anything. πŸ˜€

  11. ThisKidReviewsBooks March 6, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    I LOVED THIS BOOK! Bruce is such a grump! πŸ˜€

  12. heylookawriterfellow March 6, 2016 at 6:38 pm #

    Since I have great respect your boy’s sense of humor I am going to have to give this one a read.

  13. Catherine Johnson March 7, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    Sold! I can’t wait to read it now. Great find, Julianne.

    • Catherine Johnson March 7, 2016 at 11:39 am #

      Auto correct!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 7, 2016 at 11:53 am #

      Yay! LOL, autocorrect respells my name whenever I send email or text reminders to myself. For some reason, I can’t take the time to figure out how to make it stop. πŸ˜€

  14. Vanessa-Jane Chapman March 7, 2016 at 10:19 pm #

    This sounds fabulous! Yes, any parent knows how important it is that the book appeal to the adults too! There were about only about four or five books I think when my kids were little that I loved to read and would always be pleased when they picked them – the rest, after the first few readings, would be like “Really? This one again? Ok, sigh.”

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 7, 2016 at 10:45 pm #

      Some of ours mysteriously disappeared.

      • Vanessa-Jane Chapman March 7, 2016 at 11:02 pm #

        I remember doing a blog post a while ago where I mentioned those occasions where you sneakily turn over two or three pages in one go while you make up a few brief words to cover the gist of what happened in those pages (Obviously doesn’t work with a book they know well!).

        • Jilanne Hoffmann March 8, 2016 at 11:42 am #

          Yes, that’s when they start pointing out discrepancies from the last time you read it. I would try that and always get caught. But my husband would fall asleep (out of boredom and sleep deprivation) while reading and start making up his own story before our son elbowed him, saying “Daddy! Wake up! That’s not in this story! If you can’t read it right, I’m gonna ask Mommy to read.” I do recall a post of yours on this topic. Must refresh my memory. I believe it was quite funny.

  15. Ste J March 8, 2016 at 12:55 am #

    Thus does sound great, perhaps this is a genre that needs more attention myself and others. After all I don’t want to seem snobby. Bruce is a great name and his motices are both honourable and a bit mental lol.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 8, 2016 at 11:31 am #

      Just wait until you have kids! Follow these recs and you’ll have a stockpile of excellent reading options that won’t make you cringe after the 576th reading. πŸ˜€

  16. Laurel Leigh March 9, 2016 at 11:44 am #

    Okay, wait, are you seriously telling me that my mom really hid stuff I lost as a kid so she didn’t have to read/hear/look at it again? I might need therapy for that. Aside from that, I am getting addicted to your picture book Fridays. These are so fun. Keep it up!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 9, 2016 at 11:53 am #

      Um, the truth hurts, doesn’t it. πŸ˜€ You should check some of these out the next time you’re at Village Books. Especially Mother Bruce. It will tickle your funny bone.

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