Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: 1 Grumpy Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

Bruce fans will instantly recognize the curmudgeonly bear from his previous adventures in this new board book title. The counting book begins with "1 grumpy bear" showing Bruce glaring out from a bold yellow background. He's joined by "2 uninvited skunks" and then the partying mice, "helping" geese, and so on until the story arrives at a spread of light blue and a welter of animals "having fun" but, as the last page shows and says, there's still "1 grumpy bear" as Bruce glares out from his yellow background, now sprinkled with confetti.

This is funny, especially to fans, but as an actual board book for toddlers isn't quite so successful. The Bruce stories have a fair amount of irony and sarcasm, something that young children generally don't grasp. However, they will have fun counting the various animals and adults can enjoy the silly expressions and Bruce's obvious discomfort in his unplanned party.

Verdict: Purchase where Bruce is a fan favorite among parents and children.

ISBN: 9781368023634; Published October 9, 2018; Review copy provided by publisher; Purchased for the library

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