Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Hotel Bruce

Hotel Bruce

Ryan T. Higgins
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Disney-Hyperion, 2016   ISBN: 978-1484743621

Bruce is a bear who not long ago, because of an unfortunate series of events, reluctantly became the mother of four geese. He is stuck with the geese, which means that he has to travel south with them when it starts to get cold. Spending the winter months in Miami with a bunch of sunbathing geese when he would much rather be hibernating does not suit Bruce, but he does it anyway.

Motherhood and migration makes Bruce very tired and grumpy, and when he and the geese get home in the spring the bear is eager to rest and relax.  Unfortunately, one spring Bruce gets home to discover that a trio of mice has moved into his house and they have turned it into a hotel. Bruce is not inclined to feel kindly towards the mice and he throws them out. Surely now will all be well.

It isn’t. The house is full of ‘guests,’ including a moose, unruly possums and squirrels, horn playing turtles, and noisy birds. In fact, Bruce’s house is overrun with animals and the chaos gets worse and worse. The mice come back, a fox chef tries to cook the turtles, and the kitchen is turned upside down. Bruce gets angrier and angrier. He wants his house back!

Readers who followed Bruce’s first adventure, Mother Bruce, are going to love this new tale, which is full of laugh-out-loud moments that will delight children. Bruce may be grumpy and scowly, but we cannot help feeling sorry for him. After all, no one would like to have their home turned into a hotel behind their back. Especially if the visitors include stinky skunks and prickly porcupines.