Bruce Is No Winnie the Pooh! (But he sure is funny)

Bruce is a bear of very little…patience.

Ryan Higgins’ most well-known character is Bruce, a grumpy bear who says he prefers to be alone yet somehow is surrounded by friends he has gathered along the way. Friends, by the way, who all live with him. Deep inside Bruce is a heart of…STONE. But inside that stone heart is a warmth buried beneath that comes through. He is beloved by so many because of that big heart…and because of author and illustrator Ryan Higgins’ exceptional skills at storytelling.

Kevin sends Bruce a note…which Bruce never got

Ryan’s books always have a message about living in community and what it means to be a friend. The Bruce Swap is no different. This time Bruce’s friends get to see what life would be like living with the OPPOSITE of Bruce! And they find out that sometimes it’s dangerous to get what you wish for. Bruce’s cousin, Kevin, comes to visit and looks exactly like Bruce except for one thing – Kevin lives ONLY for fun. At first the friends think this is great, but Kevin is fun without limits and they soon find out that limits are not such a bad thing after all. Kevin trashes their home with all his fun and soon the fun is not fun anymore.

I love Ryan’s use of phrases like “dingle pooper” for “doppleganger” (which he does explain – he makes it alright for kids to not get it right)

What is so great about The Bruce Swap isn’t just the message of consequences and the unknown hazards of getting what you wish, but the fun and often funny way that Ryan delivers that message. His art is exceptional. The colors leap off the page. The characters are lovable. And his word choices are often clever. This is a great book to read aloud to your child or to help that child who is already starting to read on their own.

Title: The Bruce Swap
Author: Ryan T. Higgins
Cost: $17.99 ($15.49 on Amazon)
Age: 3-5 (but really for any Bruce fan)
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide
Genre: Picture book

  • Thanks to Disney-Hyperion for the advance copy for review. Opinions are all my own – and my opinion is it is so worth it!

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