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The Children’s Book Review
Bruce’s Big Fun Day
Written and Illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins
Ages 3-5 | 32 Pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | ISBN: 9781368015776
What to Expect: Easy Reader, Anthropomorphic Animals, Friendship
Nibbs is a mouse. Bruce is a bear. Bruce is a GRUMPY bear. “Nibbs plans a BIG FUN DAY to cheer Bruce up. But Bruce does not like BIG FUN DAYS. They make him grumpy.” (7).
In this delightful beginning reader book, readers can laugh at the trials and tribulations the two friends endure for the sake of their friendship, from breakfast in bed (that begins with spilled syrup on Bruce’s head) to a picnic (that ends with Bruce covered in ants). Of course, the story has a happy ending: although Nibbs does not succeed in cheering Bruce up, Bruce goes to bed with a smile on his face – because “Bruce likes being grumpy” (32). The quirky humor reminds readers that friends don’t always have to agree about everything.
For readers already familiar with the Mother Bruce picture books, this new easy reader-addition to the Bruce cannon will be a very welcome next step. Just like the picture book series, Bruce’s Big Fun Day deploys Higgins’ quirky sense of humor and wonderfully vivid, detailed illustrations to draw readers into the narrative. The text has been carefully composed to emphasize key sight words and phonemes in easy, repetitive sentence-structure patterns that do no in any way compromise engagement with the story. Designed to help readers transition from picture book listening to independent reading aloud, the story introduces new textual elements, such as chapters and page numbers, in a comfortingly familiar and unobtrusive way.
Higgins has skillfully achieved something very difficult: an easy-reader text with a story that young readers are sure to enjoy.
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About the Author
Ryan T. Higgins is the author and illustrator of the #1 New York Times best-selling We Don’t Eat Our Classmates; the New York Times best-selling Mother Bruce, which received the E. B. White Read Aloud Award and the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor; Hotel Bruce; BE QUIET!; Bruce’s Big Move; and others. He lives in Maine with his wife and kids and a menagerie of pets.
Bruce’s Big Fun Day, written by Ryan T. Higgins, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Bruce’s Big Fun Day by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Bruce Books, Adventure, and Humorous Books.