October 7, 2016


Ryan T Higgins' Hotel Bruce, the long-awaited sequel to Mother Bruce is finally here (almost)! In a week and a half everyone will once again get to enter the hilarious world of Bruce, the grumpiest, most temperamental bear parent there is. And it won't disappoint!

Hotel Bruce gives us a deeper glimpse into the daily toils and struggles of a single (and very reluctant) parent of four geese. Bruce and company return home from their winter migration-vacation to find that their den has been turned into a hotel by local rodents, and it won't be easy to reclaim their home. Of course, the geese take to their new situation much more quickly than Bruce...

Like it's predecessor, Hotel Bruce relies on a mixture of text and speech bubbles to give the book more character, and the illustrations are gorgeous. Higgins knows his textures, and every animal gets special treatment. Higgins infuses comedy through the text and the illustrations--this could be a wordless book at points because of how expressive his characters are--and I laughed out loud on almost every spread. Bruce tries so many different ways to get what he wants, never ceasing for a moment to think that he should just allow the events to take their natural course. Parent or not, anyone can relate to the chaos this poor bear endures.

It's a small detail, but I'm so glad the pages are printed on matte paper rather than glossy--so much texture and detail can get lost in those glare of glossy pages and this isn't a book where you want to overlook a single speck of the spreads. Higgins switches between white backgrounds (which generally emphasize a moment of emotion) and full-page bleeds that are chock-full of color, texture, and detail.

I talked about the first book a little in a post called "Family Matters," so you can see some illustrations from the first book there. Hotel Bruce publishes October 18 from Disney-Hyperion!

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