About the Holiday
A great vacation starts with a great place to stay! Whether you like a cabin by the lake, a cottage by the shore, a tent or camper in the woods, or that good-ol’ staple the hotel, getting away from home can be an adventure in itself. This month is perfect for planning a vacation and finding just the right accommodations for maximum enjoyment!
Written by Ryan T. Higgins
“Bruce was a bear who lived with four geese,” but he was not happy about it. Since he was their mom, however, it meant going south with them every winter even though he would rather have taken a loooong nap. Leaving home, taking public transport, and hanging out on crowded beaches took a toll on Bruce. So one spring when Bruce returned home to discover mice had turned his home into the Woodland Hotel, he went on a grouch-fueled rampage and swept the mice out into the night.
Satisfied, he climbed the stairs to bed only to find it overrun with a moose, a porcupine, a raccoon, and a rabbit with three turtles snoozing underneath. Let’s just say quarters were a bit snug. “The next morning Bruce woke to the sounds of birds chirping, and squirrels chattering, and possums having a pillow fight.” He found a frog in his toilet, got porcupine prickles in his posterior, was sprayed with skunk perfume right after showering…and a beaver gnawed the corner off his kitchen table. There was even a fox at the stove trying to convince the turtles to jump into a hot, veggie-filled “bath.” But when the mice tried to politely usher Bruce out of the Woodland Hotel, he’d had enough and asked to see the manager.
While the mice argued over who was the manager, things in the kitchen were getting steamy. The fox’s turtle soup had “turned bad.” The kitchen looked as if a turtlenado had blown through—even Bruce’s best silverware was missing! “Bruce started to lose his cool.” Just then a vanload of elephants arrived for a vacation. “Finally, Bruce lost his temper. ‘THIS IS NOT A HOTEL! THIS IS MY HOUSE! EVERYBODY OUT RIGHT NOW!’”
Drooping with dejection, the “guests” tromped away. “Sheesh! I thought they’d never leave,” one mouse snarked. At that, Bruce tossed the interlopers out into the rain, where they sat sad and bedraggled. “Bruce’s house was a quiet, peaceful place once again.” At least until the geese honked sympathetic honks. Bruce sighed and opened the door….
Ryan T. Higgins’ curmudgeonly bear is back with a fine, funny sequel that will have kids giggling at poor Bruce’s plight. Adults will appreciate the sly wink to the penchant of woodland animals to take up roost in any warm, unoccupied space and will perhaps feel more than a little sympathy with Bruce as he finally rousts his “guests” from his home. The wise-cracking mice add levity and a few well-placed honks from Bruce’s kids offer a tug of emotion.
Higgin’s madcap illustrations put readers in Bruce’s big, burly paws as he endures one predicament after another. While the woodland animals run wild, their slightly guilty faces reveal that even they know all is not on the up-and-up as they watch Bruce’s unibrow rise with surprise and furrow in anger. The geese, so eager to follow and fit in, look ridiculously cute in their bellhop uniforms, and Higgin’s detailed depictions of Bruce’s home will have kids lingering over each page.
Ages 5 – 8
Disney – Hyperion, 2016 | ISBN 978-1484743621
Connect with Ryan T. Higgins on his website and learn more about his books, school visits, and summer camp for kids.
Vacation Rental Month Activity
Take-along Starter Kit
A vacation place is always nicer with a few favorite comforts from home. Here are some ideas for a Take-along Kit that would make spending time away so much better:
- Cozy blanket
- Soft pillow
- Comfy jammies
- Fluffy friend
- Favorite book
- Coloring book
- Colored pencils or markers
- Playing cards
- Good movie or TV show
- Fun craft project
- Hot chocolate
Picture Book Review