cover image Santa Bruce

Santa Bruce

Ryan T. Higgins. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-148478290-3

Bruce, a curmudgeonly blue bear, is no stranger to cases of mistaken identity, and he’d just as soon skip the holiday (“Bruce did not like fun./ Bruce did not like cheer.”). But being a “mother” to a gaggle of geese and three mice—all bursting with Christmas cheer—means that hibernating isn’t an option. When a raccoon mistakes the red-suited bear for Santa, his denial goes unheeded and word spreads fast. Soon, a menagerie of ecstatic woodland animals crowd Bruce’s cabin, eager to sit in the lap of “Santa Bruce.” Bruce’s children don’t help the situation: “Everyone, listen up! Single file! No pushing! Santa Bruce has time to see all of you!” Expressive artwork captures Bruce’s gently cantankerous demeanor, along with his cast of adorable admirers, as the story continues to its logical conclusion. Thankfully, Bruce has yet to break character by so much as cracking a smile. Ages 3–5.[em] (Sept.) [/em]