Fall is here! Well, technically fall doesn’t begin in the northern hemisphere until September 22nd, but I defy you to tell that to a barista or department store employee. As the seasons change, parents may be looking for new ways to celebrate fall with their little ones. Thankfully, Bruce is back in another book from Ryan T. Higgins, funnily titled Thanks for Nothing!
Branded as “A Little Bruce Book,” Thanks for Nothing! finds grumpy bear Bruce preparing an autumn feast for his friends, something they can be thankful for. But as the mice arrive to find the bear busy preparing the meal, they begin to play and they soon find that what’s left to be thankful for is materialistically nothing, but fundamentally everything.
The word “Thanksgiving” is never used in the book, making it less alienating to international readers or families who don’t celebrate the holiday. But being a fall feast centered around the theme of gratitude, it’s easy for parents to use the lovable Bruce as a way to teach their kids about the heartwarming message of the holiday; sharing what you’re most thankful for with the people you love most around a home cooked meal. The bear’s menu also appears to have been selected with care and sensitivity, opting for stew instead of turkey while still adding the customary fixin’s of mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, peas, and two kinds of pie (apple and pumpkin). Although, through a series of funny calamities, the guests are ultimately left with nothing, as the title suggests.
Ryan T. Higgins continues to exercise his wit through text while adding fun moments for readers to discover through his charming illustrations. I recommend taking your time with each turn of the page to carefully observe what each character is doing and read labels of canned goods Bruce has acquired for the feast. And if Bruce inspires young readers to want to help prepare your next feast, you can find them a gingham apron just like Bruce’s!
Thanks for Nothing! joins Mother Bruce, Hotel Bruce, BE QUIET!, Bruce’s Big Move, Bruce’s Big Storm and The Bruce Swap as the next adventure with these characters that kids have come to love. Published by Disney Hyperion on September 7th, this small-sized book is perfect for kids learning to read and is just the right size for small hands that have graduated from board books.
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Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).