The first thing I noticed about this picture book was the delightful and bright illustrations Marisa Morea created. (I love how the title lettering seems almost embroidered onto the chair.) The second thing I noticed was that it’s told through the hilarious main character’s point of view—Oswald Minklehoff Honey Bunny III the cat’s to be exact. Together, they make a winning story of learning to embrace change, sharing, and getting used to a new housemate turned co-boss.
(click image(s) to enlarge)
So, Oswald is the boss of everything including the chair and Bruce the mouse toy. That is until Pom-Pom the kitten comes along.
Pom-Pom makes himself quite at home and things are just, different. Oswald feels a bit displaced, something kid readers with new siblings or changes in friendships might relate to.
But when they both get in trouble with their owner and Pom-Pom seems distressed, Oswald changes his tune. He even shares the chair. And Bruce the mouse toy! Life may be even be better with a co-boss in tow.
I can’t help but notice that Bruce the mouse has stripes the colors of the three most important characters in the book: Oswald’s blue, Pom-Pom’s gold, the chair’s red pillow and outline. Bruce, in a way, embodies all the characters. Bruce embodies sharing and connection.
Big thanks to Sterling Children’s Books for the review copy and images!
And Bruce also immediately said, “Craft!” to me. The little mouse toy the two main characters play with (and fight over) is adorable and easy to make. So, let’s make a mouse toy!
White styrofoam ball
Sturdy white paper
Yarn in red, blue, white, and yellow
Red felt or foam (or paper)
Three black pom poms, one bigger than the others, for Bruce’s nose and eyes
First, cut some sturdy white paper and make a cone shape with it. Then, tape it to the styrofoam ball (I used double-sided tape for all steps in the process). Next, use more double-sided tape to cover Bruce’s back third with tape so the yarn will stick with ease.
Cut strips of the colored yarn and wrap it around the mouse’s body in stripes. Tape on a tail at the end.
Cut teardrop ear shapes from your red foam or felt and tape those onto the first or second stripe. Finally, tape on Bruce’s eye pom poms and nose pom pom, and voila!
You might also be interested in my Bob the Artist beak craft!