Picture Book: Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids
Author: Carol McCloud
Illustrator: David Messing
Summary: Based on the adult book and grounded in 50 years of research, How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, this picture book puts those authors’ ideas in an inviting format for children. The guiding metaphor here is that each of us has been carrying an invisible bucket since birth. The purpose of the bucket is to hold good thoughts and feelings about yourself. You need others to fill your bucket by being loving to you, and they need you to fill their bucket by being loving to them. What’s wonderful is that the act of filling someone else’s bucket fills your bucket as well. You feel good when you help others feel good. However, you might sometimes be a “bucket dipper.” This occurs when you take away someone’s good feelings by saying or doing mean things to them.
Hanna’s Comments: There are numerous resources, including other picture books, about this concept of bucket filling as a metaphor for the importance of loving attention. I chose this book because it teaches children how to fill others’ buckets and focuses on how our actions influence others’ well-being, important aspects of any faith community. Another strength of this book is the way in which it teaches empathy, an important skill for personal resilience and functional community. Find an introduction by the author. For more information and resources including free downloads, visit www.bucketfillers101.com.
Publisher & Date of Publication: Ferne Press, 2006
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
# of Pages: 32
Available in Spanish? Not at present
Formats other than Book: Amateur videos on Youtube.com where there is also a song about being bucket fillers.
PBT Category: Award Winner, Post 2K
PBT Topics this Book Connects with: affection, affirmation, body of Christ, brokenness, caring/tending, choices/decisions, dependence/interdependence, emotions/feelings, encouragement, gladness/happiness, golden rule, goodness, joy, kindness, love, nurturing, perspective, power, relationships, satisfaction, self-acceptance/self-image/self-esteem
Scripture Connections: This is my commandment that you love one another (John 15:12); rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15); be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32); all of you have unity of mind, sympathy, love, a tender heart and a humble mind
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book when doing a lesson for children on your faith community’s loving interdependence and God's call to live in this way.