Most helpful critical review
104 of 106 people found the following review helpful
Misses a major point
on July 16, 2013
I found this book in a local bookstore where someone had left it on top of other non-related books. I flipped through it quickly and the messages I saw and the beautiful illustrations led me to make it an impulse buy.
When I read it to my daughter that evening, however, I found a major flaw in its premise. The book does a great job of creating the bucket analogy, but blatantly states that you need "others to fill your bucket". While it does circle back around to explain that filling the bucket of others (i.e. by being kind, helpful, etc.) can help fill the child's own bucket, I think it misses an important point - kids can fill their own buckets!
Unlike other reviewers, I didn't feel like it created co-dependence, but I do think it gives the message that a child needs the affirmation of others to have a full bucket. There is no mention of talking nicely to and about themselves, appreciating what they have, expressing gratitude for what they have, recognizing their own strengths and skills, seeing the beauty within themselves - all of which fill their own buckets.
I don't believe that one book will define a child, but this book certainly does loosely make the case for being approval and praise junkies - not a message I want my kid to take away from a book. It would have been a far better book if it had included the ways you can fill your own bucket, because there are times in life when that is the only way your bucket is going to get filled. And it would be a far better skill to have than waiting around for someone else to fill your bucket!!
Personally, I told my daughter flat out that the author made a mistake and we discussed all the ways one can fill their own bucket. Because of the beautiful illustrations and the springboard for the discussion, I left it at three stars. But I would not recommend this book to any parent unless they are willing to have more in-depth conversation about it.