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A Bucket of Blessings Hardcover – April 29, 2014
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Near a beautiful mountain, in a jungle where mango trees grow, lives Monkey. It has not rained for weeks, and both the well and pond are dry. Monkey and his animal neighbors look and look, but there is no water to be found. Eventually, he remembers a story his mother once told about how dancing peacocks can bring rain. So he sets out to climb the mountain to see if Peacock can help bring water to the village. Peacock, however, says he needs water to help make it rain. "Can you find me some?" asks Peacock, and Monkey agrees to try. Lucky Monkey finds a hidden cave with a spring, gets his bucket, and heads back up the mountain. Passing all the animals along the way, he thinks things are beginning to look up, until he discovers that his bucket has a hole. There are only a few drops of water left. Nevertheless, the water spilled along the way is enough to make the land magically bloom. He pours the last few drops onto Peacock's head, who spreads his beautifully colored tail feathers and dances. The rains return. Based on an Indian myth, the story is one of perseverance and hope in the midst of trouble. The colorful illustrations have been rendered with block prints in combination with digital enhancements. A nice addition to folklore collections.—Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA
This is a story about the power of belief—and water. When the animals worry about the lack of rain in the jungle, Monkey remembers a tale relating how Peacock’s dancing can bring rain. He finds Peacock (an important bird in Indian mythology) only to be told that he needs water to make rain. Resourceful Monkey finds some, but his leaky bucket is almost empty when he returns. However, the tiny drops have made places in the jungle bloom, and after seeing the evidence of the power of those few splashes, Peacock creates a downpour. The many circular patterns in Tsong’s illustrations, created in traditional block printing with digital rendering, add movement to the story. Peacock radiates life, with bright colors and fanciful designs in his extraordinary tail. His persona juxtaposes well against Tsong’s blue monkey. His childlike face adds to the book’s imaginative and appealing nature. Preschool-Grade 1. --Edie Ching
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is told in present tense, with animal characters. The story is simple and encourages young readers to do good deeds, however small, because even small blessings can bring big change. The pacing is decent, though I felt like there was too little description in the writing, to convey the message. The artwork does a lot of the heavy-lifting. Water scarcity and volunteering are subjects that are difficult to introduce to young children, but these complex concepts are simplified enough for children to understand. This is a beautifully illustrated book addressing very important values. I can definitely applaud the writer for their vision.
The large and beautiful illustrations in the book are an absolute treat The fact that the proceeds are going directly to a reputed charity only solidifies the fact that this book is a solid buy.