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How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids Hardcover – April 1, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2—Based on the author's adult work How Full Is Your Bucket? (Gallup, 2004), this book explains that we all have invisible buckets of water over our heads. The negative actions of others toward us can empty the buckets, and our own meanness toward them can deplete their vessels, too. Positive actions reverse the process. Felix refuses to allow his sister to play blocks with him. When she angrily kicks over his tower, his grandfather explains that Felix dipped from his sister's container. The next morning Felix actually sees a bucket floating over his own head, and during the course of the day, as he is alternately bullied and praised, he realizes what causes it to be empty or full. This story is so heavy-handed and didactic that children are likely to find it laughable. Neither Felix, his sister, nor even their dog is a likable character, and the floating buckets over everyone's head look just plain silly.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ END
From the Publisher
When Felix wakes up one morning, he finds an invisible bucket floating overhead. A rotten morning threatens his mood - and his bucket - drop by drop. Can Felix discover how to refill his bucket before it's completely empty?
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Top Customer Reviews
I originally found out about bucket filling through author Carol McCloud's book Have You Filled a Bucket Today?. It's a neat picture book explaining just what is the business of "Bucket Filling." If you've been using this story (or even if you haven't) to explain this wonderful metaphor, then you ABSOLUTELY need How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids.
What makes this book so special is the focus is on a boy, Felix, and what happens to his bucket throughout his day. He wakes up in the morning with a pretty full bucket. But he spills the cereal and his mom scolds him. Ouch, hurt feelings. DRIP. I loved watching the students' reaction to that word. They hadn't heard bucket filling described that way. Felix gets to school and has a series of negative encounters with kids. DRIP. DRIP. All those positive feelings he started with start going away until his bucket is almost empty. '
But then something happens to stop the DRIPS. Felix's teacher gives him a compliment. DROP. The class is supportive of him and praises his effort. DROP! He starts receiving compliments and acts of kindness from others as the school day continues. DROP! His bucket starts to fill back up with positive feelings.
Here comes my favorite part. '' Once his bucket is filled back up he looks around the playground and notices everyone else has one too....and a lot of them need filling. He now has a real understanding of how it works. And so will your kids! So Felix gets right to it by being kind and helpful. DROP! DROP! This time there are two drops. When he fills another person's bucket, he fills his own too.
The students were SO excited when they saw the cover. I've been reading it the first couple weeks of school so kids can remember to start filling others' buckets immediately. I plan on reading it again throughout the school year. This is one of those stories they like to hear over and over again. It is very well written, the illustrations are perfect, and it speaks to kids. They completely relate to Felix and the ups and downs of his day. Using the "drips" and "drops" as a way to describe positive and negative interactions was easily understood by the students. We've started putting our new discovered language to use! ''Bucket filling is a way of life in my school. I hope you do the same in your school and home.
I'm pretty lukewarm on this book. Some sections do a good job communicating this theme. My son really likes the book.
Here's where I think the book is very unsuccessful: a whole lotta things get done by various characters in this book that are highly "bucket emptying" kinds of behaviors, but they go unacknowledged while every tiny thing Felix, the main character, does is either shamed or praised for its emptying or filling of buckets. There are two main examples of this:
- On the first page, Felix is nasty to his sister, who has asked nicely to play blocks with him. On the next two pages, she pleads her case, "I'll be careful" etc. Felix responds nastily to her and she responds by kicking over his block tower, blocks flying everywhere and the onomatopoeia "THWACK!" shown above her violent reaction. Turn the page to see Felix summoning Grandpa.
When Grandpa arrives on the scene, he is shown consoling...who? Felix, whose block tower was just destroyed by an outright naughty behavior of the sister? No. Grandpa is picking up sister for a snuggle and bitching out Felix for "dipping from your sister's bucket." Felix is in trouble for being nasty on the first two pages, but sister is being cuddled despite her far-greater-sin act of aggression. It doesn't make any sense at all and I think it can really confuse the message for a small child whose parents are reading him this book. Grandpa should at least have said "Your sister should not have destroyed your tower, but the problem started when you dipped from her bucket" or something similar.
- 2nd example: Felix takes the bucket analogy to heart while he's at school, experiencing both the hurt of having his bucket emptied by kids who tease him as well as the joy of having it filled by people being nice to him/him being nice to others. Fine. But when he gets home from school and sees the family dog has torn apart his sister's doll, what goes through his mind? " 'Bad dog!' he almost scolded. But then he thought maybe dogs have buckets too." What? Having a bucket means there are no consequences for bad behavior? Not that I think it's the child's job to scold the family pet, but the message conveyed is "if punishment is meted out for bad behavior, that's wrong because it empties the guilty party's bucket."
I just find the message that is intended by this book is lost in its faulty logic and can ultimately just be confusing to a small child.
There are two or three really great on-point pages that are good at illustrating the concept, so it's not a total mess but it's seriously flawed.
I'm leaving a review for this, simply because I loved the book and felt that it deserves accolades. I purchased it via the school book fair for three boys. I loved it so much, I went on Amazon and purchased two more, one for myself and one for a friends children.
It really does sum as showing that the more you help others, the more your bucket is full, and by helping others, you are filling their bucket. It's a VERY BASIC lesson in life. Be kind to others and you will feel so much better.
Love the book, the illustrations, everything about it. Would recommend it as gifts for children AND adults!