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I have been on the lookout for books that teach kindness and empathy. So when I came across this multiple award-winning book on Amazon, I did not hesitate to buy it. In the reviews, Have you filled a bucket today? is described as a “heartwarming book”. Once you open the pages, it’s easy to see the appeal of the simple prose and beautiful illustrations.
In the book, author Carol McCloud uses a simple analogy to describe our state of emotional well-being. We all carry invisible buckets!
The metaphors “bucket-filling” and “bucket-dipping” are used to describe the effects of our actions and words on others.
Examples of day-to-day bucket-filling actions are given: saying “I love you” to our parents, being nice to friends, writing thank-you notes to our teachers.
It was a simple read for 8-year old C. I know she liked the book because I caught her flipping through the book by herself on a few occasions. It definitely made an impact on her because she started referring to her friends as “bucket-fillers” 😉
The simple text and vivid illustrations helped to keep his interest. While G understood the literal meaning of “bucket-filling” and “bucket-dipping” (or bucket-emptying in his words), I had to explain that a full bucket means that the person was happy, and an empty bucket meant that the person was sad. He was also able to describe how he could “fill buckets” – by helping his friends and sharing his toys.
I loved the fact that a bucket was used as an analogy instead of an emotional tank so that the kids could easily relate to it. The examples of “bucket-filling” actions were also easy for kids to follow. I really appreciated the fact that they made an effort to include different nationalities in the illustrations 🙂
The language used is simple and it makes for a great read-aloud (helpful when you have to read the book over and over again!) I enjoyed reading the book with the kids, and it was a good starting point for a discussion on positive and negative behaviors and their impact on others.
I would definitely recommend this lovely book to kids as young as 2, to 9. There are also follow up activities available on the web.
You can get the book here:
Do you have any book recommendations to teach empathy to kids?
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