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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.
Do you have any book recommendations to teach empathy to kids?
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