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Summary: Each of us carries an invisible bucket. The choices we make help us fill others' buckets ... or empty ours. This book uses a bucket to express how we can share happiness and bring it to ourselves.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, read aloud book, middle grade reader
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 9; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Age of Child: Started reading with 5½-year-old child.
Young Reader Reaction: Our child instantly grasped the concept and after the first two readings (we were asked to read it two times at the first sitting) s/he began talking about buckets and using the bucket to describe/assess her own actions.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fabulous story. This is one of the best books we have seen. There are great stories, but for toddlers and preschoolers, concepts like friendship, hurting someone's feelings, etc. need to have a tangible/visible symbol.
Pros: This book takes an abstract concept (caring) and creates a concrete symbol that children can recognize and will readily emulate.
Borrow or Buy: Buy! Your toddler will easily understand the story and its meaning, but it will also grow with your child and have meaning for many years ... particularly as s/he starts building relationships independently.
Educational Themes: The message of this book is clear: being kind to others also brings us happiness; meanness makes us all feel bad. The story offers examples of things children (and adults) can do, but there is plenty of room to ask "what else can we do" or "what if x happens"?
Notes: This is a picture book based on the "Bucket Man" program created by Merrill Lundgren. A portion of the proceeds form this book is donated to the Salvation Army.
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