My mom bought Max How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids back when I was still reading to my belly. She’d heard about it at work (imagine that, a teacher recommending a book!) and decided that her grandson just had to have it. Lucky us!
Author Tom Rath co-wrote How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies For Work And Life with Donald O. Clifton, then reworked the concept to make it kid-friendly with Mary Reckmeyer. Having not read the adult version, this review of the one that (I assume) has more pretty pictures (by Maurie J. Manning) will concentrate on the concept’s ability to apply to kids.
The main concept taught is how we can create good days or bad days based on our attitudes and actions.
The grandfather in the book catches his grandson being a big brother (read: making his little sister mad by telling her she’s too little to play with his toys); to help keep the peace, Grandpa tells Felix all about the buckets everyone has that we can fill with good deeds and happiness or empty with bullying and frustration. Felix rolls his eyes at Grandpa’s words, but the next day, something crazy happens.
When he wakes up, Felix sees a bucket above his head. When he goes to eat breakfast, he can see the buckets above his family members’ heads, and on the bus and at school there are still more floating buckets.
Throughout the day, Felix notices some words and actions emptying his bucket and the buckets of others, while other words and actions add little drips or great big torrents of drops to those buckets. He starts being nice to everyone to help fill their buckets, and in return his bucket fills as well.
I can’t get enough of this book! In the stories I write, I try to convey the same concept: that being nice is its own reward.
Max loves the brightly drawn and active illustrations and identifies with the kids playing blocks and dollies (yep, Daddy’s not thrilled, but the boy loves his dolls). He also adores the fun sounds of water WHOOSHING! out of the bucket and DRIP! DRIP! DRIPPING! back in.
We’re doing our best right now to teach him hitting, pinching and biting hurt, and as he gets a little older I’m hoping this book will help with that concept (although for the love of God I hope he learns to stop leaving teethmarks on Mommy before then).
How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids deserves 5 snacks: