- We recommend: “How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids” by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer, with illustrations by Maurie J. Manning
- This book is for: kids in preschool through fourth grade
- Summary: 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?
“How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids” is a kid-friendly retelling of Tom Rath’s book of the same title for grown-ups. It’s based on the idea that everyone has an invisible bucket of water that follows them around and represents their emotional energy. Every positive interaction adds to the bucket, while negative experiences dip from the bucket.
In this version, main character Felix learns about buckets from his grandfather. The next day, he can see everyone’s buckets, but he has a rough morning, and his bucket empties as he goes. The afternoon takes a turn for the better, and his bucket fills up again. He later adds to his little sister’s bucket by inviting her to play with him, becoming a true bucket-filler.
Using a story to spread the concept of bucket-fillers is a great way to remind kids to build people up. Manning’s artwork highlights the story perfectly, especially the kids’ colorful and unique outfits. (Keep an eye out for Felix’s sister’s tutu, and his Laser Ant backpack.) The writing may be a little simple for older readers, especially on some of the montage pages, but the lesson is a good one for readers of all ages.