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4.9 out of 5 stars101
4.9 out of 5 stars
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2009
Based on a really good metaphor - the book tells us how people carry around buckets, when the bucket is full people feel good, when empty, it feels sad -
my young son really understands it well, and can talk to him about how he's feeling- how full his bucket is!, and filling peoples buckets (i.e. making someone happy by saying doing nice stuff to/for em), and about emptying peoples buckets (i.e. making them sad by being mean etc),
in the book its also shown how filling someone else's bucket also fills your own - though i suppose it could create a more selfish wish to fill the bucket, the end result is still good- and it is so true- i've so often found that willingly doing good for other people does feel good- as does people doin good for you : )
It also shows bullies may have empty buckets - and says they try to take from other peoples buckets to fill their own, but it doesn't work- emptying someone else's bucket empties, not fills their buckets..........

And theres a really sweet bit, where it suggest different ways of filling buckets, such as letting your grandad you like spending time with him, and suggesting they fill a bucket now - to tell your mum or dad you love them, and why you love them, and watch them smile as it fills your bucket :) (it works : ) .
This means this book is also good for teaching communication of feelings, appreciations which so many of us sometimes forget to do-(and how often does this cause problems in various relationships?,) as well as encouraging focusing on and appreciating the good in life which can also result in feeling happier.
I do change one thing when reading tho, instead of saying `you need others to fill your bucket and others need you to fill theirs', I say `other people can fill your bucket, and you can fill theirs', as surely we can fill our own buckets too if we have the right mindset??.... but apart from that, the book is pretty much spot on I think.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2013
I am a teaching assistant/ELSA and this book is brilliant. My children totally understood the concept of the story. It has made a difference for them to understand their actions towards others and express their own emotions. Would recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2013
I love this book - is a really great way to help children think about how they are making others feel. A lovely way of thinking of how you effect others. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2013
This is a very original way of explaining things and applies to every day things very similar to a glass half empty but with a different twist that children can relate to great book and gives loads os ideas
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2015
Absolutely excellent book, very clear messages to children when read to. Would certainly recommend as part of a phse or self esteem session
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2013
I read reviews of this book on a US website and was ordered it out as an experiment. My son has a tendency to be a little negative and I was looking for a book we could use to discuss being aware of the impact of negativity on those around you. This book is perfect in that respect (although it is a little repetitive). To a UK reader it might seem a little preachy but I do not think that is a problem as it gets its message across. To summarise, the premise of the book is that we all carry an invisible bucket which gets filled when someone says or does kind/positive words/actions directed at us and that having a full bucket makes us feel happy. In filling someone else's bucket you also fill up your own, as making others feel good makes you feel good. Rather amusingly/predictably (perhaps for the slight preachiness mentioned) my son (aged 7) did not particularly like the book, however his little sister (aged 4), who is much more cheerful by nature, really loved it and would at the end of every day discuss whether she had "filled her bucket" and my son would then join in and so the book has certainly served its purpose. The expression has become part of our family's vocabulary and I will now say to him if he is very negative that he is "emptying my bucket" and he instantly understands and modifies his behaviour. I would recommend this book although if it hadn't been for his younger sister's enthusiasm this might have been less successful!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2014
A brilliant book to read to young children, very well written and thought provoking. I'm a teacher and have bought it to use during teaching Personal, Social and Health Education. It is suitable for both parents and teachers to share with children. I tried it out on my husband and he loved it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2014
Absolutely fantastic book covering everything from acknowledging your own achievements to recognising other peoples kindness. Really helpful part about bucket dippers and bullying. My 6 year old has loved it and made her own bucket and puts the 3 best things that happened everyday in it.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 2015
Have read this with my three boys today (ages 6, 4 and 4), and while it doesn't probably bear much re-reading because it is not a story, but a "lesson" (once imparted, you apply the learning), I was quite pleased with how it is told. You know, American produce can sometimes be a bit unpalatable to English ears and sensibilities, so it's always a risk, but I think the message survived the expression here. Essentially, it promotes the idea to children that they have the choice, and the power, to either fill their day (and self) with good things, or with unkind and unhappy things. Our boys' primary school teachers talk to our children about making "good choices" or "bad choices" when they have broken a rule or done something unkind or hurtful to another, so there is some philosophy in current PSHE education out there which this reinforces.

I immediately started telling the boys (who were not behaving very well before Daddy sat down with them to read this, because overtired and needing to wind down, and likely to return to whacking each other at the suggestion that post-story, the brush their teeth) - I applied the bucket metaphor and praised/flattered each one of them with how they'd filled my bucket that day (look at me, focusing on the positive, but it works, alongside cuddles). You've got to give my eldest credit, though, for sensing he's being "managed", or perhaps for wanting to undermine the positive message, when he mimed scooping out the good stuff from everyone's buckets (called "bucket dipping") - i.e. taking the message about the bad from the book.

The thing is, that then becomes an opportunity to show that it's actually more subtle than that, that you can't bring someone down by miming robbing them of stuff, unless of course I had my heart set on them being angelic and behaving in a certain way after they'd read the book - so, what brings people down/robs their bucket, is different for each person, but they might already know what brings them down.

One of the limits of the book that stood out for me, in fact, was this exploration of what happens when buckets are robbed (I didn't think "bucket dipping" was a great phrase, it doesn't get across for me what might be happening when someone does something unkind to another for their own benefit). The lesson that is stated here is "Many people... think they can fill their own bucket by dipping into someone else's... but that will never work. You never fill your own bucket when you dip into someone else's".

I think this should have been elaborated. My boys experience daily their own battles amongst themselves of bucket robbing, and at school we have already had a term of friendships strife (apparently it's the stuff of girls' school experience) when it appears that one person is gaining considerably (in ego, confidence, popularity) from making another (our child) miserable.

Apparently. The boys won't exactly believe that "that will never work", as I imagine anyone who is bullied won't believe, so this point should be expanded upon, because the book otherwise suggests that bucket filling is symbiotic (with another's bucket/actions), so why not explain why bullies, for example, never really have a full bucket.

Otherwise, as my 6 year old suggests, you finish the book with thinking it's a viable option to be the baddy!

Still, it's a great starting point for some empowered, conscious thinking amongst the boys.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2013
Wow - I read this and nearly filled a bucket myself and not in the way that the author intends! As an adult it does come across as extremely saccharine and 'American'.

HOWEVER, my 6 year old absolutely loves it - he'd heard it in school and begged me to buy it. It puts across in a visual and easy to understand way some pretty tricky concepts i.e if you are kind you make someone feel good and 'fill' their bucket, if you are unkind you become a 'bucket dipper' and empty the other person's bucket.

My son's class now discuss who has behaved well or poorly using the concepts from this book. I've also used this book in my own school with some children who have behaviour/social/friendship issues and it has proved to be extremely successful.

One issue I have, which has been picked up by another reviewer, is the page which says, 'You need other people to fill your bucket'. If we are trying to teach children emotional resilience and self-reliance, I think it's important that they can understand they can change their own feelings or 'fill their own bucket' too. Although this subject could probably be a whole book by itself.

As an adult this book doesn't have the 'cross generation' appeal of many others, however it clearly appeals to children greatly. In my opinion any book that encourages children to explore and understand their feelings and relationships with others is a valuable resource. I would definitely purchase again. It works equally well on a one to one basis at home as with a class or within a whole school assembly.
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