Children's Books Library Discoveries: ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today?’

Shamefully, this is only our second installment of the Library Discoveries series, but rest assured that we’re getting back in the saddle and are ready to share the best of our library finds. Before we dive into the book du jour, here’s what you can expect from the Library Discoveries series: When my kiddo and I hit the library, we usually come walking out with a good 10 books in our bag - some are definitely bigger hits than others, and it’s those winners that we’ll be sharing with you in this series.

With the knowledge that the land of children’s literature is packed with spectacular gems, it stands to reason that we are missing out on some great reads, so if there’s a book that you’d love to see reviewed in this series you can leave a comment below or email Simply Becca with your suggestions. With that, we’re onto our latest library find!

One of our most recent library discoveries is Have You Filled a Bucket Today?, written by Carol McCloud and illustrated by David Messing. This “guide to daily happiness for kids” is a winner of nine awards and the recipient of The Just for Mom Foundation Mom’s Choice Award. As my daughter and I settled in to read this gem, I found myself comparing it to the “Warm Fuzzies/Cold Pricklies” book that my mom shared with me when I was a kid.

Not only does Have You Filled a Bucket Today? have a great message, but its illustrations will keep your young reader engaged and it gives you and your children a whole new set of lingo with which to communicate.

The story begins by sharing that everyone in the whole wide world walks around carrying an invisible bucket, “You can’t see it, but it’s there.” And to bring that broad statement into your child’s world it goes on to add that everyone in your family, your grandparents, friends, neighbors…We’ve all got buckets. What are these buckets for, you wonder? Well, that bucket has “one purpose only,” to hold all of our good thoughts and feelings – a full bucket means you’re feeling happy and good, while an empty bucket means you’re feeling very sad and lonely.

The book goes on to share how we need others to fill our buckets, just as they need us to fill theirs, and then it gets to the lingo I love, that took me back to those aforementioned warm fuzzies and cold pricklies. You can either be a “bucket filler” or a “bucket dipper.” It gives the reader oodles of ideas for how one might go about being a bucket filler, as well as examples of what kinds of behaviors would lead one to being a bucket dipper.

This book led to some great discussion for my daughter and me, and our instant love for the book was seconded when my nieces and nephews (ages 7-13) came over, saw the book and instantly exclaimed over how much they had loved the book. I also read this book to a group of 15 kids, ranging in age from 4 to 13; they were engaged with the story and eager to share in the discussion following our reading.

Since reading Have You Filled a Bucket Today?, my daughter and I remind each other almost every day to be a bucket filler for someone(s) today. So let me get you started with a reminder to not only be a bucket filler, but for all of us to be our kids’ number one bucket fillers. It’s so easy to take a dip into someone’s bucket (especially those we love the most), but if we take a second in checking our responses, maybe we’ll find ourselves filling their buckets to overflowing.

About the book:

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

Written by Carol McCloud

Illustrated by David Messing

Copyright 2006

Published by Ferne Press

ISBN #978-0-9785975

Hardcover: 32 pages

Recommended ages: 4 and up

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