Intended for ages 9-12, this collection of 10 true vignettes elucidate the bucket-filling philosophy of being a helpful and caring person.
There is a simple philosophy behind bucket filling. As Lundgren writes in her introduction, “We each have an invisible bucket. When it is full, we feel good—happy, peaceful, grateful, or loving. When it is empty, we feel bad—sad, lonely, angry, and frightened.” Ultimately, we must decide whether to be selfless “bucketfillers” or selfish “bucketdippers,” and through a series of short and sweet anecdotes, the book pushes the idea that it is far better to fill than to dip. The stories focus on regular folks who choose to be a positive force for others in small ways. There is the mom who picks up a gallon of gas for the new family at church and relates her story to the police officer who stops her for speeding. Hearing her story, the officer lets the woman go with only a warning—filling the woman’s bucket rather than dipping into it by issuing a ticket on Christmas Eve. Another vignette tells of a ballet dancer reminiscing about the high school teacher who not only allowed her to find solace in dance during the darkest days of her parents’ divorce, but was there with an extra hug when needed. While the stories are often overtly sentimental (seemingly cut from the same cloth as a Hallmark card commercial), each effectively demonstrates that it is just as easy to do good in this world as it is to do ill or nothing. All of the tales culminate with a set of discussion questions that allow the reader to bring her own insight into what she has just read; perfect for a classroom setting. This trains the reader to get into the proper mind-set to use the bucket-filling philosophy in her own life. Despite the book’s slight feel (10 stories in just over 100 pages), the reader will be left hard pressed not to fill more buckets in her life.
Similar to the vignettes found in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, this book’s sentimental collection can’t help but warm your heart.