There are many things I look forward to when beginning a new year, one is sharing all the books I’ve had for years with a new group of children. I pass them down year after year like a grandmother passes down a cherished recipe, or a warm quilt. Reading them again churns up an ocean full of memories of hard lessons learned, echoes of laughter and squeals of delight, little faces fixed with terror or eyebrows arched with curiosity. I added a book to my library last year that will be read the first week of school for the rest of my career. How to Fill a Bucket teaches children how our words and actions affect our moods. With a simple word or deed we can crush someone’s pride, lift up their spirits, sneak in a smile, or patch up a bruised ego…we either take water from the bucket we all have in our hearts, or we add a few drops to their bucket.
Another book that I have never had the right audience to read aloud to is: