The Little Bucket – A Children’s Book – the Answer is Inside
by Boysen Hodgson
New Warrior brother Jeffrey Bates (Bedford, Indiana 1996), has written a mythical children’s story called The Little Bucket. With a poetic voice and unique illustrations The Little Bucket is a hero’s journey that will enliven and stimulate the imagination. The book teaches about empathy, boundaries, how to understand bullying, reaching out for help, and also about what it’s like to feel lonely and lost and not know what to do about it.
When I got the book from Jeff earlier this spring, I shared it with my foster daughters. They both enjoyed the story, and it opened a much bigger conversation about what it means to look inside when things are hard. In a culture without a lot of strong models for emotional intelligence or personal responsibility, this is a story that can open some doors. It challenges blame and shame patterns that can get embedded so quickly in a child’s psyche. I have referred back to the messages of The Little Bucket when working with my daughters to remind them that the what’s going on on the ‘outside’ is only a tiny part of the reality … the BIG stuff is on the inside.
The thematic illustrations are gentle and colorful. The poetry flows with each turn of the page as the story moves through loss and revelation of a mysterious answer to the problem.
A reviewer commented, “Jeff Bates’ use of rhyme and imagination creates a story to help readers of all ages to look within themselves and live life to its fullest.” (Roxanne L. Pace, Library Media Specialist, Brevard County, Florida)
Jeff Bates says, “One of the things we lack in our approach to helping build character in our children and feeling self-confidence is a model. The Little Bucket fills this gap and provides an opportunity for deeper discussion about the things that matter most: feelings. Once we can enable the discussion of feelings, we can make great strides in helping our kids concentrate better and become strong from within.”
He continues, “We are all overwhelmed by the entertaining digital world which really distracts kids from the real learning they need to be doing. I’m just not talking about ‘school learning’, but learning about what’s going on on the inside.”
Additionally, when kids experience social pressure to conform and to give in to others, and feel distracted or intimidated by it, they can lose track of themselves, have difficulty concentrating and then spend the rest of their lives trying to recover.
Bates states that he is interested in selling the book, not just for the books sake, but for what can happen when it’s heard. The Little Bucket can help kids discover themselves on the inside and, according to Psychotherapist Larry Pesavento of Cincinnati, Ohio, discover that “happiness is an inside job.”
If you have little ones, or big ones, and you struggle with starting a conversation around feelings such as sadness, fear, anger or even joy with them, this book can be a helpful kick-starter.
The Little Bucket is available at Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com to order. Also visit The Little Bucket on Facebook and be sure to give him a “LIKE.” Jeff also has The Little Bucket presentation where he comes to your group/class/school to present the story, have a discusion and then sing The Ballad of The Little Bucket. You can visit the author’s page at http://jeffreybates.net for more information.
– is a deeply personal issue that everyone decides for himself. Sometimes the price is high, sometimes low. But this is not very important for life. Life is an interesting thing. And the price on Viagra – too.