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A Bucket of Blessings: with audio recording

A Bucket of Blessings: with audio recording

by Maya Angelou

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A beautiful myth from India comes to life in this enchanting, New York Times bestselling picture book.

Near a majestic mountain in a vast jungle with many mango trees, it has not rained for weeks and weeks. The village well and pond are dry. Monkey and his friends look everywhere for water, but they have no luck. And then Monkey remembers a story his


A beautiful myth from India comes to life in this enchanting, New York Times bestselling picture book.

Near a majestic mountain in a vast jungle with many mango trees, it has not rained for weeks and weeks. The village well and pond are dry. Monkey and his friends look everywhere for water, but they have no luck. And then Monkey remembers a story his mama used to tell him, a story about how peacocks can make it rain by dancing. So he sets out to see if the story is true…

This little-known legend, told with dramatic rhythm and illustrated with the colors and textures of India, is sure to delight and inspire.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Monkey, our hero, lives in a jungle where it has not rained in weeks. The well and pond are dry. Remembering a story his mother told about how peacocks dancing can bring rain, Monkey climbs the nearby mountain to visit Peacock. But Peacock says he needs water to make it rain. Monkey finds a hidden spring and fills a bucket for Peacock. When he finds him, Monkey is crushed to find that almost all the water has leaked out of the bucket along the way. But when he looks back, we see on a double page that the leaked water has brought everything behind him back to colorful life. Inspired, Peacock drinks the last few drops of water from the bucket and dances in a stunning picture. The rain begins to fall. The leaky bucket has been “a blessing to us all.” Tsong uses traditional block prints combined with digital rendering to fill the double pages with intense colors and patterns. The blue monkey has a human-type face; the other animals are more naturalistic but stylized. A note relates the story to Indian literature and art and Hindu mythology. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Near a beautiful mountain, in a jungle where mango trees grow, lives Monkey. It has not rained for weeks, and both the well and pond are dry. Monkey and his animal neighbors look and look, but there is no water to be found. Eventually, he remembers a story his mother once told about how dancing peacocks can bring rain. So he sets out to climb the mountain to see if Peacock can help bring water to the village. Peacock, however, says he needs water to help make it rain. "Can you find me some?" asks Peacock, and Monkey agrees to try. Lucky Monkey finds a hidden cave with a spring, gets his bucket, and heads back up the mountain. Passing all the animals along the way, he thinks things are beginning to look up, until he discovers that his bucket has a hole. There are only a few drops of water left. Nevertheless, the water spilled along the way is enough to make the land magically bloom. He pours the last few drops onto Peacock's head, who spreads his beautifully colored tail feathers and dances. The rains return. Based on an Indian myth, the story is one of perseverance and hope in the midst of trouble. The colorful illustrations have been rendered with block prints in combination with digital enhancements. A nice addition to folklore collections.—Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA
Publishers Weekly
Tsong (Up in the Hawaiian Sky) illustrates this modest folktale with crisp artwork, assembling colored and patterned shapes to depict a mountainside in rural India. A drought has parched the land, and Monkey, who has lilac fur and a nearly human face, hopes the peacock at the top of the mountain can break the drought by dancing. “Oh, Monkey, I need water to make it rain,” the peacock tells him. On the way down, Monkey takes refuge in a cave. In a striking spread, a single shaft of light makes a secret spring gleam; nothing could better convey the water’s preciousness. Monkey fills his bucket, but it’s leaky, and it drips steadily as Monkey again climbs the mountain. In despair, he looks behind him to discover a trail of flowers, leaves, and birds. The water has brought them miraculously to life and allowed the peacock to dance and bring rain, too. Kabir Sehgal and his mother, Surishtha, tell the story in the simplest prose; the wealth water represents is conveyed through Tsong’s artwork. Some of the book’s proceeds will benefit a water charity. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
Dr. Maya Angelou
"Kabir and Surishtha Sehgal, in their A Bucket of Blessings, have managed to inform the readership exquisitely of a thousand truths in just about a few hundred words.
The reader is shown that it is a blessing to be a blessing. The authors deftly show the reader that when one's intent is to help another, people whose names they will never know and faces they will never see, will benefit.
This is a wonderful children's story which adults will find delightful to read."
Kirkus Reviews
Deep in the jungle, the animals are experiencing a drought. Monkey remembers the story his mother had told him about how "peacocks can make it rain by dancing," so he climbs the mountain to find the bird. Peacock claims he needs water to make it rain; conveniently, Monkey now finds some inside a cave. Unbeknownst to him, the bucket he fetches to carry the water has a hole, and it leaks all the way back to Peacock. Not only do those drops change the landscape from brown to Technicolor, but when Peacock dances in response to the remaining drips, "buckets of rain" begin to fall. The illustrations are a combination of block printing and digital manipulation. While the monkey is awkwardly rendered, the textures of the landscape are pleasing, and some double-page spreads—in particular, the storm and the peacock's dance—are striking. These do not compensate, however, for a contrived plot and lackluster writing; there is little to recommend this story despite the well-meaning provision to funnel a portion of profits to a clean-water charity. Books born to carry a message are burdened by that baggage; this is no exception. (authors' note) (Picture book. 3-5)

Product Details

Beach Lane Books
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AD560L (what's this?)
File size:
11 MB
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Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Kabir Sehgal started his class newspaper in second grade and has been writing ever since. A bestselling author of several books, he is also a jazz bassist and Grammy-winning producer. One day he hopes to drive a tuk tuk through the streets of India. But for now he rides the subway in New York City. 
Surishtha Sehgal was a university professor for many years and now enjoys reading to children during story time. She is the founder of a nonprofit organization that promotes social responsibility among students, and she serves on the boards of two universities and a national arts center. She loves sipping chai with her family in Atlanta.
Jing Jing Tsong is a mom, musician, and surfer whose grown-up job is drawing pictures. Her technique, which layers color and texture, is influenced by her experiences working in traditional stone lithography and monoprints. Her debut picture book, A Bucket of Blessings, written by Kabir and Surishtha Sehgal, was a New York Times bestseller. Jing Jing and her husband Mike Austin (also a designer turned illustrator) live on an island in Washington state. Visit her at JingJingTsong.com.

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