Easter holiday is over, but the joy and hope remain. This year the festivities were marred with the deep sadness for the people of Sri Lanka. Whether you, dear reader, are a Christian or not, I hope you agree that terrorism is the most EXTREME form of bullying there is. I also hope that you agree that it is part of our job, as parents or educators, to teach our children that even when we don’t accept or believe the same as others, we can, and SHOULD, be kind.
Crystal Bowman’s book “The Boy on the Yellow Bus” has been my go-to tool for launching off all lessons or conversations involving kindness for nearly a decade! It was published in 2010 while I was a preschool teacher, and I couldn’t wait to read it with my students. Well, as you know, I am now a mom of three, and this book has been read so many times the binding has started to fray, so I have had to hold it together with tape. We can’t get enough! The illustrations by Karen Lee are sweet and engaging, the rhyme scheme is entertaining and catchy, but most importantly, the story’s valuable message is shown throughout the book in a way that makes it clear that (SPOILER ALERT) through kindness,”(they) can do important things, no matter what (their) size!”
- Age appropriate words and tone Yes
- Age appropriate messaging – Yes
- Engaging illustrations – Yes
- Inspire growth, imagination, or thought- Yes
- Sustainable interest over multiple reads- Yes
- I would rate this book a 5 out of 5!
You’ve Read the book, now what?
My son is nine years old, and while we love reading chapter books like the “Harry Potter” series, or “Treasure Island,” sometimes we have just enough time for a quick little bedtime story. Last night, it was his turn to read me his bedtime story. He read “The Boy on the Yellow Bus.” As I mentioned earlier, we had the people of Sri Lanka on our minds, so of course one big act of kindness we could do right then and there was PRAY!
Praying with your children for other people and other nations is a big deal. I think there are at least three ways it will benefit them. 1. Any time spent in prayer is time spent growing their foundation for a strong relationship with the Lord. 2. Prayer for different nations reinforces little minds with the truth that God loves all people. 3. When we are intentional to come alongside our children and help them grow in their relationship the Lord, I truly believe He honors that time by using it to grow and bless our relationship with our children.
While prayer is powerful, and we believe God can do BIG things with little prayers, Matthew wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to do something more hands-on. We brain-stormed together for a few minutes, and building off his worry that the Christians might feel scared to be lights for Jesus, now that they were being targeted, we decided to send them a little reminder not to let Satin blow their light out!
I found a Christian Ministry with an offices in the US and Sri Lanka. I contacted the US office explaining our plan, and they gave me the address to which we could send Matthew’s gift. The unfortunate part is that internationally is EXPENSIVE, so I could only afford to send a small number of flashlights with his message of hope, but the point is still valid…one small act of kindness will inspire another, and then another, and another. One small act of kindness can make a big difference!
Read Together and Do together