Author: Howard Binkow
Illustrator: Susan F Cornelison
Interest Level: Ages 4-8
About This Book: The author of the "Howard B. Wigglebottom" series shows the caring side of Howard the bunny. Howard likes to make things better for those around them. When he sees a need, he meets it. He helps a classmate get to school, helps the class pets get exercise, and does some much needed cleaning for his Momma. He is a shining example of kindness and helpfulness. But one day he comes upon a need he can't fix. His best friend Ali's parents have been fighting a lot and she thinks it's all her fault. For the first time, Howard sees he might not be able to fix Ali's problem. All he can think to do to solve the problem is listen to his friend's feelings. He turns to Momma bunny for her expert advice - "When we find something we can't fix, we can change the way we think and feel about it." She also points out that listening is the biggest gift he can give his friend. Later, as Howard explains to Ali it's not her fault that her parents are having problems he accidentally takes a dive in the mud. "Howard learned that sometimes life gives you RAINBOWS and sometimes you get MUD!" Life is all about ups and downs, it's how we deal with it that matters most. Ali learns this through her great friend - Howard B. Wigglebottom. The illustrations don't disappoint and border on adorable.
Why It's On My Bookshelf: This is a very nurturing read for students. I just love it. What a FANTASTIC book to bring out the loving caring sides of kids. I am constantly noticing the GOOD I see in students. They are always wanting to help those around them. This story encourages healthy friendship. Part of being a "healthy" friend is recognizing when a problem is maybe too big to solve and may require adult help or advice. And maybe sometimes, being a good friend is being a good listener. Love that! We can't fix everything but we can sure just be there for each other. The other reason I love this story is it helps kids whose parents are going through a divorce or are fighting. It is so important they hear it's not their fault. We assume they already know this - they don't. One thing I would love with this story is a Howard B. Wigglebottom puppet. The students would love it. There isn't one yet but I hope one gets created.
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