Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up

Buster's Ears Trip Him Up by Jocelyn Flanders
Also by this author: Henry Says Good-bye: When You Are Sad, Tori Comes Out of Her Shell: When You Are Lonely, Gus Loses His Grip: When You Want Something Too Much
Series: Good News for Little Hearts #1
Published by New Growth Press on September 2018
Genres: Children's, Children's Educational

Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up, follows the adventures of Buster, a lop-eared bunny, who thinks he is the fastest bunny at camp, but unexpectedly loses his race. His older sister Ivy helps him to think about failure from God’s perspective and learn from the Bible where his identity is found. A new series of hardback, illustrated children’s books for three-to eight-year-olds —each centered on an animal family—bring gospel help and biblical counsel to families. The animal characters, colorful illustrations, and the real-life issues each animal family face will captivate children. The first three books address anxiety, anger, and failure bringing biblical help and hope to issues every child faces. The last page of each book contains information for parents on how God, in his Word, helps children apply biblical truth to specific issues.

Learning emotional control can be one of the most difficult things about early childhood (or late childhood…or adolescence…or adulthood). For little ones engaging with these emotions and these heart issues for the very first time, it can be a confusing and troubling experience.

Story, especially for our little ones, becomes a way to experience and understand certain experiences without needing to be in the middle of them. We learn how to respond to anger or anxiety or failure by seeing it modeled in other people—in our life stories—or in fictional characters. Children’s actions and responses are often modeled by the media they consume.

As such, it becomes very important to teach and model appropriate emotional reactions to our children. To help with this, the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation has partnered with New Growth Press to develop and publish a series of children’s books meant to introduce such topics. The end result is Good News for Little Hearts, written by Jocelyn Flenders and illustrated by Joe Hox.

Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up

Buster is certain that he’s going to win the Big Race at camp. He’s been training. He won last year. And he’s fast. Sure enough, when the race begins, Buster gets out to a big lead. But when he turns to see how far ahead he is, one of his ears slaps across his eyes, blinding him. He trips and falls. And finishes last.

Buster is devastated. Not only did he not win, he lost in spectacular fashion. His older sister Ivy takes him on a walk to console him. She tells him about the time she accidentally studied the wrong flower for a report. Buster then reads a note his dad gave him before leaving for camp. It reminds him that God loves him regardless of how he races.

Ivy tells Buster that God loves him whether he wins a race or not. When we want everyone to think we are the best that means we are only thinking about ourselves. That will really trip us up! Buster returns to his friends to find that they are all loving and supportive. He’s learned to accept failure as a part of the experience of trying.


As a gymnastics instructor, I can easily identify with this story. Teaching failure is a big part of my job. Sometimes, even when you do your best—no trips and no slips—you still fail. Learning to accept defeat and learning to learn from your own mistakes is an important part of growing up. (Because the mistakes and failures only get bigger!)

I appreciate the way the book handles Buster’s lesson. It’s great that it comes from his sister—more of a peer—than an adult. Also, at the end of each book, there is a one-page parent connection meant for parents to develop the right way of discussing failure with their child.