Buster's Ears Trip Him Up: When You Fail

Edward T. Welch
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Buster's Ears Trip Him Up: When You Fail
Buster's Ears Trip Him Up: When You Fail Picture Books
Buster's Ears Trip Him Up: When You Fail Picture Books
Buster's Ears Trip Him Up: When You Fail Picture Books
Buster's Ears Trip Him Up: When You Fail Picture Books
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Buster was sure he was the fastest bunny in the meadow. But during a race at summer camp, nothing goes as planned and Buster gets tripped up. After his epic fall, his older sister, Ivy, helps him see that failure is an opportunity to grow. As Buster remembers God's love, he is able to let go of others' opinions and accept that it is okay to try your best but not always be the best. Edited by Edward T. Welch, Buster's Ears Trip Him Up ends with a special section that guides parents in teaching children how the gospel of Jesus Christ comforts and sustains us through failure and turns our focus away from ourselves and toward others. Also included is a tear-out page of Back Pocket Bible Verses that will remind children and adults of God's love and help for those who get tripped up.

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. Together children and parents will be guided by the stories into meaningful conversations about living by faith in the details of everyday life.

  • Each story, based on a different animal family, will keep even the youngest child engaged.
  • Brightly colored, fun illustrations welcome children into a detailed animal world.
  • Each story helps children process a challenging situation with concrete, grace-based, help.
  • Instead of moralism, children are offered a practical way to follow Jesus through a difficult situation.
  • Based on CCEF's model of hope and help that encourages a growing relationship with Jesus.


Edward T. Welch, MDiv, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He earned a PhD in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions. His biblical counseling books include Shame Interrupted; When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness; Crossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Addiction; Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest; When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety; Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love; and A Small Book about a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace.


Joe Hox was raised on a farm in southern Iowa where he doodled whenever he wasn't spading thistles or feeding pigs. Everyone knew by his crooked hay rows that he would choose art over farming. Joe earned his BA in Art and Education from Dordt College, and his MA from the University of Nebraska. He Illustrated The Good News for Little Hearts Series. Today he lives with his wife and four children in Pella, Iowa, where he illustrates and teaches art.

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"These books are a uniquely different genre from classic children's bedtime reading. They are counseling books to help children. They provide a creative avenue for children to consider how their faith is intimately relevant to their struggles. This is what makes this series of books so significant."
David Powlison, (1949–2019) was Executive Director of CCEF and editor of the Good News for Little Hearts series

"When our children were little, we read to them constantly—and had these books been available, they would have been among the favorites. With the simplicity and engaging charm of the Peter Rabbit stories, yet with the quiet grace of Christian insight, these stories stamp themselves on young minds. Text and pictures support each other tellingly. These books are destined to become favorites for young families."
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical School, Deerfield, IL; cofounder of The Gospel Coalition

"So many Christian parents are looking for engaging, age-appropriate ways to help their young children learn what the Bible teaches about everyday struggles and challenging situations. This new book series edited by David Powlison and Ed Welch fits the bill! In the Good News for Little Hearts series, kids will be enthralled by relatable characters, charming illustrations, and gospel-centered lessons. These volumes would make a valuable addition to any family's library."
Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family

"For years I wished there were resources that would help equip children to face the many trials and temptations that come in this life rather than waiting till they are neck-deep in the mire before throwing them the lifeline of biblical truth. The Good News for Little Hearts series is an answer to my longing. These books communicate life-changing biblical truths through beautiful illustrations and stories that connect with young hearts in meaningful ways."
Curtis Solomon, Executive Director, Biblical Counseling Coalition

"For any kids and parents who struggle with failure, and its root sin of pride (and that's all of us!) Buster's Ears Trip Him Up is a wonderful reminder that Jesus loved us before we ever did anything good or bad. The illustrations are delightful, and the section for parents on how to help our kids deal with failure is immensely helpful. A must-read, for sure!"
Deepak and Sarah Reju, Capitol Hill Baptist Church (Washington, DC), Authors of Great Kings of the Bible and God Is Better Than Trucks

"Failure, anger, anxiety—for too long we have thought that addressing these typical life experiences is only for the 'teenage' or 'adult' years. How refreshing—and wise—to see them being addressed from a gospel-centered perspective for little children. This series Good News for Little Hearts has the potential to produce godly perspectives and habits from the earliest years of our childrens' lives."
Jonny Gibson, Assistant Professor of Old Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

"Children easily assign worth to those who are smarter, stronger, taller, and faster. They strive to achieve in order to feel acceptance. We know this tendency too. Buster's Ears Trip Him Up uses this heart inclination to help parents lead their children in rehearsing God's love in Christ Jesus for sinners and for those who fail. This book's message to families is rich with gospel hope."
Bud Burk, Pastor for Children and Family Discipleship, Bethlehem Baptist Church Downtown Campus

"I love these books. My daughter Kim who struggles with a disability loves these books. She giggles all the way through them—catching all the subtle humor. I read them to my grandkids. We especially love the drawings. I buy copies for all my grandchildren. What more can I say? They are fun!"
Paul E. Miller, Director of seeJesus; author of A Praying Life and J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life

"Wow, what a series! Within these books you meet wonderfully relatable characters with feelings and experiences readily identifiable to children of all ages, clever and creative illustrations, excellent questions that will spark meaningful conversations with your child or grandchild, and simple scriptural connections that are easily understood. Can't wait to recommend them to our kids and read them to our grandkids!"
Dave Harvey, President of Great Commission Collective; founder of RevDaveHarvey.com; author of When Sinners Say I Do and I Still Do: Growing Closer and Stronger Through Life's Defining Moment

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10 Reviews

  • 5
    An Excellent Children's Book Giving Biblical Counsel and Help for When We Fail

    Posted by Zack Ford on 01 09 2019

    As the father of two young children, I am constantly on the lookout for good children’s books to teach the truths of the Gospel, the Bible, theology, and so forth to my children. Though my children are both under 4 and not yet reading, I am continuing to gather excellent resources to use with them now and in the years to come. Time and time again, I have been impressed with and thankful for the books that New Growth Press is putting out, not only for adults, but for children as well. And their newest series — Good News for Little Hearts — is no exception. This new series consists of 3 books, two written by David Powlison and one by Ed Welch. The series is intended for children three to eight years old. Each book centers on an animal family and brings Gospel help and biblical counsel to children and families. Whether the topic is failure, anger, or anxiety, or the animal is a rabbit, a squirrel, or a mouse, each of these books does an incredible job at combining biblical help and hope to issues that every child and family faces with excellent, brightly colored and fun illustrations and engaging prose and story telling. In each story, children are not offered mere moralism and rules to obey, but are offered practical ways to follow Jesus through difficult situations that they face. In this story, we are introduced to a rabbit named Buster who is beaming with excitement for this year’s summer camp where he will have the opportunity to enter the annual race and show everyone how fast he is. “Practice makes perfect,” he constantly reminds himself. He has practiced and trained for the whole last year, and he is sure that he is the fastest one this year and that he and his team will win the race. But when the race day came, something unexpected happens — as he’s racing, he looks back to see how far ahead he is, his ears cover his eyes, and cause him to trip, stumble, and fall, thus losing the race. Buster is embarrassed by what happened and doesn’t know how he will face his friends and other onlookers after losing when he was so sure he’d win. But Buster’s sister, Ivy, comes along with the help of their father and reminds Buster that no matter how many times we fail, God’s love never fails, teaches him the dangers of pride and blessings of humility, and shows him that Jesus chose to love us and extend his grace and mercy to us before we had ever done anything good. Quoting Romans 5:8, Ivy reminds Buster, “Before you did anything right, God loved you. He doesn’t love you because you win a race. He loves you because you belong to him.” After being comforted by his sister and the truths of “The Great Book,” Buster comes to the conclusion, “I guess that practice won’t ever make me perfect. Only Jesus is always perfect.” Every child, no matter how young or old, has or will deal with the frustration and embarrassment of failure. Through this story of Buster’s ears tripping him up, parents are able to help their children deal with the topic of failure and apply Biblical truth and principles to help comfort them, break down pride, and build humility and trust in Jesus even in the midst of failure. In each of these stories, parents are given the opportunity to have meaningful, important Gospel conversations about important issues in their children’s lives through the help of a fun and engaging story about animals. At the end of the each story is a guide for parents to help your child with the topic at hand. While the story is the engaging part for the child, this guide at the end of each book may be the most helpful part about these resources, as they offer short, helpful recommendations and encouragement to assist parents in engaging in biblical counseling with their children. I would wholeheartedly recommend every Christian parent get a copy of each of these three books. There is not a parent out there whose children has not or is not struggling with anger, fear, or failure. These book will be a great help to all parents seeking to help their children deal with these common issues in a Biblical, Christ-centered, Gospel-focused way. In accordance with FTC regulations, I would like to thank New Growth Press for providing me a review copy of these books in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  • 4
    Busters Ears Trip Him up

    Posted by Laura on 01 04 2019

    BUSTER'S EARS TRIP HIM UP is an adorable story about a bunny who tripped due to his pride. The theme verse is pride goes before a fall, and it is sure true. It does. For people and rabbits. Buster was bragging all over the place that he was going to win the race -- and he probably would've except he looked back to privately gloat over how far ahead of everyone else he was. And then he tripped. And fell. And didn't get up. Instead, he just gave up. But there are valuable lessons to learn here too. God loves us even before we mess up and He still loves us afterwards. A great book for those who struggle with bragging and failing or who struggle with messing up, or who are afraid to even try. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.

  • 5
    My child is currently battling the struggle to be perfect.

    Posted by Tami on 01 04 2019

    I am adding new books to my child’s library. Here’s one your child will enjoy, as well. While I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, it is one I would’ve gladly purchased. Here’s why: The Good News for Little Hearts series is one of my favorite collections on my son’s bookshelves. I currently have the three books in the series: Zoe’s Hiding Place by David Powlison #childrensbook Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up by Edward T. Welch #childrensbook Jax’s Tail Twitches by David Powlison #childrensbook Buster’s story is lengthy, but I kept my son’s attention by taking short breaks. We discussed all he saw in the vivid illustrations and remembered from the story up to that point. Buster’s story is based on a real-life issue: failure. The story will encourage your child (and mine, as well) toward a growing relationship with Jesus as he or she faces his or her failures. My child is currently battling the struggle to be perfect, so he feels like a failure quite often. This book has been a great help in helping him see himself differently. The book provides ways for you, the parent, to have meaning, yet age-appropriate, conversations with your child. Tear out Bible verses about failure are included in the back of the book. The book includes Scripture references of various translations.

  • 5
    Practice makes perfect, or does it/

    Posted by Amy S. on 12 28 2018

    Continuing in the series of Good News for Little Hearts, Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up takes a look at pride and our failures. It also explains the difference of being the best as to doing our best. As with the other two books, the artwork is creative, lively, and draws children in yet the message of the text is made in the simplest of terms that even has me looking at these life lessons a little differently. One of the things that really popped out to me was the phrase, ‘practice makes perfect’. How many times have I said that to myself or to my children? My son and I have enjoyed reading this series together and I am happy that even I could come away with a new thought to ponder. This series is definitely a shelf keeper. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

  • 4
    Great Gospel Message

    Posted by Elizabeth Hankins on 11 08 2018

    At present, there are three volumes in the "Good News for Little Hearts" series which seeks to help kids and parents face anxiety, failure, and anger in a God-honoring way. While these animal stories don't quite have the enduring charm of classics such as the Beatrix Potter books, Little Bear, or Frog and Toad and some conversations between characters seemed to come off a little unnatural (and maybe even a little "preachy") at times, my little ones enjoyed them nonetheless. The volumes are sturdy and full of creative, vibrantly colored illustrations. Each book concludes with Tips for further helping your child and four "Back Pocket Bible Verses" in the New Living Translation that you can cut out and give to your child. Buster's Ears Trip Him Up: When You Fail has the clearest Gospel message of the three books, and both it and Jax's Tail Twitches: When You Are Angry mention the need for Jesus' forgiveness. I love that these books clearly point our kids to Christ! As far as articulating biblical counseling material, Jax's Tail Twitches seems to have the most content as it models the proper way to handle conflict: going to God in prayer, taking the log out of one's own eye first, asking forgiveness, and being reconciled. Parents will want to make sure to avail themselves of the parent tips at the end for the clearest Gospel presentation in this work. Buster's Ears Trip Him Up came in close but, in addition to confessing sin to God, parents will likely want to follow the example and parent tips in Jax's Tail Twitches and encourage kids to apologize and reconcile with those who have been hurt by their prideful boasting. Altogether, these titles are useful picture books that will serve adults as they seek to minister to children in their lives and help them to better image and glorify their Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many thanks to New Growth Press for sending me complimentary copies! I was not obligated to write a positive review. These words are my honest opinion!

  • 5
    A healthy way to deal with failure!

    Posted by Beauty in the Binding on 10 28 2018

    Buster's Ears Trip Him Up: When You Fail deals with failure and disappointment. My daughter (age 6) zooms through our house on a regular basis and Buster doing the same was her favorite part in the story. She related well to the characters and remembered the story even a few days after I had read it to her. It teaches a dual lesson that God loves us no matter what and to turn to him in our failures. These are important lessons for both adults and children and I'm thankful for this book. I can use it to teach my daughters how to address failure in life in a healthy way that encourages spiritual growth. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

  • 5
    Creative Counsel for Children When They Fail

    Posted by Theron St. John on 10 26 2018

    There is always a need for biblical counseling in the church. Whether it is a couple trying to save their marriage or parents dealing with their wayward teenager, the ministry of biblical counseling serves as a guide to counsel from God’s Word. Married couples and parents need it. Teenagers ought to heed it. But what about younger kids? Oftentimes, the scope of biblical counseling seems to apply only to adults and teenagers. Yet, as Christians who believe the Bible applies to all of life for all stages of life, doesn’t God’s Word give direction and counsel for children too? The publishers of New Growth Press believe so and have put forth biblical counseling for kids in their new “Good News For Little Hearts” children’s book series. Buster’s Race and God’s Grace In this volume of the series, Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up: When You Fail, we meet a confident bunny named Buster who is so sure he is the fastest animal in the meadow. As the winner of the race at camp the previous year, Buster tells everyone from his parents to his friends he has it in the bag again this year. Everything seems to be going as planned until Buster’s ear slaps him right in the face and not only loses sight but the race as well. Distraught over his failure to win and letting down his team, Buster begins to burst into tears. At that time, his sister takes him on a walk to remind him his failure does not define him. What defines him is God’s love for him and that love never fails. Buster comes to the realization his failure to win the race was such a defeat for him because of the pride he showed before the race. The gospel humbles Buster’s pride and tells him the love of God in Jesus Christ is what defines him, not his failure to win the big race. Creatively Counseling Children on Failure and Humility Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up, edited by Edward T. Welch and illustrated by Joe Hox, uses this story about Buster’s race to teach children about God’s grace. In this story, kids receive counsel on how to respond to failure, addressing their sin of pride and the virtue of humility. This counsel is not merely about moral behavior. It gets to the heart. Biblical counselor Edward T. Welch is careful to show how only the gospel can adequately address such failures. This book and series show biblical counseling is not just for big people; it is for little hearts as well. It is biblical counseling for elementary-aged kids. This book is so much more than a book, though. Parents will appreciate the resources found in the back of the book, including a list of how to help their child with anger as well as back pocket Bible verses to cut out or copy for their children to use. If you are a parent who has a child that takes failure hard or tends to express a prideful heart, make sure you pick up a copy of Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up: When You Fail today! I received this book from New Growth Press in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.

  • 5
    Biblical Counseling for Kids!

    Posted by Joey Parker on 10 21 2018

    Buster's Ears Trip Him Up: When You Fail is one of three new releases in the Good New For Little Hearts series from New Growth Press and CCEF. As a member of a church that is very committed to Biblical Counseling I was very intrigued by this new series. CCEF has produced many quality resources for adults that have been very beneficial to me and countless others. The idea that these same truths would now be made available to kids in story book form had me very excited for their release.  The series brings gospel truth to children by “focusing on an animal family’s real-life issues, encouraging young readers toward a growing relationship with Jesus in the midst of challenging circumstances.” Buster is a bunny that is incredibly fast. He is eager to get to camp and win a race, the same race that he won last year. He wants all his friends to see that he is even faster than he was last year. He is clearly confident in his own ability to succeed. This race however ends in disaster. His ears cover his eyes, causing him to trip and lose. Buster is very upset, but his sister Ivy is there to guide him to the truth about our God who never fails. She tells Buster that "no matter how many times I fail, God's love never fails. He always helps. The Great Book says that God takes care of those who fall. I know this is true."  Through this conversation and a note from his Papa from Romans 5:8 Buster learns a valuable truth: "I guess that practice won't ever make me perfect. Only Jesus is always perfect." Buster then returns to his friends, recognizing that he will fail at times and that is ok.  The book closes with a section called Helping Your Child With Failure. Here the author gives 8 points from Scripture to further discuss with your children. This is where the biblical counseling influence of CCEF is most clearly seen. This section definitely turns the book into a resource to be used over and over again with your children. There is also a Back Pocket Bible Verse section with Bible verses for kids to carry with them for when they fail. This is a very nice addition to the book. The illustrations of the book are also very well done. Buster's Ears Trip Him Up is a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, and churches to connect the truths of Scripture with different struggles that children will face. The writing style is engaging, the illustrations are wonderfully done, and the biblical truths are clearly communicated. I would highly recommend this book to any Christian that regularly interacts with young children. I received a copy of this book from New Growth Press in exchange for an honest review.

  • 5
    Books That Teach Children How to Turn to God in Difficult Situations

    Posted by Kelly on 10 16 2018

    The entire Good News for Little Hearts series is a wonderful collection of children's books that touches up on real life situations and the best way to handle them as Christians, with faith and grace. Jax's Tail Twitches touches up on ways to deal with anger and even has a lesson on sharing. Buster's Ears Trip Him Up teaches about humility and how to cope with failure. Zoe's Hiding Place discusses fear and anxiousness, and what God says about these things. The illustrations throughout are fantastic! With the turn of each page, not only does the illustrator tell the story with his artwork, but he was also sure to incorporate all kinds of neat and interesting details in the background to really help give each story depth and life. Each book is meant to strike up meaningful conversations between parents and their children as they read about the difficulties the characters face in their own individual situation, and how they learn to live in faith and follow what God's word says. As the plot of each book progresses and the main character comes face to face with a unique challenge, Bible references, prayers, and scripture are introduced to show them what to do next. In turn, this teaches young children how to deal with their own emotions and what to do when all odds seem against them. It's definitely a series that I hope will eventually expand to include additional stories. I received an advanced copy of the book, however all views and opinions are purely my own.

  • 5
    We are loving this one!

    Posted by Amanda Holmes on 10 12 2018

    We all have to deal with disappoint at some time or other in our lives. I love how this book talks about how we deal with our disappointments and feelings of failure when those times come. This has been a great book for me to read and discuss with my children. I love how the story plays out, and the encouragement that Buster receives. The illustrations are darling as well! I received this book from the publisher. This is my honest review.

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