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Racism - Ageism - Prejudice

Advice, Comments and References from Storytellers,
Teachers and Librarians

Advice, Comments and References from Storytellers, Teachers and Librarians

(excerpts from Storytell posts plus original research)

Book titles and online links are in dark blue and underlined. Click on them to get more stories/information.
In performance, always credit your sources.
To retell these stories, get permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
Posts are listed chronologically as they are received by Story Lovers World.

1) Found in the book by Lawrence Yep. More information available at:

The Rainbow People (spirit of acceptance of diversity)
[Teaches how to deal with prejudice.]


Greens live at bottom of hill. Live in green houses, drive green cars, wear green clothes, believe everthing good is green. Teach children song: "Green is good, blue is bad, green is happy, blue is sad."

Blues live at top of hill. Blues live in blue houses, wear blue clothes, drive blue cars, think everything good is blue. Blues teach their children: "Blue is good, green is bad, blue is happy, green is sad."

Green boy walks with green father, sees blue boy fall and get hurt. Green boy wants to help, father says "no," didn't your mother and I teach you "Green is good and blue is bad. Never let a blue touch you." and they walked away.

Green boy walking dog, falls, gets hurt, can't get home. Same blue boy finds him, helps him home, makes a crutch, tears shirt and puts blue strips to hold splint. Green father hears about it later, screams at green boy for letting a blue touch him.

When green boy heals he goes up mountain to find blue boy.Knocks on doors, gets doors slammed, get spit on, gets called names, but he keeps knocking. Finds the blue boy but he's wearing a blue and green shirt.

"Aren't you afraid of what people will say?"
"No, ever since I touched you, it touched me."

They grow up and are friends, get their children together when they have families of their own. Visit the purples, and yellows, and oranges. Teach their kids the song, "Green is good and blue is, too, Yellow Purple Orange too. Now all children can be glad, there's no color that is bad."

What do they call themselves now? The Rainbow People.


The one about Why Frog and Snake Never Play Together and there's one about the society that decides to send all their old people away, but the one grandfather kept secretly is has the answer to all life's problems...and "The Butterfly Brothers" in Easy-To-Tell Stories for Young Children by Annette Harrison, in which the flowers won't let in the "wrong color" butterflies. No sources for the first two.


4) "The Sandpipers and the Whales"


Sandpiper on beach, having a lovely day, eating the fish, basking in the sun. When you're having a lovely day, somebody wants to mess it up. Big blue whale comes out of the ocean.


Sandpiper: "whodoyouthinkyouareyoubigbluebully?
Idon'thavetodowhatyousayyou'renotmymother. Youscram!"


So the whale calls out the whale army, the sandpiper looks at all the whales and says
oops. okayyouwannaplayroughtoughguy?
and calls out the sandpiper army.

So many whales, so many birds, you can't see the ocean or the land for the backs of them sitting there. Everyone was so angry, something had to happen. But no one knew what.

Whale gets idea: kill the birds by eating the land. Whales eat, birds fly into air, scared. Look down at those smug, smug whales waiting for them to die, decide to retaliate. Drink the ocean dry.

Whales cough and sputter and lie on the ocean floor. Sandpipers smug in the sky, waiting, see the little fish that sandpipers eat, coughing and choking and dying.

Realise if they kill the whales they kill themselves.


Now the whales, safe and snug back in their ocean, looked up in the sky, and
saw the birds were getting tired. They were flying lower and lower and some
of them were beginning to brush the ocean with their wings. The whales watched. They didn't have to do anything, and the birds would die.

Everyone waited to see what the whales would do.


The sandpipers came down to land and rested their wings. The whales and the sandpipers never had another war, because they knew, if you try to hurt someone else, the person you hurt is yourself.

This version is from Wendy Welch.


5) Here is a copy of "The Wooden Bowl." A good, easy story to tell. It has been told many, many different ways, so you can adjust it to meet your particular needs for your students. Here is one website with the story.

6) Many stories across Asia on respect for elders.
Taro and his grandmother: A Japanese folktale (Folktales from the Orient) from Japan similar to Mary's grandfather. Old people sent off to mountains as there was famine and headman of village deems them useless but Taro hides his grandma. Along comes warlord from another village and say will take over unless can answer 3 riddles and of course Taro's grandma saves them all by answering these riddles:

1st riddle- how to tell which part of a log is nearer the top and which the bottom?
Ans: Throw the log into water Part nearer the roots will sink, part nearer
the top will float.

2nd riddle : How can you make a rope of ashes?
Ans: Take a long rope and pour salt over it. then light it at one end and it will burn slowly until all that's left is coil of ashes.

3rd riddle: How do you run a silk thread through a tube that's curved and crooked?
Ans : Tie one end of thread to an ant, .Put some honey at one end of tube, push ant into other end and it'll try to get to honey and pull the thread along.

There are 30 variants to this Japanese tale.
Similar one in Laos too.

Kiran Shah

Why Frog and Snake Never Play Together may be found in The Book of Virtues for Boys and Girls: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories, ed. by Will. Bennett. best story for that I know of. Triggers discussion.

8) There's a wonderful "ageism" story in one of my Ukrainian Folk Tales books.
*Couple are poor; times are desperate.
*Decide to get rid of husband's father since he just sleeps in front of the fire all day and costs them to keep him.
*Husband bundles old man up and drags him to middle of nowhere on a broken sled
*Leaves him there and returns home.
*Son asks "Where Grandpapa?"
*Story is told about uselessness and need to be rid of him.
*"But where is the sled?"
*"Left it out in the forest - old and broken anyway"
*"But, Father, what will I use to take you into the forest when you're old?"
*Father retrieves Grandpapa.

Dale P.

Created 2003; last update 2/21/10

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