Ballad of the Rag Man

Ballad of the Rag Man, written entirely in verse, is a story about a little girl who watches the Rag Man who collects cast off items including her old cast-off teddy bear. Much to her surprise the Rag Man repairs her teddy bear and brings it back to her. This book teaches children a valuable lesson about pre-judging others.

“Ballad of the Ragman by Cynthia Gustavson, illustrated by Kristina Tosic in brilliant colors, is a story in rhyme and rhythm about one of the outcasts of society. The ragman goes through the garbage and collects odds and ends. A girl decides to follow him to see what he does to these odds and ends in his own little workshop. Her discarded teddy bear is among the refuse he has collected. The ending is a surprise. But what is important is that she learns to appreciate someone previously feared. This is a marvelous vehicle for teaching children about diversity and difference. Not all people look, sound, or act the same. It is important to ask ourselves why we are afraid of difference. Is there evidence of wrongdoing, or hurting others? This story, in the form of verse, can launch a wonderful discussion with children.”

— Sherry Reiter, PhD, LCSW, Board Member of The National Association for Poetry Therapy

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