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Illustrated Story Teaches Children about Acceptance and Tolerance

02-21-2011 09:44 AM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Blooming Twig Books

New York City– February 18, 2011 – Bullying of the 21st century has entered the digital age. Bullies are handing in their fists, picking up keyboards, and using the Internet as the new schoolyard for bullying. People used to see bullies as those who physically attack other children but now, with the internet, cyber bullying has formed. Cyber bullying allows bullies to prey on the emotional vulnerability of their victims using other mediums. What can be done to stop bullying? One way would be to teach compassion and instill the need to learn from and respect others’ differences early on. Cynthia Blomquist Gustavson’s book, Ballad of the Ragman, tries to do just that.

Clothed in beautiful rags, the Rag Man gathers cast-off items that others don’t find valuable. He collects them in heaps outside his home, walking through the streets of his little town with a cart. Nothing escapes his attention. To him, nothing is junk. A little girl watches the Rag Man from a distance as he takes her old, cast-off teddy bear, and she follows him to his mysterious shop, and wonders what will happen with her well-worn toy. Much to her surprise the Rag Man repairs her teddy bear and brings it back to her. From the story, children learn a valuable lesson about pre-judging and persecuting others before they get to know them.

This book supports the Rag Man Project. The Rag Man Project brings college students and young adults into bookstores, libraries, schools, and hospitals to teach children about those in society who might be different. The project teaches children to accept people with disabilities, those who are homeless, or those who are simply not like everyone else.

Ballad of the Rag Man, written by Cynthia Gustavson with illustrations by Kristina Tosic, is available in hardcover (ISBN 978-1933918-42-6) by Blooming Twig Books and can be found on For more information please visit the book web site

About the author:

Cynthia Blomquist Gustavson is the award-winning author of five poetry collections, several workbooks for therapists, and has been published in numerous journals. She has a family therapy practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she resides with her husband of 40 years, a pediatrician who all too frequently takes care of neglected children. Cynthia was educated at Gustavus Adolphus College, Boston University, Louisiana State University, United Seminary of the Twin Cities, and Oklahoma State University. Cynthia has taught at Northeastern State University in Tallequah, Oklahoma and Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Blooming Twig, based in New York City, is the publisher of award–winning books that matter, from self-help to children’s fiction. We publish between 15 and 20 new titles each year and are distributed in the United States and internationally.

Blooming Twig Books LLC
P.O. Box 4668 #66675
New York, NY 10163-4668

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