Just So Stories

Rudyard Kipling • Invented Language

The Arrow is the monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel (you purchase or obtain the novels yourself). It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

This issue comes from the early years of Brave Writer’s Arrows so it isn’t quite as robust as more current titles (that’s why the lower price). It’s an oldie but still a goodie!

This guide contains the following features:

  • 4 Passages (one per week) for copywork/dictation
  • Notes about punctuation, spelling, vocabulary, and literary elements
  • Literary element: Invented and repeated language
  • Writing activity: Describe a recent experience using invented and repeated language
  • 5 pages
  • Original Publication Date: January 2005

While J
ust So Stories is a childhood classic, one of the stories in the collection, by today's standards, is problematic.

In the story “How The Leopard Got His Spots” the n-word is used, along with the name Sambo, which has its own history associated with racism. In addition, the main human character is simply referred to as “the Ethiopian,” and there are generally disturbing references to the idea that someone of Ethiopian descent could choose to change the color of their skin.   

The fact that this language and imagery is upsetting is a testament to our awareness that it is degrading and wrong. This story provides an opportunity to talk to your children about the language we use and how it has changed over time.

If you find that your children are not yet ready for this level of conversation, it may be appropriate to simply skip this story for now, and move on to the next. Each story in Just So Stories stands alone.

About the book

Once upon a time, O my Best Beloved . . . So begins this classic collection of gloriously fanciful tales of how things in the world came to be as they are. [...] Rudyard Kipling first entertained his own children with these delightful, warm, and humorous stories, which he later wrote down for publication in 1902. Conjuring up distant lands and exotic jungles, they are bewitching for both children and adults.—Amazon

Purchase the Just So Stories novel here (affiliate link).

Collections: Arrow Single Issues

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