The Knee High Man is an African-American story from Alabama. The main character is awfully short and tired of being bullied and teased. So he sets out to ask his friends, a boar, a horse and a bull how he can grow bigger. He follows their advice but it doesn’t help any. At last he asks an owl, who sees no reason for him to be any bigger in the body, he just needs to be bigger in the brain. When the Knee-High Man learns to be satisfied and proud of who he is the bullies no longer bother him.
Here is an activity you can do with your students, your child(ren) or the child within.
- Read the story “The Knee-High Man and Other Tales” by Julius Lester, pictures by Ralph Pinto (available at your local bookstore or library)
- or listen to the The Knee-High Man available on “Know Fooling” at CD Baby
What if? Story Writing Prompt
For a twist give the story a new setting. What if the Knee High Man lived at the North Pole or in a jungle? What animal friends would he have then? What advice would they give him?
We’d love to hear about the stories you came up with. Please share your ideas in the comments.