“After the Rainbow” by Dennis Paulaha: A Children’s Book That Addresses the Issue of Bullying.
“After the Rainbow” by Dennis Paulaha is based on a real-life story of William Ulrich, who was bullied in childhood because he was dyslexic. His inability to read and write like his peers attracted ridicule and bullying from them. He tried to find solace from his teachers, but they never gave him the attention, or the help he needed.
The little boy, Bill was able to overcome the negative experiences in his childhood and became a successful businessman making big money. However, the trauma he suffered from bullying in his childhood made him grow cold towards the world. He spent most of his time indoors working and never took time to socialize with the rest.
From the book we see that: “The old man wondered why people took some time off to spend with their family and friends. He saw it as the reason most people never get ahead in life. He had accumulated gold (money) and convinced himself that it was the most important thing in life.”
However, one experience changed his life forever. “It was a rainy season, and when the rain stopped, a rainbow formed close to his house. This happened three times, and every time the rainbow moved closer to the old man’s house.”
The old man was touched and moved by the experience. He realized that friends, family, and doing good things in society are more important than money. The old man also saw his deceased grandmother sitting across the river on a bench. He went to meet her. His grandmother reminded him of the rainbow story she told him to comfort him from the injuries inflicted by the bullies.
“After the Rainbow” is a must read for children because it teaches them how to deal with bullies. Bullying is one of the major social problems in schools. Some students have quit school because of bullying. It also causes social anxiety and destroys a child’s self-confidence. For instance, the old man found fault with humanity in general because he thought that everyone was like the bullies who injured him in childhood.
The book teaches children important lessons. First, not everyone is a bully. Most people are friendly and care about others. Second, the book teaches children to ignore bullies because they don’t define who they are.
In spite of being bullied as a child, the old man grew into a higher achiever in the business world. Although he struggled with reading and writing in childhood. To the bullies, the book let them know that friends and family are more important than cheap notoriety and material possessions.
William Ulrich joined forces with the author Dennis Paulaha to start the Rainbow Movement meant to sensitize children and end bullying in schools. The movement is also meant to inspire people and protect adults from bullies, especially senior citizens living with disabilities.
Rainbow Movement Founder
As a parent, the best you can do is to get “After the Rainbow” by Dennis Paulaha for your child. It will help them understand the consequences of bullying and report it without shame if they are subjected to it. Furthermore, it teaches them to refrain from acts of bullying because they understand the damage it causes to others and the society at large.