Folktales from Around the World

Folktales from Around the World

Folktales from around the world

Fairy tales and other folktales are a great opportunity to include books and stories from around the world. A common lesson is to compare and contrast different versions of a fairy tale. Here are some folktales from around the world to check out.


Fairytalez– This is an amazing FREE collection of fairy tales, folk tales, and other traditional stories from around the world. It allows you to print each story as a pdf. Each story comes with an estimated level and read time. This is a great starting place for a unit on traditional tales.

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A Year Full of Stories: 52 classic stories from all around the world– This book has a collection of short stories from around the world. It is organized by the months of the year. The stories would make great read alouds. It would be a good idea to preview the stories before reading them to younger children, since some of the stories are dark.

Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship: Stories from India– This collection of Indian folktales has simple language with pictures interconnected through the page. These stories would be great to use a read alouds for ELLs and use simple text so that older ELLs could independently read them.

Stone Soup

The Real Story of Stone Soup– In this version of Stone Soup a fisherman gets tricked into helping to make soup. This book is told from the point of view of the fisherman but the illustrations show a different point of view. (China)

Cactus Soup– In this twist on Stone Soup a town does not want to feed soldiers. So the captain convinces the townspeople to bring out food as he makes cactus soup.  (Mexico)


Cinderella Stories

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella- Follow the story of Cinderella around the world in this book. Each section of the book is told from the tradition of a different country around the world.

Anklet for a Princess: A Cinderella Story- In this story Cinduri works to take care of her house. She is not given enough to eat. Then one day she meets Grandfather Snake. The snake uses magic to take care of Cinduri. In this story the reader learns about the food and culture of East India. (India)

The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story- This is a retelling of multiple folk tales from around the Middle East. Maha convinces her father to remarry. His new wife mistreats the girl. She saves a magical red fish.  The fish then helps her overcome her challenges.

Domítíla: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition– In this story Domitila cooks delicious food for the governor’s family. She has to return home when her father dies. The governor’s son goes on a quest to find the person that can make the food he remembers. There are Spanish words throughout the book and beautiful illustrations in the book that showcases the Mexican landscape. (Mexico)

The Princess and the Pea

Princess and the Peas– This is a retelling of the Princess and the Pea that takes place in South Carolina in the 1950s. Ma Sally wants to help her son John find a wife that can cook as well as she can. After her test, Princess makes John work too before she will give her answer. (United States)

La Princesa and the Pea– In this retelling, El Príncip meets a girl that he wants to marry but his mother wants to test her first. This book has Spanish words mixed in throughout the story and illustrations that depict Peru. The text is short, lyrical, and rhymes. (Peru)

Lists of Diverse Books for ELLs

Check out my list of Diverse Books for ELLs to find additional books to use in your classroom.

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