It has been proven that the best way to get a child to learn to read early is to read to them as a baby every day and to continue to read to them through the toddler years. Now, you know that I am an absolute book lover, and I read as often as possible. Therefore, I always read to my own children to encourage them to love to read themselves. It did not matter the type of story at first, as long as I was reading to them. As they got older, I started to look for tales of different cultural traditions, stories that taught a moral lessontales of animals (such as the tortoise and the hare), and, as I had multiple children of various ages, I read books that would good for readers of all ages that offered lessons.

Remember, before the age of technology, stories and legends were passed down through oral tradition, often telling beast tales of human strengths as they battled various animals and enchanted creatures. Some of the greatest storytellers of all time would have large gatherings of listeners in pubs and gathering halls to listen to their extravagant tales of wonder. They usually played an instrument as they told their tale to these groups and used different thematic patterns to keep the audience enthralled.

This tradition continued through the 19th century and early 20th century, as families would gather in small groups to tell stories, and if they could afford it and knew how to read, they would read short narratives together by the fire. Many of these stories taught folk wisdom and would offer lessons for the children.

From earlier generations, some of the best moral tales were animal fables, such as Aesop’s fables, which taught lessons using animals to describe human behavior and human nature. A great example of this is the story of the ant and the grasshopperMorals of fables were cautionary lessons where animal characters would face related problems to learn from to bring about a behavior change.

70 Best Children's Fables & Folktales From Around the World: Cleverly crafted fables, illustrated folktales, and mesmerizing myths gathered from around the world.

My first piece of advice is to head to your local library to find books about these folktales from around the world before you purchase any of these gems. Also, you can find a few folktales online for your Kindle or another e-reader.

I absolutely love when my students complete a notebook page with this free folktale graphic organizer. It makes them really think deeply about the folktale or fable and how it relates to them. With this graphic organizer, they will be able to explore different characteristics of the story.

I also have these free reading genre posters hanging up in my classroom. They are perfect for homeschoolers, too.

Can I suggest that you consider focusing lessons on different types of stories and folk tales? For instance, consider having a Fables Week during which time you read and explore the different elements of fables. Also, you can cultural week where students bring in different tales of cultures from around the world. They may even decide to choose a story from where their ancestors came from.

As a lover of reading, I decided to gather a collection of fantastic picture books to use to expose your child to a wonderful collection of classical storieslegendsmyths, and other world folktales! It’s always exciting to read a folktale from around the world when you are studying a particular country.

70 Best Children's Fables & Folktales From Around the World: Cleverly crafted fables, illustrated folktales, and mesmerizing myths gathered from around the world.

There is a little something for everyone among these pages, starting with the classic fairy tale stories by Wilhelm Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Charles Perrault, going on to the morally edifying fables of Aesop and Jean de La Fontaine, and ending with the wisdom, gathered by the people: the folktales from different parts of the world. About folktales The folktale is a story passed down verbally from generation to generation. Each storyteller added something new to the stories, making them more interesting and fascinating as the ages passed. Different folktales bear the characteristics of the culture, folklore, and customs of the people from which they originated.





North America

South America

The Artic/Antarctic

What’s your favorite folktale from around the world?

One of my favorite stories is the “Origin of the Tiger”, a Cambodian folktale with a number of applications. You can see it for yourself here:

Origin of the Tiger, A Cambodian Folktale

Thanks so much for reviewing this list of world stories. As a teacher, I am always looking for stories that will help expand my student’s horizons, and seeing the world through the eyes of a story from another part of the world is a great way to do that. I teach mostly ESE students who often hate reading. Giving them compelling stories can often help get them past the challenges of reading. Plus, if the stories contain an interesting lesson, it gives us lots to discuss as we engage with the text- great assets for any good teacher.