Fables and Folktales to Read Together
As a young reader, I remember looking up at my bookshelf at home, getting on my tip-toes, and reaching for a big book called Aesop’s Fables. This preschool book just fit in my lap and had the most beautiful artwork — on the cover and throughout the pages. Reading was a challenge for me, so when I read a fable like The Tortoise and the Hare, and I would start to get lost in the words, I looked to the illustrations and they would lead me through the rest of the story. The tortoise character would also remind me that moving at my own pace in my own preschool activities would still get me to the finish line.
It seems there is always a new children’s preschool book to read, and the inclusivity and heart found in these new stories are incredible to see. There is also something special about the stories that we heard when we were little and are still being told to this day. Folktales and fables are timeless stories that so many of us have heard or referred to throughout our lives. Folktales tend to be stories with human characters, often based in popular culture of the time, and then passed down through generations by word of mouth. A fable tends to include anamorphic characters, or even gods or mythical creatures, that tell a story and teach a lesson or moral. For example, The Boy Who Cried Wolf is a folktale, and The Tortoise and The Hare is a fable.
Every culture and background has their own folktales, passed down through generations to share the experiences long after those who first told the tales are gone. These stories help shape our views of the world and give us a look back into the past, connecting families and people of similar backgrounds. Enjoy these collections of classic fables and folktales that you can share with your little ones as a read-along preschool activity, or for solo time.
3-Minute Stories for 3-Year-Olds by Cottage Door Press
Cuddle up with your little one and pick a 3-minute story from this collection of classic stories, some newly imagined. A perfect preschool book for bedtime or reading practice for your young reader. Find it here!
Little Bear: An Inuit Folktale retold by Dawn Casey
This is a retelling of a classic Inuit folktale: the story of an old woman who finds a lost polar bear cub and decides to bring him home and care for him. As he grows, she realizes that bears belong in the wild. A story about loving and letting go. Find it here!
Aesop’s Fables illustrated by Charles Santore
As mentioned above, this was one of my favorites. Just like the aforementioned Tortoise and The Hare, Aesop teaches meaningful life lessons through the eyes of animals, and Charles Santore’s illustrations bring them to life on the page. Find it here!
Curious Tales by Curt Snarr
A collection of 10 short stories about friendship, life, and discovery. Stories are told through the eyes of some lovable animals, and even some inanimate objects. Let you and your little one’s imagination soar while adventuring with these characters. Find it here!
Happy Fables and Folktales Week, and happy reading!
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Hi, I'm Miss Julia!
Miss Julia has been an early childhood educator for 5 years, with over 10 years of experience working in childcare. She has been teaching at Playgarden Prep since 2017, and is happy to share ideas on some of her favorite early education topics with you! Miss Julia has a BA from UC Irvine, and uses her experience in performing arts to inspire little ones every day in her enrichment classes at Playgarden. In her free time, Miss Julia loves enjoying nature, cooking, and creating with friends.