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Illustration by Robert Casilla.  Copyright (c) by Houghton Mifflin Company.  
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Illustration by Robert Casilla. © by Houghton Mifflin Co.
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Folktales, Legends & Poems
 
FolktalesFolktales
 • Legends
 • Poems
Prejudice & Discrimination
Books in this category include some traditional and some non-traditional versions of stories and poems from around the world. Some of these tales convey life lessons; others are intended to delight and amuse the reader or listener. Some of the poems were written by children.
This is whichCatvalue: 5
 
   Book Results for:
Folktales
 
1.   American Tall Tales
Michael McCurdy (Illustrator), Mary Pope Osborne (Reteller)
Nine stories of early American folk heroes, including Johnny Appleseed and Davy Crockett.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
2.   Antelope Woman: An Apache Folktale
Retold and Illustrated by
Michael Lacapa
A story of love that teaches us to honor all life.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
3.   Asher and the Capmakers: A Hanukkah Story
Will Hillenbrand (Illustrator), Eric A. Kimmel (Author)
A tale of Asher's extraordinary adventure to borrow an egg so his mother can make latkes for Hanukkah.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
4.   Baba Yaga: A Russian Folktale
Eric A. Kimmel (Author), Megan Lloyd (Illustrator)
When a terrible witch vows to eat her for supper, a little girl escapes with the help of a towel, a comb and kindness.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
 
5.   Babushka Baba Yaga
Written and Illustrated by
Patricia Polacco
A lesson in the power of love and in not judging others by their appearance.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
6.   Beyond the Ridge
Written and Illustrated by
Paul Goble
A Plains Indian woman experiences the afterlife.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
7.   Borreguita and the Coyote: A Tale from Ayutla, Mexico
Verna Aardema (Author), Petra Mathers (Illustrator)
A folktale from western Mexico.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
8.   Buffalo Woman
Written by
Paul Goble
A young hunter marries a female buffalo in the form of a beautiful maiden.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
9.   Come to the Great World: Poems from Around the Globe
Written by
Wendy Cooling
Poems and traditional chants that focus on common issues and concerns of children everywhere.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
10.   Coyote Steals the Blanket: A Ute Tale
Retold by
Janet Stevens
A Ute tale about Coyote who has taken what doesn't belong to him and Hummingbird who comes to his rescue.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
11.   Dance, Mice, Dance!: Bailen, Ratones, Bailen!
Kuang-ts’ai Hao (Reteller), Stefan Tartarotti (Illustrator)
Based on The Piped Piper of Hamlin, a magic flute player befriends a group of mice.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
12.   Darkness and the Butterfly
Written by
Ann Grifalconi
This story takes place in an African tribal setting. Osa, an adventurous young girl, has an excessive fear of the dark. But after meeting the Wise Woman, her fear quickly goes away.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
 
13.   Dream Wolf
Written and Illustrated by
Paul Goble
Two Plains Indian children are lost and cared for by a friendly wolf.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
14.   Elfwyn's Saga
Written by
David Wisniewski
The story of a girl who is the heroine of her people.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
15.   Fairy Tales of Eastern Europe
Neil Philip (Author), Larry Wilkes (Illustrator)
A collection of traditional fairy tales from Eastern Europe.
 
16.   Feathers
Heather Forest (Author), Marcia Cutchin (Illustrator)
Appearing before a wise rabbi, a woman who has damaged the reputation of another insincerely vows to make amends. The rabbi, fearing that she has not learned her lesson, instructs her to gather all the feathers released into the wind from a feather pillow, a task that drives home the damaging nature of gossip.
[Grade Level: 2 - 5]
 
17.   Fourth Question: A Chinese Folktale
Ju-Hong Chen (Illustrator), Rosiland C. Wang (Author)
A young man named Yee-Lee goes on a long journey to find out why he is living in poverty. Along the journey, Yee-Lee learns about the rewards and importance of helping others.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
18.   Hanukkah!
Marilyn Hafner (Illustrator), Roni Schotter (Author)
Five children and their family celebrate the holiday.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
19.   How Animals Saved the People
James Ransome (Illustrator), J. J. Reneaux (Reteller)
A collection of folktales from people in the South, including Cajun, Creole, Native American, African American, English and German.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
20.   How Snowshoe Hare Rescued the Sun: A Tale from the Arctic
Durga Bernhard (Illustrator), Emery Bernhard (Reteller)
A tale from the Yuit people of northeast Siberia that tells how snowshoe hare rescued the sun and changed the sky forever.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
21.   How Stories Came into the World: A Folk Tale from West Africa
Retold and Illustrated by
Joanna Troughton
The myth of Mouse and her children, from the Ekoi people of Nigeria.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
22.   How the Birds Changed Their Feathers: A South American Indian Folk Tale
Retold and Illustrated by
Joanna Troughton
This tale, told by the Arawak people of Guyana, explains how there came to be such brightly colored birds on Earth.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
23.   How the Rooster Got His Crown
Written by
Amy Lowry Poole
The retelling of a Miao folktale from Western China about the day the sun refused to come out for fear of a skillful archer's arrows.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
24.   How the Stars Fell from the Sky: A Navajo Legend
Lisa Desimini (Illustrator), Jerrie Oughton (Reteller)
A Navajo folktale that explains the patterns of stars in the sky.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
25.   It Could Always Be Worse: A Yiddish Folktale
Retold by
Margot Zemach
A Yiddish folktale that teaches us to appreciate what we have.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
26.   Jack the Giant Chaser: An Appalachian Tale
Joanne Compton (Adapter), Kenn Compton (Adapter and Illustrator)
A folktale from Appalachia about a modest fellow who chases away a troublesome giant.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
27.   Jade Stone: A Chinese Folktale
Ju-Hong Chen (Illustrator), Caryn Yacowitz (Author)
The Great Emperor of All China wants Chan Lo to carve a Dragon of Wind and Fire out of a perfect piece of jade. However, Chan Lo runs into some interesting problems with this task.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
28.   James the Vine Puller: A Brazilian Folktale
Martha Bennett Stiles (Author), Larry Thomas (Illustrator)
A Brazilian folktale about cooperation and sharing.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
29.   Just Enough Is Plenty: A Hanukkah Tale
Seymour Chwast (Illustrator), Barbara Diamond Goldin (Author)
A folktale about a poor family, a stranger and generosity.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
30.   Leprechaun Gold
Teresa Bateman (Author), Rosanne Litzinger (Illustrator)
A man saves the life of a leprechaun but refuses his offer of gold.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
31.   Maui and the Sun
Retold and Illustrated by
Gavin Bishop
An explanation of why the sun moves so slowly across the sky.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
32.   Moon Magic: Stories from Asia
Katherine Davison (Author), Thomas A. Rosborough (Illustrator)
From Siberia, Burma, Japan and Korea come four explanations of the moon.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
33.   Mr. Pak Buys a Story
Carol Farley (Author), Benrei Huang (Illustrator)
A Korean folktale about a wealthy couple's servant who buys an unusual story from a thief that proves to be well worth the price.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
34.   Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters
Written and Illustrated by
John Steptoe
A modern African fable with insights into values.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
 
35.   Nine-in-One, Grr! Grr!: A Folktale from the Hmong People of Laos
Nancy Hom (Illustrator), Blia Xiong (Author)
A Hmong folktale that explains why the land isn't overrun with tigers.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
 
36.   Oom Razoom: Or Go I Know Not Where, Bring Back I Know Not What: A Russian Tale
Dennis McDermott (Illustrator), Diane Wolkstein (Reteller)
A retelling of a Russian folktale about Alexis the archer, his magical wife and their adventures.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
37.   Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk About
Written by
Margaret Read McDonald
Folktales from around the world that invite readers to think about peace and how they can make it a reality.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
38.   Prietita and the Ghost Woman/ Prietita Y La Llorona
Gloria Anzaldua (Author), Christina Gonzalez (Illustrator)
A young girl becomes lost in her search for an herb to cure her mother and is aided by the legendary ghost woman.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
39.   Raven's Gift
Jo-Ann E. Kitchel (Illustrator), Janice Kuharski (Reteller)
A clever raven tricks the Chief of the Sky into sharing light with all the creatures of the earth.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
40.   Seven Magic Brothers
Kuang-ts’ai Hao (Reteller), Eva Wang (Illustrator)
The legend of seven magic brother who outsmart an emperor.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
41.   Soap! Soap! Don't Forget the Soap!
Tom Birdseye (Reteller), Andrew Glass (Illustrator)
An Appalachian folktale about forgetfulness.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
42.   Song of Sedna
Daniel San Souci (Illustrator), Robert D. San Souci (Author)
Retells one of many versions of how an Eskimo maiden became goddess of the sea.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
43.   Song of the Chirimia: La Musica de la Chirimia: Folklore Guatemalteco
Lori Ann Schatschneider (Illustrator), Jane Anne Volkner (Author)
A folktale from Guatemala about a man who wins the love of a princess through music.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
44.   Spanish-American Folktales
Written by
Teresa Pijoan de Van Etten
Twenty-eight stories that give insight into the experiences of Spanish Americans.
 
45.   Stone Men
Written and Illustrated by
Nicki Weiss
Isaac travels with his cart from town to town and on his journeys, he often gets lonely. In order to prevent himself from being lonely, Isaac builds stone men to keep him company. One day a village is threatened by the czar's soldiers and Isaac, along with his stone men, are able to help save the village.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
 
46.   Stone Soup
Margot Tomes (Illustrator), John Warren Stewig (Author)
A clever girl shows some stingy villagers how to make a special soup with some unusual ingredients.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
47.   Tale of Two Rice Birds: A Folktale from Thailand
Christine Lamb (Illustrator), Clare Holdgson Meeker (Adapter)
A Thai folktale in which a male and female rice bird each die, but meet again when they are reincarnated.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
 
48.   Ten Suns: A Chinese Legend
Eric A. Kimmel (Reteller), Yongsheng Xuan (Illustrator)
The eastern emperor of the sky must find a way to stop the destruction his children's trick has caused.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
49.   The Adventures of Hershel of Ostropol
Trina Schart Hyman (Illustrator), Eric A. Kimmel (Reteller)
Stories told by the famous Jewish folk hero who lived during the first part of the nineteenth century.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
50.   The Ant and the Grasshopper
Retold and Illustrated by
Amy Lowry Poole
A colony of industrious ants busily prepares for winter while a grasshopper makes no plans for the cold weather to come.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
51.   The Blue Jackal
Written by
Rashmi Sharma
An adaptation of a Punchtuntra fable with a message about feeling superior.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
 
52.   The Brocaded Slipper and Other Vietnamese Tales
Vo-Dinh Mai (Illustrator), Lynette Dyer Vuong (Author)
Five stories from Vietnam.
[Grade Level: 2 - 4]
 
53.   The Dancing Palm Tree and Other Nigerian Folktales
Helen Siegel (Illustrator), Barbara K. Walker (Reteller)
Eleven Nigerian folktale.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
54.   The Day Hans Got His Way: A Norwegian Folktale
David Lewis Atwell (Reteller), Debby Atwell (Illustrator)
A Norwegian folktale about a husband and wife switching roles for the day.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
55.   The Diamond Tree: Jewish Tales from Around the World
Barbara Rush (Author), Howard Schwartz (Author), Uri Shulevitz (Illustrator)
Jewish fairy and folktales from as far back as the third century.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
56.   The Duke Who Outlawed Jelly Beans and Other Stories
Lynette Schmidt (Illustrator), Johnny Valentine (Author)
Fairy tales with a new twist, all are told from the underdog's perspective.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
57.   The Dwarf Giant: A Japanese Folktale
Written by
Anita Lobel
A Japenese prince and princess meet a dwarf who enchants the prince and makes him do foolish things. This is a story that emphasizes the moral and truth to an old Japanese saying.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
58.   The Emperor and the Nightingale
Shih-ming Chang (Illustrator), Kuang-ts’ai Hao (Reteller)
The story of an emperor who learns that some things are worth more than immortality.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
59.   The Empty Pot
Written by
Demi
A Chinese tale of honesty rewarded.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
60.   The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story
Joseph Bruchac (Reteller), Anna Vojtech (Illustrator)
A Cherokee tale of friendship and respect.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
61.   The Giant and the Spring
Kuang-ts’ai Hao (Reteller), Eva Wang (Illustrator)
A kind giant brings Spring in from the cold but soon realizes he must share him with the rest of the world.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
62.   The Girl Who Wanted to Hunt: A Siberian Tale
Durga Bernhard (Illustrator), Emery Bernhard (Author)
A Siberian tale of a young girl who brings hope and comfort to children everywhere.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
 
63.   The Golden Bracelet
Nonny Hogrogian (Illustrator), David Kherdian (Reteller)
Based on an Armenian tale, an indolent prince learns to weave beautiful golden cloth, a craft that later saves his life.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
64.   The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story
Rebecca Hickox (Author), Will Hillenbrand (Illustrator)
An Iraqi version of the Cinderella story.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
65.   The Greatest of All: A Japanese Folktale
Giora Carmi (Illustrator), Eric A. Kimmel (Reteller)
A folktale that teaches modesty and patience.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
66.   The Irish Piper
Jim Latimer (Author), John O’Brien (Illustrator)
The Pied Piper plays upon Irish pipes and travels from County Clare in Ireland to the village of Hamelin, Germany, to rid it of its rats.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
67.   The Last Snake in Ireland: A Story about St. Patrick.
Will Hillenbrand (Illustrator), Sheila MacGill-Callahan (Author)
Before he becomes a saint, Patrick drives all the snakes but one out of Ireland and that last one ends up in Scotland's Loch Ness.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
68.   The Legend of Food Mountain
Graciela Carrillo (Illustrator), Harriet Rohmer (Author)
This story illustrates the creation of the people of earth and their source of food.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
69.   The Mouse Bride
Monica Chang (Author), Lesley Liu (Illustrator)
The Chinese folktale of a father who searches for the perfect mate for his daughter.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
70.   The Paper Bag Princess
Robert Munsch (Author), Michael Martchenko (Illustrator)
A princess rescues the prince she is supposed to marry by outsmarting a dragon, but when the prince is not at all grateful and is more concerned with her appearance, she decides not to marry him.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
 
71.   The People Could Fly: The Picture Book
Diane Dillon (Illustrator), Leo Dillon (Illustrator), Virginia Hamilton (Author)
This folktale is about how a group of black slaves would cope with sadness or anger in their life. The slaves would use their magic to rise and fly away when they were subject to the cruelty of their masters.
[Grade Level: Pre-K]
 
72.   The People Who Hugged the Trees: An Environmental Folk Tale
Deborah Lee Rose (Adapter), Birgitta Saflund (Illustrator)
An environmental folktale from India.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
73.   The Quiltmaker's Gift
Jeff Brumbeau (Author), Gail de Marcken (Illustrator)
A generous quiltmaker agrees to make a quilt for a greedy king but only under certain conditions.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
74.   The Rainbow Fish
Written by
Marcus Pfister
A beautiful rainbow fish learns a valuable lesson about pride and vanity.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
75.   The Rainmakers
Written and Illustrated by
E. J. Bird
The adventures of Cricket and his grandfather provide a glimpse into the lives of the Anasazi.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
76.   The Spotted Pony: A Collection of Hanukkah Stories
Leonard Everett Fisher (Illustrator), Eric A. Kimmel (Author)
Eight tales, one for each night of the holiday.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
77.   The Tale of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp
Ju-Hong Chen (Illustrator), Eric A. Kimmel (Reteller)
A story from The Arabian Nights.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
78.   The Talking Eggs: A Folktale from the American South
Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator), Robert D. San Souci (Author)
A folktale that shows that the plainest of objects may conceal treasures.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
79.   The Three Princes
Leonard Everett Fisher (Illustrator), Eric A. Kimmel (Reteller)
A tale from the Middle East about a very wise princess.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
80.   The Treasure Chest: A Chinese Tale
Will Hillenbrand (Illustrator), Rosiland C. Wang (Author)
A young man is challenged to three impossible contests.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
81.   The Tree That Rains: The Flood Myth of the Huichol Indians of Mexico
Durga Bernhard (Illustrator), Emery Bernhard (Reteller)
The flood myth of the Huichol Indians of Mexico.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
 
82.   The Tsar's Promise: A Russian Tale
Lauren A. Mills (Illustrator), Robert D. San Souci (Author)
A princess uses her magical powers to help the Tsar's son.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
83.   The Two Mountains: An Aztec Legend
Leonard Everett Fisher (Illustrator), Eric A. Kimmel (Author)
Two gods who disobey their parents and visit Earth are turned into mortals.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
84.   The Witch's Face
Eric A. Kimmel (Adapter), Fabricio Vanden Broeck (Illustrator)
A Mexican folktale about a man who falls in love with a witch but fails to heed her special instructions and loses her forever.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
85.   Thirty-Three Multi-Cultural Tales to Tell
Pleasant DeSpain (Author), Joe Schlichta (Illustrator)
Stories that celebrate the interconnectedness of people, animals and cultures.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
 
86.   Three Sacks of Truth
Eric A. Kimmel (Adapter), Robert Rayevsky (Illustrator)
A French folktale about a man who outwits a king.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
87.   Tikki, Tikki Tembo
Blair Lent (Illustrator), Arlene Mosel (Author)
A Chinese folktale that explains why Chinese names are short.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
88.   To Dinner, For Dinner
Tolowa M. Mollel (Author), Synthia Saint James (Illustrator)
A rabbit is able to outsmart a vain and hungry leopard with the help of her friends.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
89.   Tongues of Jade
Laurence Yep (Author), David Wiesner (Illustrator)
This book contains a collection of early Chinese American tales.
[Grade Level: 3 - 6]
 
90.   Turkey's Gift to the People
Written by
Ani Rucki
This story is based on a Navajo folktale. A group of animals all band together to protect themselves from a flood. Each of the animals work together, using their own individual skills.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
91.   Vasilissa the Beautiful
Alexander Koshkin (Illustrator), Elizabeth Winthrop (Adapter)
A retelling of a Russian fairy tale in which Vasilissa uses the help of her doll to escape danger.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
92.   Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
Verna Aardema (Author), Diane Dillon (Illustrator), Leo Dillon (Illustrator)
A West African folktale.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
93.   Why the Sky Is Far Away
Mary-Joan Gerson (Author), Carla Golembe (Illustrator)
A Nigerian folktale that explains why the sky is so far away.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
94.   Yettele's Feathers
Written by
Joan Rothenberg
A widow without children, “Yettele had a lot of time for minding other people's business.” Not only does she spread rumors from one neighbor to another, but she always has the facts wrong and surmises the worst. Eventually, everyone in Ostrow is afraid to talk to her, so she goes to the Rabbi. He finds a rather gentle but highly persuasive way of teaching Yettele how words can injure and how difficult they are to take back once uttered.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
 
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