World Folktales and Fables: New Multicultural Resources

This year, World Folktales and Fables Week takes place from March 20th to 26th. Language Lizard is excited to announce the release of the new World of Stories series! These books include multicultural retellings of the story of The Three Little Pigs set in diverse areas and cultures around the world.

World of Stories: Multicultural Resources

Folktales and fables are beloved by children around the world. The simple characters, settings, and alluring conflict early in the story help folktales grab the reader’s attention. Recall The Three Little Pigs, in which each of the three pigs needs to build a house, but a hungry wolf tries to eat them up. Folktales develop quickly, and often obstacles seem insurmountable before everything is ultimately resolved to our satisfaction. Good wins out over evil.

Folktales provide an excellent way to teach kids about the consequences of good and bad behavior, the value of cooperation, and the rewards of courage and ingenuity. In stories such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Billy Goats Gruff, we can see repetition and rhythm that are very appealing to children. Of course, when humor and cunning are used to outsmart an adversary, everyone has a good time.

However, with common folktales, sometimes the animals or settings chosen to demonstrate these lessons hold a different significance for different cultures. With the World of Stories series, Language Lizard responsively retells a classic folktale with culturally relevant animals, food, and settings. These adventures are set in diverse areas and cultures around the world. The bilingual books are available in many languages and include access to FREE LESSON PLANS, English and Spanish audio, and fun activities to support multicultural education.

The Three Little Howlers
By Anneke Forzani

How will The Three Little Howlers escape from the fierce jaguar? With beautiful illustrations set in the rainforest of Central America, this lively retelling of The Three Little Pigs will charm readers of all ages.

The Three Little Sun Bears
By Anneke Forzani

How will The Three Little Sun Bears escape from the ferocious Siberian tiger?  Set in the tropical rainforest in Asia, readers of all ages will enjoy this clever retelling of The Three Little Pigs.

Folktales From Around the World

Below are a few popular fables and fairy tales that support diversity education.Yeh-Hsien: A Chinese Cinderella
Retold by Dawn Casey

You’ve heard of Cinderella, but what about the story of Yeh-Hsien? Believed to be the original Cinderella story, Yeh-Hsien is a girl raised by a wicked stepmother, living a hard life with the most difficult chores. The stepmother kills her favorite fish, but Yeh-Hsien is amazed to discover that the fish bones are magical! Her greatest wish is to attend the village festival, but she loses her slipper there.

Mamy Wata and the Monster
By Véronique Tadjo

Mamy Wata is the queen of all the water. One day, when she is swimming peacefully in a big river, she hears the news: a terrible monster has been scaring the nearby villagers. So Mamy Wata lies in wait near the monster’s cave. But, to her great surprise, instead of finding a monster, she finds a sad and lonely man who has been bewitched. This colorfully illustrated book brings African culture to life on each page.

Buri and the Marrow
By Henriette Barkow

This entertaining Bengali story is about an old woman who travels through the forest to meet her daughter. The woman meets many creatures along the way – and they all want to eat her! She makes a plan to outsmart them, with the help of her daughter. But will the sly fox be fooled?

Reading world folktales and fables with the kids in your family or classroom is a great opportunity to teach, bond and work on literacy skills. It’s easy to download these lessons, along with other multicultural lesson plans that you can use throughout the year!

Are any of these folktales new to you? What folktales do you share with your young learners? Continue the conversation online with #Folktales and #Fables!

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