Passed down through a tradition of oral storytelling, folk and fairy tales provide a comfortable way for young children to explore different cultures and experiences other than their own.  Many of these tales contain a moral, or lesson to be learned by the reader, as well as presenting the idea that there are numerous ways to approach life and solve problems.  The fantastical nature of folk and fairy tales stimulate the imaginations of young children.

Folk and Fairy Tales that will inspire your pre-readers:

The Paper Crane by Molly Bang 
With unique illustrations, this story is based on an ancient Japanese folktale.  After a highway is built near a man’s restaurant he loses his customers.  When a stranger leaves a paper crane in exchange for his meal, the restaurant owner’s luck changes.
The Rooster and the Fox retold by Helen Ward 
In this retelling of Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale”, a rooster is caught by his pride before cleverly teaching the fox a lesson about false flattery.
Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky 
A retelling of the story of a girl with long hair waiting for her prince in a tower.  Enjoy this old story with new and wonderful artwork.
Finn MacCoul and His Fearless Wife: A Giant of a Tale from Ireland by Anonymous
The Scottish giant Cucullin is after Irish Finn MacCoul, and Finn is terrified.  Fortunately, Finn’s wife has some clever ideas for rescuing her husband.
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe 
Mufaro has two daughters, both of them very beautiful.  When the Great King decides to choose a wife, inviting all the worthy and beautiful women in the land to come before him, each of Mufaro’s daughters set out on a journey that will test her worth.