A Multicultural Fairy Tales and Folktales Booklist

By NYPL Staff
September 8, 2020
Picture Collection, The New York Public Library.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "[The wolf comes to the grandmother's cottage]" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1898.

Many educators are interested in incorporating a wider diversity of fairy tales and folktales from different cultures in their plans for the upcoming year. Below is a selection of titles, which range from bilingual picture books to contemporary retellings of classic stories.

Any of the included titles would be perfect for children's storytimes and are available in a wide variety of print and online formats from the New York Public Library. You can check out many of these books from the convenience of home, through our SimplyE app. Or look to see if your neighborhood library is currently open as one of our Grab and Go locations.

This list was compiled by Amber Certain, Grace Dwyer, Tessa Hamilton, and Tiffany James from the School Outreach Department.

A Story, A Story: An African Tale by Gail E. Haley (print) (e-book) (digital audiobook)

Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger, illustrations by Michael Hays  (print) (DVD)

Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story (print) by Tomie Depaola

All the Way to Lhasa: A Tale From Tibet by Barbara Helen Berger

Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock  retold by Eric A. Kimmel ; illustrated by Janet Stevens(CD audiobook) (DVD) (digital video) (digital audiobook)

Beauty and the Beast: A Retellingby H. Chuku Lee, illustrations by Pat Cummings

Cendrillon: A Carribean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Brian Pinkney (print)

Cucu: A Mexican Folktaleby Lois Ehlert, translated into Spanish by Gloria de Aragón Andujar (print)

Dragon Prince : A Chinese Beauty & the Beast Tale by Laurence Yep, illustrated by Kam Mak

Fat Cat: A Danish Folktaleby Margaret Read MacDonald, illustrated by Julie Paschkis (print)

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Messageby Chief Jake Swamp, illustrated by Erwin Printup, Jr. (e-book) (Bookflix) (digital audiobook)

Grandma and the Great Gourd: A Bengali Folktale by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, illustrated by Susy Pilgrim Waters 

In the Land of Happy Tears by David Stromberg (print) (e-book)

It Could Always Be Worse: A Yiddish Folktale by Margot Zemach 

Jamie O' Rourke and the Big Potato: An Irish Folktale by Tomie De Paola (print) (Digital Audiobook)

John Henry by Julius Lester, pictures by Jerry Pinkney Digital Audiobook) (digital video)

Joseph Had a Little Overcoatby Simms Taback (digital audiobook) (Bookflix

Jue miao de sou zhu yi 绝妙的馊主意 / 玛戈斉斉 by Margot Zemach 

La Cucaracha Martina : un cuento folkórico del Caribe recontado e ilustrado por Daniel Moretón ; traducido por Miguel Arisa

La Princesa and the Pea (Digital Audiobook through Cloud Library) by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal (digital audiobook)

Las bellas hijas de Mufaro: cuento popular africano by John Steptoe, traducido por Clarita Kohen (digital audiobook in Spanish)

Let's Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!: Games, Songs, and Stories from an African American Childhood by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by Brian Pinkney (e-book)

Liang and the Magic Paintbrush by Demi

Little Red Riding-Hood by Jerry Pinkney

Lon Po Po by Ed Young  (digital audiobook) (e-book) (digital video) (Bookflix)

Láng pó pȯ by Ed Young

Mabela the Cleverby Margaret Read MacDonald, illustrated by Tim Coffey 

Martina, the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale retold by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Michael Austin (print) (Spanish

Moon Rope: A Peruvian Folktale= Un Lazo a la Luna: Una Leyenda Peruanaby Lois Ehlert, translated into Spanish by Amy Prince (bilingual)

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe (digital audiobook) (DVD)

On the Shoulder of a Giant: An Inuit Folktaleby Neil Christopher, illustrated by Jim Nelson (e-book)

Por qué zumban los mosquitos en los oídos de la gente : Un Cuento de Africa Occidental by adaptado por Verna Aardema, ilustraciones de Leo y Diane Dillon, traducción de Osvaldo Blanco (Bookflix in Spanish)

Ppalgan moja 빨간 모자 / 제리 핑크니 글, 그림 ; 윤한구 옮김. 빨간 모자 / 제리 핑크니 글, 그림 ; 윤한구 옮김by Jerry Pinkney

Pretty Salma: A Little Red Riding Hood Story From Africa by Niki Daly

Qiáosèfū y̌ou jiàn jiù wài tàoby Simms Taback

Raccoon's Last Race: A Traditional Abenaki Story as told by Joseph Bruchac & James Bruchac, pictures by Jose Aruego & Ariane Dewey

Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm; retoldby Rachel Isadora

Reading Beauty by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Meg Hunt (print) (e-book)

Strega Nona: An Old Tale  retold and illustrated by Tomie de Paola (print)

Sugar Cane: A Carribean Rapunzelby Patricia Storace, pictures by Raul Coln̤

Sukey and the Mermaidby Robert D. San Souci, ilustrated by Brian Pinkney (print) (e-book)

Tales of a Lost Kingdom: A Journey into Northwest Pakistan by Erik L'Homme, illustrated by François Place, translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick 

Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection by Isabel F. Campoy, illustrated by Felipe Dv̀alos

The Crane Girl: Based on Japanese Folktales by Curtis Manley 

The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo, illustrated by Ruth Heller

The Emperor's Nightingale and Other Feathery Tales by Jane Ray, illustrations by Lin Wang

The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story  retold by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Anna Vojtech (print)

The Fisherman and His Wife by Rachel Isadora

The Last Kappa of Old Japan by Sunny Seki (print) (e-book)

The Last Kappa of Old Japan: A Magical Journey of Two Friends

日本最後のカッパ / 文と絵 サニー関 by Sunny Seki = 日本最後のカッパ / 文と絵 サニー関

The Lion & The Mouseby Jerry Pinkney (digital audiobook)

The Neighborhood Mother Gooseby by Nina Crews

The Orphan: a Cinderella Story From Greece by Anthony L. Manna and Soula Mitakidou, illustrated by Giselle Potter (eBook)

The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon (print) (e-book) (digital audiobook)

La princesa y el guerrero : Historia de dos Volcanes by Duncan Tonatiuh

The Princess and the Warriorby Duncan Tonatiuh, traducción, Graciela Romero (print) (e-book) (digital audiobook

The Snake Goddess Colors the World: A Chinese Tale Told in English and Chineseby Jian Li 

The Three Princes: A Tale From the Middle East by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Leonard Everett Fisher 

Two of Everything: A Chinese Folktale by Lily Toy Hong 

Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Storiesby Phuoc Thi Minh Tran, illustrated by Nguyen Thi Hop & Nguyen Dong (print) (e-book)

Why Mosquitos Buzz in People’s Ears retold by Verna Aardema, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon (DVD

Why the Sky is Far Away: A Nigerian Folktale by Mary-Joan Gerson, pictures by Carla Golembe (print)

Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky: An African Folktale by Elphinstone Dayrell, illustrated by Blair Lent

Zomo the Rabbit: A Trickster Tale from West Africa by Gerald McDermott, illustrated by Gerald McDermott (print)

Digital Resources from NYPL


BookFlix is a Scholastic resource for young children that pairs a fictional story with a nonfiction text, and includes a variety of topics that will interest little ones.

TumbleBooks Library

TumbleBooks Library features animated, talking picture books that are engaging and fun for children. 

OverDrive Video

While OverDrive features a number of kids books, the popular e-Reading platform also contains a number of animated children’s books that engage young readers.