Fairy Tales and Fables to Share from Bookstart Bear

Bookstart Bear reading a picture book

For many of us, the stories we remember most from our childhood are fairy tales, fables and traditional stories.  Those stories may vary, depending on our backgrounds and heritage, but they all play a big part in developing our imaginations and building a sense of wonder.

In your local library you will find a wide variety of fairy tales.  Many follow the traditional stories handed down from generation to generation.  Others put a new spin on those tales, or combine them in unlikely ways.  Here are a few suggestions to get you started.


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The Lion & The Mouse – Jerry Pinkney

The only words in this version of Aesop’s tale are animal noises.  Beautifully illustrated and ideal for encouraging children to tell their own version of the story.

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Each Peach Pear Plum – Janet & Allan Ahlberg

A much loved picture book which introduces young readers to characters from traditional and nursery tales.  It is exciting for children to try and guess who will be next and they are assisted in this by the gentle rhyming format.

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The Great Fairy Tale Disaster – David Conway & Melanie Williamson

This amusing book has the Big Bad Wolf bringing chaos to lots of well known fairy tales.  A great book for encouraging discussion with children who are familiar with the original stories.

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Princess, Fairy – Penny Dale

A modern story with a Princess, a frog, some magic and a happy ending!  It is very ‘girly’ – ideal for fans of pink, glitter and sparkles.

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The Emperor’s New Clothes – Susanna Davidson & Mike Gordon

An amusing retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s story.  The pictures are especially good.

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Cinderella – Nick Sharratt & Stephen Tucker

This is one of the traditional Cinderella stories, but it’s told in rhyme.  The illustrations are fabulous and there are lots of flaps to lift and explore.  It may be a bit on the wordy side for very young children.

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The Giant Turnip – Henriette Barkow & Richard Johnson

This modern retelling of a traditional story is available as a dual language books.  There are more than a dozen different community language versions available from Hampshire Libraries.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Nicola Baxter & Ailie Busby

Another modern retelling of a well loved story.  This version has a rhyming text and lots of word repetition – brilliant for encouraging emerging readers.

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The Three Billy Goats Fluff – Rachel Mortimer & Liz Pichon

This book gives a funny twist to a classic fairy tale.  Like all the best stories, it ends with everyone living happily fluffily ever after.

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The Elves and the Shoemaker – Lorna Read & Jan Lewis

A lovely retelling of a traditional tale.  Ideal for reading aloud and sharing with young children.

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