The Biggest Book of First Fairy Tales & Myths for Kids
What is a fairy tale?
What makes a story a fairy tale is a little bit of magic that stirs the imagination, and it doesn’t matter where it comes from. It can be a pumpkin that is turned into a beautiful coach, a talking animal that can make a wish come true, or a spell that turns a handsome prince into a beast. Anything can happen in the world of fairy tales. But a fairy tale is more than just a fantasy.
A long time ago, long before people could read or write, storytelling already played an important part in their lives. Along with music-making and dancing, stories were the main form of entertainment. And, although fairy tales are now treated as stories for children, originally they were listened to and known by everyone in the community.
All around the world, tales were handed down from generation to generation. Many fairy tales shared the same themes—good always triumphed over evil, and the central characters lived happily ever after. When ordinary people started to read and write, the traditional stories might have been lost. But with the help of collectors who listened to them and wrote them down, fairy tales were preserved and continued to entertain children.
- Cinderella by Charles Perrault
- The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde
- Rapunzel by The Brothers Grimm
- Jack and the Beanstalk (Traditional English Tale)
- Sleeping Beauty by The Brothers Grimm
- The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen
- The Frog Prince by The Brothers Grimm
- Beauty and the Beast by Madame de Beaumont
- Diamonds and Toads by The Brothers Grimm
- The Twelve Dancing Princesses by The Brothers Grimm
- The Fisherman and his Wife by The Brothers Grimm
- The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen
- Rumpelstiltskin by The Brothers Grimm
- The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
What’s the difference between a myth and a legend?
Myths are stories invented by people thousands of years ago to explain what they could see around them. In myths, gods and goddesses create the earth, sky, and oceans. They put the sun, moon, and stars in the sky and people and animals on earth. But they act like ordinary people, too, having arguments and feeling sad and throwing tantrums, which explains events like the changing seasons, storms and earthquakes, floods, and volcanoes.
Then there are legends: stories about heroes and monsters, journeys to enchanted worlds, and the foundation of great cities.
Legends are almost as fantastic as myths, but may have grown from something that really happened, which changed and became more elaborate as more and more people told the story.
- The Fall of Icarus
- The Golden Touch
- Wolf Babies
- Coyote Dances with a Star
- The First Com
- A Newborn Warrior
- How the Animals Got Their Shapes
- How Butterflies Began
- Balder the Beautiful
- Rama and Sita
- The Enchanted Island
- The Kingdom Under the Sea
- The Crocodile and the Baby
- Ten Suns in the Sky
- Why Dogs Hate Cats
- The Dragon of Krakow
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