Check out some of the best fairy tale books for kids as recommended by teachers and librarians! There are so many amazing fairy tale picture books for kids that teach them about popular tales, story elements and story arcs. Don’t forget fractured fairy tale children’s books either! Fractured fairy tales are also excellent as they tell common fairy tales in a different way! Picture books are a great way to teach about almost any topic. These are excellent fairy tale children’s books to share with your students as suggested by the educators in the Picture Book Brain community!
If you’re a member of the Picture Book Brain Trust Community, you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!
Check out the books:
After the Fall
Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after? This tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most.
Will he summon the courage to face his fear? You can get the lesson and activities with Google Docs and Slides as well as printables FOR FREE! Sign up below!
The Three Little Javelinas
Everyone knows the story of the three little pigs, but now you’re going to meet the three little javelinas (pronounced ha-ve-LEE-nas)-loveable, wild, southwestern cousins of pigs. Living in homes built out of tumbleweeds and saguaro ribs (from the fallen giant cacti), the first two javelinas are soon running from the hungry coyote, who had hoped to eat them with red chile sauce. And where do they go for shelter? Why, to their wise sister’s house, made strong with adobe bricks.
A great version of the Three Little Pigs fairytale told in the southwest United States that is great for illustrating the impact of setting on a story. Also available in Spanish as Los tres pequenos jabalies.
The Three Snow Bears
A really fun winter version of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears fairytale.
When Aloo-ki glances up from fishing and sees her sled dogs floating off on an ice floe, she races after them. She comes upon an igloo with no one home and goes inside.Turns out the polar bear family who lives there is out walking while their breakfast cools off. Aloo-ki eats some soup, tries on their boots, and finally crawls into the smallest bed for a nap. Meanwhile, Papa, Mama, and Baby Bear see her dogs adrift, swim out to rescue them and return home to find Aloo-ki fast asleep in Baby Bear’s bed.
Jack and the Beanstalk and the French Fries
When Jack trades the family cow for a handful of magic beans, he gets more beans than he ever expected or wanted. It’s bean porridge for breakfast! Bean salad for lunch! Bean chowder for dinner! It doesn’t take long before Jack is tired of eating nothing but beans–no matter how nutritious!
But just as he’s about to chop down his magic beanstalk, he meets a grumpy giant, who is just as sick and tired of beans as he is. Together, Jack and the giant cook up a plan to plant a vegetable garden full of tomatoes, corn, carrots, and russet potatoes that’s bound to satisfy everyone. A fun version of the Jack and the Beanstalk tale.
Another fun Jan Brett fairytale reimagining, this time of the Gingerbread Boy fairytale. The wintry setting of this version of the story also make it one of my favorite books for winter. The liftable gingerbread house flap at the end make this version extra for as a read aloud.
The Rough-Face Girl
In a village by the shores of Lake Ontario lived an invisible being. All the young women wanted to marry him because he was rich, powerful, and supposedly very handsome. But to marry the invisible being the women had to prove to his sister that they had seen him. And none had been able to get past the sister’s stern, all-knowing gaze.
Then came the Rough-Face girl, scarred from working by the fire. Could she succeed where her beautiful, cruel sisters had failed? From Algonquin Indian folklore comes a powerful, haunting rendition of Cinderella.
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
When the Great King decides to take a wife and invites the most worthy and beautiful daughters in the land to appear before him, Mufaro brings both of his daughters—but only one can be queen. Who will the king choose?
This story is generally touted as being based on an African folktale, but this not true. Much research was done, and it was not based on any African folktale. Look at it more as a Cinderella type fairytale. It’s still a great story, and it’s also available in Spanish as Las bellas hijas de Mufaro.
Lon Po Po
A lovely Little Red Riding Hood story from China as told by Ed Young. This book was the winner of the Caldecott Medal for its amazing illustrations. A wolf tries to trick 3 children who are left alone when their mother leaves them alone. An excellent story to compare and contrast with the traditional American version of the story.
The Three Pigs
This Caldecott Medal-winning picture book begins placidly (and familiarly) enough, with three pigs collecting materials and going off to build houses of straw, sticks, and bricks. But the wolf’s huffing and puffing blows the first pig right out of the story . . . and into the realm of pure imagination. A very David Wiesner type story if you enjoy any of his popular wordless picture books.
The Turkey Girl
This is a truly Native American fairytale as told by Indigenous author Penny Pollock based on a Zuni Cinderella story. The lesson in the story even follows Native American story structure. This book would also be excellent for November’s Native American Heritage Month!
Best Fairy Tale Books for Kids
Did I miss any great fairy tale books for kids? I’m sure I have! There’s not nearly enough on the list. Let me know in the comments and I’ll add them! I’m always looking for new great picture books!