Welcome to World Folktales and Fables Week 2022


Around the world, children love folktales and fables. The simple characters, settings, and alluring conflict early in the story help folktales grab the reader’s attention. Recall The Three Little Pigs, in which each of the three pigs needs to build a house, but a hungry wolf tries to eat them up.

Folktales develop quickly, and often obstacles seem insurmountable before everything is ultimately resolved to our satisfaction. Good wins out over evil.

Folktales provide an excellent way to teach kids about the consequences of good and bad behavior, the value of cooperation, and the rewards of courage and ingenuity.

In stories such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Billy Goats Gruff, we can see repetition and rhythm that are very appealing to children. Of course, everyone enjoys a story when humor and cunning are used to outsmart an adversary.

World Folktales and Fables Week March 20-26, 2022

Language Lizard celebrates World Folktales and Fables Week every March in order to highlight the benefits of these straightforward stories. This year, it takes place from March 20-26, 2022.

This event is dedicated to encouraging children and adults to explore the lessons and cultural background of folktales, fables, myths, and legends from around the world.

Sometimes, with common folktales, the animals or settings chosen demonstrate these lessons and hold a different significance for different cultures.

With the World of Stories series, Language Lizard responsively retells a classic folktale with culturally relevant animals, food, and settings. These adventures are set in diverse areas and cultures around the world.

The Three Little Howlers
By Anneke Forzani

How will The Three Little Howlers escape from the fierce jaguar? With beautiful illustrations set in the rainforest of Central America, this lively retelling of The Three Little Pigs will charm readers of all ages.

The Three Little Sun Bears
By Anneke Forzani

How will The Three Little Sun Bears escape from the ferocious Siberian tiger?  Set in the tropical rainforest in Asia, readers of all ages will enjoy this clever retelling of The Three Little Pigs.

Folktales From Around the World

Along with reimagining popular fairy tales through a multicultural lens, it’s also valuable for kids to read folktales that originated in other parts of the world. The stories in classic folklore offer both social lessons as well as an opportunity to teach about cultures and languages.

Below are a few popular fables and folktales that support diversity education.

Yeh-Hsien: A Chinese Cinderella
Retold by Dawn Casey

You’ve heard of Cinderella, but what about the story of Yeh-Hsien? Believed as the original Cinderella story, a wicked stepmother raises a young girl, Yeh-Hsien, who lives a hard life performing the most difficult chores. The stepmother kills her favorite fish, but Yeh-Hsien discovers that the fish bones are magical! Her greatest wish is to attend the village festival, but she loses her slipper there.

Mamy Wata and the Monster
By Véronique Tadjo

Mamy Wata is the queen of all the water. One day, when she is swimming peacefully in a big river, she hears the news: a terrible monster has been scaring the nearby villagers. So Mamy Wata lies in wait near the monster’s cave. But, to her great surprise, instead of finding a monster, she finds a sad and lonely man who has been bewitched. This colorfully illustrated book brings African culture to life on each page.

Buri and the Marrow
By Henriette Barkow

This entertaining Bengali story is about an old woman who travels through the forest to meet her daughter. The woman meets many creatures along the way – and they all want to eat her! She makes a plan to outsmart them, with the help of her daughter. But will she fool the sly fox?

Downloadable Lessons

Reading world folktales and fables with the kids in your family or classroom is a great opportunity to teach, bond, and work on literacy skills. It’s easy to download these lessons, along with other multicultural lesson plans that you can use throughout the year!

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Literacy Learning Through Folktales (Free lesson plan)

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Anneke Forzani founded Language Lizard (www.LanguageLizard.com) to provide educators, librarians, and parents with resources that develop literacy skills among English Language Learners, build inclusive classrooms, and celebrate cultural diversity. Language Lizard offers bilingual books in over 50 languages, multilingual audio resources, multicultural posters, and free lesson plans to support multicultural classrooms. The company also runs a blog (blog.languagelizard.com) for parents and teachers working with language learners and culturally diverse students. Anneke is the author of Building Bridges with Bilingual Books and Multicultural Resources (a manual to support culturally responsive teaching) and With Flying Colors: Color Idioms (a multicultural idiom book).

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