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            Fantasy, Fairy Tales &

            Folk Literature Resources

                      located in the Curriculum Lab




Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Folk Literature

Fantasy literature describes stories where magic causes impossible and wondrous events to occur.  The setting can be present times or an imaginary place; must include magic and the impossible or inexplicable. Fairy tales have kings, princesses, dragons and fairies.  Folk literature is narrative material that is handed down by tradition and describes the culture and customs of a group of people.




BL   312  B85 2003  (Reference Collection)

Bulfinch, Thomas. Bulfinch's Mythology. NY: Gramercy Books, c2003.

Careful interpretations of classical sources recorded by Thomas Bulfinch.  This work is divided into three sections: Age of Fable (stories of gods and heroes of Greek, Roman and Norse mythology); Age of Chivalry (King Arthur, the Mabinogeon, Beowulf, Robin Hood); Legends of Charlemagne.  An index aids in locating information. Electronic version also available


REF  398.2  L485di  (Curriculum Lab)

Dictionary of Folklore. NY: Franklin Watts, c2002.

Resource book of folklore that introduces topics such as ballads and folk songs, Bible stories, fables, fairy tales, folktales, legends, myths, parables, riddles, and tall tales. The emphasis is on American folklore.


REF   809.3  C649en  (Curriculum Lab)

Encyclopedia of Fantasy. NY: St. Martin's Press., 1997.

Comprehensive volume of how elements of fantasy literature influence literature, films and art.  Although folk literature is not the featured genre, there are many references to mythology and fairy tales in the 4,000 plus entries.


REF   016.808   F448fo  (Curriculum Lab)

Fiction, Folklore, Fantasy & Poetry for Children, 1876-1985: Author Index, Illustrator Index, Title Index, Awards Index.  NY: Bowker, c1986.

Two volume set that is a comprehensive listing of over 133,000 entries for fictionalized works of children's literature.  It's value is to bring together the major awards in children's literature.


REF   GR 35  F64 1997  (Reference Collection)

Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Beliefs, Customs, Tales, Music, and Art.  Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1997.

Two volume set examines the forms of folklore.  Although much of the entries deal with theoretical aspects of folklore, the definitions, explanation and exploration of literary terms such as ballad, myth, trickster can be useful.


REF   398.042  F982  (Curriculum Lab)

Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend. NY: Funk and Wagnalls, c1972.

Quick reference to names, dates and important works of folk heritage of the world.  Survey articles are included among the 8,000 entries on heroes, gods, stories and songs, angels, guardian spirits, fairies, demons, devils, ogres, witches, vampires and zombies and the manifestations in various cultures.


REF  398.2  I38  (Curriculum Lab)

Index to Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends. Boston, MA: F.W. Faxon, c1926.

Index to Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends Supplement. Boston, MA: F.W. Faxon, c1937.

Index to Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends, Second Supplement. Boston: MA, F.W. Faxon, c1952.

Index to Fairy Tales, 1949-1972. Westwood, MA: F.W. Faxon, c1973.

Index to Fairy Tales, 1973-1977. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, c1985.

Index to Fairy Tales, 1978-1986. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, c1989.

Index to Fairy Tales, 1987-1992. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, c1994.

Wonderful source to find individual tales published in an anthology.  Main title is indexes with references made from the other, lesser known titles.  The first volumes include a sketchy separate geographical and subject index.  Beginning with 1949-1972, a comprehensive subject index is inter-alphabetized with the title and geographic index.


REF   016.80883  L989fa  (Curriculum Lab)

Lynn, Ruth Nadelman. Fantasy Literature for Children and Young Adults: An Annotated Bibliography.  NY: Bowker, c1989.

For 3,300 fantasy novels and short story collections useful for students in grades 1-12, this resource provides a short, one-sentence description, citations to reviews, and, where applicable, a listing of publishers for different translations.  The annotated bibliography is divided into ten topics. In addition, there is a bibliography for further information on the authors of fantasy novels. Three indexes (author, title, subject) provide easy access.


REF   PN  3437 O94 2000  (Reference Collection)

Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales: The Western Fairy Tale Tradition from Medieval to Modern. NY: Oxford University Press, 2000.

The introduction, entitled “Towards a Definition of the Literary Fairy Tale,” provides an historical overview of the western tradition of fairy tales.  The 800 entries define types of tales, provide information on tales from a specific country, and provides many author biographies.  


REF   GR 67  T478  1989  (Reference Collection)

Thompson, Stith. Motif-Index of Folk-Literature.  Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, c1989.

“A classification of narrative elements in folktales, ballads, myths, fables, medieval romances, exempla, fabliaux, jest-books and local legends.”  This is a six-volume set where five volumes categorizes the mythological and supernatural motifs and lists sources while the sixth volume serves as a subject index.



The circulating collection includes the individual stories, collections of tales by country or theme, variation or adaptation of the classical stories, and teaching resources.


Example of individual work:

J  P655ug

Pinkney, Jerry. The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen. NY: Morrow Junior Books, c1999.


Example of collections:

YP   398.2  A512

American Folktales From the Collections of the Library of Congress.  Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, c2004.

Anthology of tales, transcribed from audio records in the collections of the American Folklife Center at the Library Congress, arranged by narrator.  Following the 215 entries are geographic index, index of tale types and index of motifs.


P.R. 808.8 A667a

Arbuthnot, May Hill. The Arbuthnot Anthology of Children's Literature: Single Volume Edition of Time for Poetry, Time for Fairy Tales and Time for True Tales. Chicago: Scott Foresman, 1961.

The second section, Time for Fairy Tales, lists full-text of many of famous tales arranged by country with additional listings for fables, myths and magic.


Example of a collection by country:

J  398.2 A799el

Asbjornsen, Peter Christen. East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon: Fifty-nine Norwegian Folk Tales From the Collection of Peter Christen Asbjornsen and Jorgen Moe. NY: Dover, 1970.


Example of a collection by theme:

J  398.2 S617mo

Singh, Rina. Moon Tales: Myths of the Moon from Around the World. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, c1999.


Example of an adaptation:

J  398.2 L917ci

Lowell, Susan.  Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella. NY: HarperCollins, c2000.



Teaching Resources


P.R.  398.2  B565us

Bettelheim, Bruno. The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales.  NY: Vintage, c1975.

Famous child psychologist explains how fairy tales educate, support, and liberate the emotions of children.


P.R. 809.8928 G259fa

Gates, Pamela S. Fantasy Literature for Children and Young Adults. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2003.

Although there are listings of fantasy literature, this book concentrates on the history and criticism of fantasy literature and its importance in the lives of children.  After a definition, the authors describe subgenres such as fairy tales, talking-animal tales, heroic-ethical traditions and magic.


P.R. 372.7 K23af

Kaye, Peggy. Afterwards: Folk and Fairy Tales with Mathematical Ever Afters. White Plains, NY: Cuisenaire Co., c1996.

Mathematical problems and puzzles on a grade 1-2 level for nine fairy tales.


P.R. 808.543 L788st

Livo, Norma J. Storytelling Folklore Sourcebook. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1991.

Comprehensive resource that includes short definitions, listings of story elements and then full-length stories.  Authors provide an overview such as “culture hero” and then list many elements of a type of story such as “anansi” and “coyote.”  Later chapters consider artifacts that have cultural significance, calendars and customs, and helpful insights for the storyteller such as useful terms to embellish a story and memory devices such as rhyme, meter, alliteration, etc.


P.R.  398.21 M116mu

McCarthy, Tara. Multicultural Fables and Fairy Tales: Stories and Activities to Promote Literacy and Cultural Awareness. NY: Scholastic, c1993.

Activity sheets to help categorize and understand structure or similarity in fables and tales from many lands.


P.R.  372.64 W122br

Wadham, Tim. Bringing Fantasy Alive for Children and Young Adults. Worthington, OH: Linworth, c1999.

Introduction provides overview of fantasy with definitions of types of fantasy that include fables, folktales, and myths.  Other sections cover connecting fantasy literature with curriculum areas; booktalking and storytimes; selected author biographies; and an annotated booklist.



Periodicals available electronically or in print


Journal of American Folklore     JSTOR 1988-1998; Project Muse 2001-

Quarterly publication of the American Folklore Society publishes scholarly articles and reviews. The articles present research results and theoretical analyses.


Journal of Folklore Research    Gale 200-; Project Muse 2003-

Previously known as Journal of the Folklore Institute, this journal is published three times per year by the Folklore Institute at Indiana University.  Articles include scholarly research and theory of the communication of culture through storytelling and other expressive forms.


The Lion and the Unicorn     Project Muse 1995-; monographs in Curriculum Lab

Published three times a year by Johns Hopkins University Press, this theme and genre centered journal is committed to serious discussion of children's literature.  It is noted for author interviews.  Each issue includes a general issue and two theme issues.


Marvels & Tales; Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies     Project Muse 2001-

Published every April and October by Wayne State University Press, this journal contains scholarly works that explore new areas of fairy-tale studies or works that reconsider a subject with new perspective.


Storytelling Magazine     Print holdings 2002-

Published bimonthly by National Storytelling Network for its members, this publication deals with news, stories and articles that consider the art of storytelling as a performance art, a teaching tool, and a communication of culture. The National Storytelling Network and the International Storytelling Center were formed in 1998 when the National Storytelling Association split into these two organizations.


Western Folklore     Print holdings 1986-

Quarterly publication of the California Folklore Society, this publication covers the description and analysis of regional, national, and international folklore and customs.





Aesop's Fables

Online collection of over 665 fables, including 127 Anderson fairy tales, and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  Fables are alphabetically indexed in table format; some include RealAudio narrations.  A timeline and morals for the fables are included.


Children's Literature Web Guide

Comprehensive site for children's literature maintained by David K. Brown, Teaching Resources Library, University of Calgary.  This site categorizes Internet resources relating to literature for children and young adults. There are links to “authors on the web,” “stories on the web,” and “resources for storytellers.”


Connecticut Storytelling Center

Website, for the CT Storytelling Center that was founded in 1984 and based at Connecticut College, features information on the Connecticut Storytelling Festival (held in Spring), a listing of storytellers, and a calendar of New England events.  The FAQ section has links to other storytelling websites.


Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts

D.L. Ashliman, professor emeritus from University of Pittsburgh, provides an alphabetical collection of full-text myths and legends from many lands.  Also included are Germanic myths and links to many websites..


Grimm's Fairy Tales

An etext of book that contains 209 tales collected by the brothers Grimm. Translation appears to be by Margaret Hunt.  Some maybe more violent and more crude than other versions.


Grimm's Fairy Tales  (revised)

This etext version by Margaret Hunt, posted by William Barker is based on the last revised edition of the Grimms tales. “This electronic text follows Hunt as faithfully as possible and is, so far as we know, the only internet version to do so.”


Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales and Stories

A chronological list of the 168 tales by Hans Christian Anderson.  There is etext provided for most of them, and they note the 30 ones that are most popular.


Story Arts Online

Created by author and storytelling Heather Forest, this site contains short retellings by Ms Forest of well known tales and 26 fables.  The site also includes lesson plans and activities as well as links to website with curriculum information.


Storytelling Resource Centre

Maintained by storytelling/magician Leslie Melville, this site links to actual stories sorted by category such as folktales, pirates, urban legends, magic tales, scary stories, Christmas stories and even riddles.


SurLa Lune Fairy Tale Pages

Although the site began as a graduate project, Heide Anne Heiner continues to maintain and update. There is an overview with a timeline plus a FAQ section that answers such questions as “What is a fairy tale?” The gem of the site is the annotated guide for many of the well-known tales with links to definitions and explanations of terms or the historical meaning.  There is a depiction of the covers of popular versions of the story, bibliographies for further information, a listing of similar tales from other cultures, and even references to music, poetry, and film adaptations.


Tales of Wonder: Folk and Fairy Tales from Around the World

Established by Richard Darsie, UC Davis and last updated 1997, this site contains folk tales arranged by14 geographic areas beginning with Africa and ending with Siberia. 


Tim Sheppard's Storytelling Resources for Storytellers

Author of storytelling articles and educator in Britain, Tim Sheppard maintains this comprehensive site for storytellers.  Site contains full-text articles (by Tim Sheppard), listing of useful books, and links to many websites with full-text stories.   The second site listed is Aadizookaanag-Traditional North American Myths and Legends which categorizes native legends by tribe and then links to actual text.





Discussion of children's literature focused more on theory and critical analysis.  Housed at Rutgers University.



Discussion of folklore.  Housed at Texas A & M University.



Discussion group about children's literature for teachers, librarians and students. Housed at Binghamton University.



Created by Frances Nadeau,  October 2004



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