The best, wonderful world folktales for reading to everyone age six plus

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a storyteller and folktale collector. All my jobs have involved telling stories – as a community librarian, in theatre, in education, and since 2006 as a professional storyteller and writer. I work in schools, festivals, and outdoor education with all sorts of people and their animals. I have honed my skills to find the most enjoyable traditional tales that can be shared widely. I live in Scotland, where I encourage families to read and tell their favourite stories together. Storytelling is a living art form that belongs to everyone. More than anything, I love the natural world, and I bring the magnificence of nature into all my work.

I wrote...

Funny Folk Tales for Children

By Allison Galbraith,

Book cover of Funny Folk Tales for Children

What is my book about?

A collection of eleven of the funniest traditional stories from around the world, with brilliant, vivid pictures. Great for reading to younger children and perfect for young readers age 7 plus. The stories are packed with humour and guaranteed to make you smile, giggle and laugh out loud. The tales aren't childish appealing to both children and adults. The beauty of these folktales is they show everyday people and animals getting themselves in and out of ridiculous situations with hilarious results. The tales come from all around the world, including fun stories from: Africa, England, France, Germany, India, Japan, Norway, and Scotland. Each tale contains its own pearl of wisdom wrapped in a family-friendly plot that will keep you entertained for days.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Riddle in the Tale: Riddles and Riddle Folk Tales

Allison Galbraith Why did I love this book?

This book is packed with Taffy Thomas's best riddle tales.

Taffy has been storytelling for many years and is brilliant at it. He knows just how to keep a story short and exciting. Each tale has at least one and often more riddles to be solved by the reader or listener. The expertly drawn pictures are humorous and help you solve the riddles.

It's also great for storytellers, parents, and teachers who want to keep their audience actively engaged. I tell these riddle tales when I want my listeners to join in and be part of the fun. Taffy tells us where and who he learned the riddles from – an enjoyable insight into his extraordinary life as a teller of tales.

By Taffy Thomas, Steven Gregg (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Riddle in the Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We have been fascinated by riddles for as long as we have had language - think of the legend of the sphinx in Greek mythology. This wonderful book includes both magical riddle tales and simple challenges, with clues and answers hidden in intricate illustrations. Discover how the farmer saved his daughter by solving the fairies' riddles or how the old hen-wife helped the two brothers solve the mystery of their father's will. Have a read - you'll be hooked.

Book cover of The King and the Seed

Allison Galbraith Why did I love this book?

This is a one-story picture book from another great storyteller, Eric Maddern, with fantastic illustrations by Paul Hess.

I love this clever, funny folktale and have often told it to festival and school audiences. The text is elegant and easy to read for ages 7 plus, but younger children will enjoy having it read to them. The humour in the tale is brilliantly portrayed in Paul Hess's colourful, amusing pictures. Look out for the three blind mice.

As with most folk stories, the meaning or moral of the tale is shown through clever wit and riddle-like logic. This story has a particularly surprising and satisfying end.

By Eric Maddern, Paul Hess (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The King and the Seed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Old King Karnak is worried. He hasn't long to live, and there is no heir to the throne. So he holds a rather unusual competition to find one. Knights and nobles flock to the palace and the King gives each of them a tiny seed to grow. Jack the farmer's son is given a seed too, so he plants it, waters it and waits for it to sprout...

Praise for Nail Soup

"Space should still be found for this beautifully retold folk tale. Paul Hess's illustrations make ordinary household objects seem magically unreal all at the same time." - Carousel

Book cover of World Tales for Family Storytelling: 53 Traditional Stories for Children aged 4-6 years

Allison Galbraith Why did I love this book?

This is a fabulous selection of stories from all over the globe. The tales are often funny, thought-provoking and entertaining.

Chris Smith clearly knows how to adapt traditional tales to encourage compelling storytelling. He keeps the stories short and manageable for the family to enjoy. You will find well-crafted retellings of old classics like The Princess and the Pea, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rumpelstiltskin, and Cinderella. And they are not sweetened for the faint-hearted - blood is spilt, and toes are chopped off!

There are also lesser-known stories like Fox's Sack and The Talking Skull that will enthral children from all cultures and their adults. An excellent book for mixed ages and professional teachers and storytellers. The source notes are outstanding, highlighting recorded/audio versions too.

By Chris Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked World Tales for Family Storytelling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

These wonderful world tales are all selected from the highly acclaimed 147 Traditional Stories for Primary School Children to Retell, a storytelling resource used by teachers around the globe. In this collection intended for home use, the focus is on tales for children ages 4 to 6. The stories may be read, told, and retold, and then explored with the whole family. They offer a rich vein of world heritage, giving your family a doorway into the wonderful world of traditional tales.

Storyteller Chris Smith presents traditional oral stories from a variety of historical, cultural, and world sources, featuring:


Book cover of Scottish Folk Tales for Children

Allison Galbraith Why did I love this book?

This is a timeless volume of classic Scottish folktales. Judy Paterson has wisely chosen a diverse and enthralling selection of folk stories from Scotland.

Her writing style is superb for children aged 7 plus. She blends her literary skills with an intimate knowledge of Children's literacy needs. They are sensitively chosen stories, nothing overtly scary, but some are supernatural enough for bed covers to be pulled up if needed.

Children will adore the beautiful pictures and the carefully crafted attention to detail within each tale. I particularly loved her tender descriptions of horses. I recommend this book to anyone (children and adults) who want to enjoy Scottish folklore and folktales.

Read this book, and you will be initiated into the Celtic world of myths, giants, kelpies, fairies, and supernatural creatures.

By Judy Paterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Scottish Folk Tales for Children as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

A giant sea monster ... trees that can dance ... a water-horse ... a girl so clever she outwits a giant ... Welcome to the world of the Scottish folk tale - a world of talking animals, mischief-making witches, giants, trolls, bold girls, reckless boys and, of course, the Wee Folk. These stories - specially chosen to be enjoyed by 7 to 11-year-old readers - burst with adventure and glitter with magic. As old as the mountains and the glens, these well- loved tales are retold by storyteller Judy Paterson.

Book cover of Tales of Wisdom and Wonder

Allison Galbraith Why did I love this book?

This magical picture book presents seven of the best folk stories from around the world.

Retold by Hugh Lupton, a veteran of storytelling and an inspirational writer. Some stories are deliriously funny, and others contain golden nuggets of universal truth. I've repeatedly told these stories, and they enthrall and delight audiences. They come with a CD of Hugh telling the tales orally, which is fantastic for non-readers, busy families, and people learning English.

Niamh Sharkey's beautiful bold pictures take this book of tales to another level of enjoyment. It's a visual and rhythmical feast of storytelling that can be shared with ages six up to seniors. If I had to choose one favourite book of stories for oral telling, then this is it.

By Hugh Lupton, Niamh Sharkey (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tales of Wisdom and Wonder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Beautifully captured by Niamh Sharkey's quirky and perceptive illustrations, these tales have all the color and vigor of the countries and cultures they represent. At the same time, they each remind readers how vast and mysterious the world is, and how lives can be transformed by the most unexpected circumstances. Full-color illustrations.

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Book cover of Thorn City

Pamela Statz

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Thorn City

By Pamela Statz,

What is this book about?

Suspected murder, eclectic food trucks, and artisanal cocaine: just another day in Thorn City.

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