100 books like The Elves And The Shoemaker

By Grimm Brothers, Jim LaMarche,

Here are 100 books that The Elves And The Shoemaker fans have personally recommended if you like The Elves And The Shoemaker. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Christmas Day in the Morning

Joni Hilton Author Of A Little Christmas Prayer

From my list on classic Christmas books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written dozens of plays and books, always with heart and humor. If you love Christmas, you know that it can also be a frenzied time, so we all need to curl up on a cozy night and read Christmas stories to bring back the magic and generosity of this special holiday. I like well-told tales that reaffirm the love we know is so important, stories that will mean just as much a hundred years from now. And surprise endings are always a delight!

Joni's book list on classic Christmas books

Joni Hilton Why did Joni love this book?

This touching tale, set on a farm, captures the timeless desire we all have to give the perfect gift to those we love. Rob learns the true meaning of love as he gives of himself, and finds a way to surprise his father. Buck has a beautiful way of showing rather than telling, and pulls us in with hope and vulnerability. A gift of love is the best gift of all, and Christmas is the perfect time to share this tender family story.

By Pearl S. Bucks, Mark Buehner (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Christmas Day in the Morning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

The true joy of Christmas is to love and to awaken love.

"Christmas Day in the Morning is as gorgeous as the day it celebrates. And unlike so many other presents, the real gift isn't the book itself, it's the simple, pure message. If you give anything this year, give love."
--Jason F. Wright, New York Times best-selling author of Christmas Jars

In this adaptation of "Christmas Day in the Morning" Rob looks back on his boyhood and remembers giving an unusual gift of self a gift that filled him with Christmas joy. Now, fifty years later, Rob realizes he…


Book cover of Papa Panov's Special Christmas

Joni Hilton Author Of A Little Christmas Prayer

From my list on classic Christmas books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written dozens of plays and books, always with heart and humor. If you love Christmas, you know that it can also be a frenzied time, so we all need to curl up on a cozy night and read Christmas stories to bring back the magic and generosity of this special holiday. I like well-told tales that reaffirm the love we know is so important, stories that will mean just as much a hundred years from now. And surprise endings are always a delight!

Joni's book list on classic Christmas books

Joni Hilton Why did Joni love this book?

This heart-warming tale is a true Christmas classic. A lonely old shoemaker dreams that Jesus will come and visit him, so he eagerly anticipates the event, hoping to make him a special pair of shoes. Instead, his heart is tugged by others in need, and he helps three different people, from a street sweeper to a beggar. Finally, he gives up waiting for Christ to visit and realizes it was only a dream. But then he hears the voice of Jesus and learns that Jesus came to him in every person he helped that day.

By Leo Tolstoy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Papa Panov's Special Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally written by French author Reuben Saillens and later retold by Leo Tolstoy, this endearing story has now acquired the status of a folk-tale. The heart-warming story of Papa Panov's generosity reflects the true spirit of Christmas. It is Christmas Day, and Papa Panov, the lonely old shoemaker, is expecting a special visitor. Things do not turn out at all as he thought, but by the end of the day the sparkle is back behind his little spectacles. A beautiful gift edition of a much-loved classic.


Book cover of The Gift of the Magi

Barbara Hinske Author Of The Christmas Club

From my list on heartwarming Christmas books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by the role that love plays in a satisfying life—from romantic love, to brotherly love, to friendship. Compassion and caring affect not only the recipient, but also profoundly change the life of the giver as well. That’s why I’m drawn to redemptive character arcs. I write women’s fiction, sweet Christmas stories, and literary fiction that revolve around these themes—sometimes with a hint of mystery/thriller/suspense for fun! My novella, The Christmas Club, was adapted for the screen in 2019 as a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie of the same name.

Barbara's book list on heartwarming Christmas books

Barbara Hinske Why did Barbara love this book?

This story shines a spotlight on selfless love. I cried buckets when I read this as a child. I also wondered if I’d ever be willing to cut my hair, as Della did, to raise the money to buy Jim that watch chain. I’m still not sure I would. The story beautifully articulates the parameters of selfless love. I’ve always been fascinated by this theme.

By O. Henry,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Gift of the Magi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The Gift of the Magi" is a short story, about a young married couple and how they deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money. As a sentimental story with a moral lesson about gift-giving, it has been a popular one for adaptation, especially for presentation during the Christmas season.


Funny Folk Tales for Children

By Allison Galbraith,

Book cover of Funny Folk Tales for Children

Allison Galbraith Author Of Funny Folk Tales for Children

New book alert!

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.

Allison's book list on world folktales for reading to everyone over six

What is my book about?

These are the funniest folktales in the world. You will be amazed at the intelligent animals and LOL at the ridiculous scrapes the humans get themselves into in these short stories. Discover why dogs are our best friends, learn how to change a cow into a zombie, and meet a shape-shifting, cartwheeling raccoon dog.

Suitable for reading age 7+. This book is perfect for storytime & reading together at bedtime and holidays. These stories will cheer even the grumpiest grandparent up :).

Funny Folk Tales for Children

By Allison Galbraith,

What is this book about?

'It's the best present you can give. It never breaks and doesn't need batteries. What is it?'

The answer is inside THIS BOOK!

Eleven of the funniest traditional tales from around the world. Laugh your socks off as you discover why dogs are our best friends, learn how to flummox fairies, and meet a shape-shifting, cartwheeling badger.


Book cover of A Christmas Carol

John R. Dougherty Author Of Holy Terror

From my list on Christian action books allegorical references.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have felt a spiritual call in my life from as early as I can remember having memories as a young child. Being a life-long Christian has always drawn me to try to see God in everything around me, from people I encounter, to creation itself, to songs, to movies, etc. So, reading books which contain Christian allegory – symbols, meanings, underlying Biblical references – is very exciting for me. I enjoy trying to decipher that symbolism and try to understand the undertones that the book’s author is trying to communicate indirectly. I find that to be a personal challenge as I read, but also I find it very inspiring as well!

John's book list on Christian action books allegorical references

John R. Dougherty Why did John love this book?

I simply cannot get enough of this book. I read it every December and watch movie adaptations of it every December, too (Patrick Stewart’s 1999 version is by far the best movie rendition, as far as I’m concerned!).

Many people may not realize that Dickens considered himself a Christian writer and many of his books have Christian allegories buried within the storyline. This book is no exception, and I find it also takes me on a rollercoaster of emotions every time I read it, which helps to make it a new story every time I read it!

By Charles Dickens,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked A Christmas Carol 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?

Tom Baker reads Charles Dickens' timeless seasonal story.

Charles Dickens' story of solitary miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of Christmas by the three ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, has become one of the timeless classics of English literature. First published in 1843, it introduces us not only to Scrooge himself, but also to the memorable characters of underpaid desk clerk Bob Cratchit and his poor family, the poorest amongst whom is the ailing and crippled Tiny Tim.

In this captivating recording, Tom Baker delivers a tour-de-force performance as he narrates the story. The listener…


Book cover of Inside the Villains

Alison Farrell Author Of Cycle City: (City Books for Kids, Find and Seek Books)

From my list on for kids who delight in details.

Why am I passionate about this?

From the ages of 1-4, my son Finn deeply rooted himself into the detailed world of Richard Scarry. These books could be such slow reads that we only needed two of them for long airplane rides. Through Finn’s love of Scarry books, I began searching for more books that delighted with detail. And when I did not see my family’s bicycle-rich lifestyle reflected in books, I created Cycle City.

Alison's book list on for kids who delight in details

Alison Farrell Why did Alison love this book?

Lift the flaps and take an intimate peek inside the villains and find what really makes them tick. Through a twist in classic fairytale storytelling and a sophisticated design, this book has reimagined the inner workings of the iconic fairytale witch, giant, and wolf. Pull levers and tabs, discover objects on strings, and open flaps to discover the real truth about the villains. Brilliantly creative and exploratory.

By Clotilde Perrin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inside the Villains as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Internationally bestselling, oversized lift the flap book that reveals the secrets of the most famous fairytale villains.

Explore if you dare! Take a look inside and discover the villainous tricks inside the heads of an ogre, a wolf and a witch. Lift the flaps to find out what’s beneath their disguise and who was the victim of their last meal (now comfortably settled inside their stomach!).

This exquisitely produced large fold-out book is like no other: a celebration of story that’s full of humor and detail on every page, and has over 30 interactive elements that will mesmerize toddlers, pre-schoolers…


Book cover of The Stinky Cheese Man: And Other Fairly Stupid Tales

Chris Harris Author Of My Head Has a Bellyache: And More Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups

From my list on kids and grown-ups will laugh, gasp, and grin at.

Why am I passionate about this?

Reading with your kid can be a delight, but it’s tough to find a book that both grown-up and child think is hysterical. I mean, I tried reading Catch-22 to my three-year-old, but for some reason the incisive social commentary just didn’t resonate with her. My kids and I both let out genuine chuckles and guffaws while reading all of these books—an experience that I treasured. These books are all giggly, snickery proof that you don’t have to dumb things down to appeal to a wide age range—a goal that I aim for myself in the children’s books and TV shows that I write. 

Chris' book list on kids and grown-ups will laugh, gasp, and grin at

Chris Harris Why did Chris love this book?

This is the book that made my kids’ heads explode (not literally—this book is perfectly safe (as far as I know)) as it helped them discover the idea of parody: taking something familiar and twisting it in a funny, unexpected way.

We rolled and lol’ed together as we read Jon’s wild, hysterical takes on old fairy tales. The non-twist twist ending to his take on the ugly duckling story is still a running joke in our family. Jon’s The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs and The Real Dada Mother Goose are also great for the same reason.

By Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Stinky Cheese Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The entire book, with its unconventional page arrangement and eclectic, frenetic mix of text and pictures, is a spoof on the art of book design and the art of the fairy tale. The individual tales, such as The Really Ugly Duckling and Little Red Running Shorts, can be extracted for telling aloud, with great success. Another masterpiece from the team that created The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!
-Horn Book


Book cover of Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold

Kimberly J. Lau Author Of Erotic Infidelities: Love and Enchantment in Angela Carter's the Bloody Chamber

From my list on fairy tale adaptations with verve and edge.

Why am I passionate about this?

Long before I became a “fairy tale scholar,” I was keenly aware of the ways that fairy tales saturate our cultural landscape. Given their ubiquity, who isn’t? But my awareness was always a discomfiting one, an unnerving at the fairy tale’s insistent cheeriness; it was this unnerving that made me fall deeply in love with The Bloody Chamber, the collection that so beautifully flays the fairy tale to reveal its dark and sordid heart. In researching The Bloody Chamber, I saw ever more clearly that the fairy tale’s grim underbelly involves not only twisted ideas about gender and desire and love but also about race, and this discovery has motivated my research over the past decade.

Kimberly's book list on fairy tale adaptations with verve and edge

Kimberly J. Lau Why did Kimberly love this book?

Bolu Babalola’s Love in Color is, technically, more a collection of reimagined myths than a collection of retold fairy tales, but the stories are so richly and wonderfully rendered, so smart and edgy and beguiling, that it seems silly to privilege a strict genre definition over a powerful collection. Babalola is shameless in her embrace of love—indeed, she confesses that she loves love—and yet her contemporary takes on global myths trouble any easy ideas about love the reader might bring to the collection. Love, here, is messy, tangled, frightening, and—according to Babalola—worth the tribulations it inspires.

By Bolu Babalola,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Love in Color as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

"Love stories by and about marginalized women . . . The heroines are strong and sure . . . Babalola’s writing shines.” — New York Times Book Review

"Absolutely intoxicating." — Casey McQuiston, New York Times bestselling author of Red, White, and Royal Blue and One Last Stop

A vibrant debut collection of love stories from the bestselling author of Honey and Spice, retelling myths, folktales, and histories from around the world.

A high-born Nigerian goddess, who has been beaten down and unappreciated by her gregarious lover, longs to be truly seen. A young businesswoman attempts a great…


Book cover of Grimm Tales: For Young and Old

Loquacious McCarbre Author Of The Legends of Grimous Ironblood: Curious Bottle Book 1

From my list on fantasy folktale campfire stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer and performer, I’ve always loved live storytelling! Stories really come alive when performed and there’s an unexplained magic that bonds an audience with the storyteller and connects us to our collective past. Having performed countless times in plays, murder mysteries, and storytelling, the joy and excitement felt crackling in the air is like nothing else. I’ve plenty of fond memories of storytelling over the years, from terrifying ghost stories around the campfire of Camp Wing in America to the fantastical folktales of my stage play The Storyteller’s Apprentice at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. So, next time you’re sitting at a campfire, give it a go! 

Loquacious' book list on fantasy folktale campfire stories

Loquacious McCarbre Why did Loquacious love this book?

These stories run deep in my blood! I remember my Mum reading "Cinderella," "Hansel and Gretel," "Rapunzel," and "Snow White," to name a few, and being totally enthralled, captivated, and scared all at once.

Reading this edition as an adult evokes the same feelings, but I also experienced a sense of wonder and intrigue as I read the lesser-known stories such as "The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers," "The Girl with No Hands," "The Nixie of the Millpond," and "Hans-my-Hedgehog." 

I loved discovering these stories, closer to the originally published ones in their first collection, Children's and Household Tales in 1812, as they are much darker and scarier in nature than modern versions, and reading what Philip Pullman says about each one is an unexpected delight!

By Philip Pullman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grimm Tales as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

A phenomenal bestselling author meets the most magical stories ever told, now in a beautiful clothbound classics edition

In this stunningly designed book of classic fairy tales, award-winning author Philip Pullman has chosen his fifty favourite stories from the Brothers Grimm and presents them in a 'clear as water' retelling, in his unique and brilliant voice. These new versions show the adventures at their most lucid and engaging yet. Pullman's Grimm Tales of wicked wives, brave children and villainous kings will have you reading, reading aloud and rereading them for many years to come.


Book cover of The Light Princess

Hester Velmans Author Of Slipper

From my list on forgotten fairy tales every adult should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

At the age of seven, already a devoted bookworm, I came upon a large stack of early-20th century children's magazines filled with stories, poems, and especially fairy tales, some the classic kind, and some weird, scary or unfamiliar. I don't know where those dog-eared, well-thumbed annuals came from, or what happened to them afterward – they were lost or given away when our family moved, I suppose. But I have never forgotten them, or the effect they had on my imagination and longings. I've been searching for those long-lost tales ever since... and it finally led me to decide I would just have to write a few of my own.

Hester's book list on forgotten fairy tales every adult should read

Hester Velmans Why did Hester love this book?

The 19th-century Scottish writer George MacDonald is said to be the father of the modern fairy tale, inspiring C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and many others. I chose The Light Princess because I find it his most charming tale: it's about a princess under a wicked spell who has been made weightless, unable to obey the laws of gravity. As in all good fairy tales, a prince eventually comes along to drag her back down to earth. He must sacrifice himself for her, but in the end, it is she who rescues him – from a feminist perspective, a most gratifying conclusion.

By George MacDonald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Light Princess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

George MacDonald (1824-1905), the great nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy, influenced not only C. S. Lewis but also such literary masters as Charles Williams and J. R. R. Tolkien. Though his longer fairy tales Lilith and Phantastes are particularly famous, much of MacDonald’s best fantasy writing is found in his shorter stories. In this volume editor Glenn Sadler has compiled some of MacDonald’s finest short works―marvelous fairy tales and stories certain to delight readers familiar with MacDonald and those about to meet him for the first time.


Book cover of Bulfinch's Mythology

Hester Velmans Author Of Slipper

From my list on forgotten fairy tales every adult should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

At the age of seven, already a devoted bookworm, I came upon a large stack of early-20th century children's magazines filled with stories, poems, and especially fairy tales, some the classic kind, and some weird, scary or unfamiliar. I don't know where those dog-eared, well-thumbed annuals came from, or what happened to them afterward – they were lost or given away when our family moved, I suppose. But I have never forgotten them, or the effect they had on my imagination and longings. I've been searching for those long-lost tales ever since... and it finally led me to decide I would just have to write a few of my own.

Hester's book list on forgotten fairy tales every adult should read

Hester Velmans Why did Hester love this book?

When I was young I devoured Bullfinch's Mythology from cover to cover. Looking back, I am amazed that I had the time and the devotion to read the whole 900-odd pages, which give short, matter-of-fact recaps of the Greek and Roman myths, as well as the legends of King Arthur and Charlemagne. You'll find these tales far more beautifully told in the original Ovid or Virgil versions, I suppose, but if you just want the facts, Ma'am, the who's who of it all, then this is a fine place to start.

By Thomas Bulfinch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bulfinch's Mythology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Legendary tales of myth and romance written so everyone can enjoy the stories!

Can’t keep all your gods and goddesses straight? Wondering about mythological references in classic literature? Bulfinch’s Mythology offers approachable accounts of ancient legends in a compilation of the works of Thomas Bulfinch, banker and Latinist. This volume includes all three of Bulfinch’s original titles: The Age of Fable, The Age of Chivalry, and The Legends of Charlemagne. Bulfinch states his purpose for the book clearly: “Our work is not for the learned, nor for the theologian, nor for the philosopher, but for the reader of English literature...who…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in folklore, fairy tales, and Christmas?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about folklore, fairy tales, and Christmas.

Folklore Explore 356 books about folklore
Fairy Tales Explore 300 books about fairy tales
Christmas Explore 251 books about Christmas