Folklore and Fairy Tales
“Something From Nothing” by Phoebe Gilman
Based on a Yiddish folk song, this picture book tells the story of Joseph, who has a favorite blanket his grandfather made him when he was a baby. When the blanket gets worn, Joseph convinces his mother to let Grandpa make the blanket into a jacket instead of throwing it away. As time passes and Grandpa makes the jacket into a smaller garment every time Joseph wears it out, what will happen when no fabric is left?
“From the Land of Sheba: Yemeni Folk Tale” retold by Carolyn Han
Perfect for reading aloud, this collection of traditional Yemeni tales includes stories about a jinni who takes the shape of a cat, a lucky tailor named Sulayman, and a clever shepherd who tells his family he has found a magic cave.
“The Honey Jar” by Rigoberta Menchú Tum, translated by David Unger
This collection of traditional Maya tales is drawn from the author’s memories of her childhood in Guatemala. Bright illustrations accompany creation stories and tales of a weasel who helped people find corn and why you can see a rainbow when deer are born.
“Maya and the Turtle” by Soma Han and John C. Stickler
Before Maya’s mother dies, she tells Maya that she will one day become a princess. Before this happens, however, Maya will befriend a turtle who can breathe poison, take care of her father during a long cold winter, and fight a terrifying flying centipede.
“A Ring of Tricksters” by Virginia Hamilton
If you love stories about clever creatures, this book of trickster stories from America, the Caribbean, and Africa is for you! Familiar tricksters such as Bruh Rabbit and Anansi Spider appear next to less well-known troublemakers like Hare. Virginia Hamilton’s lively writing and historical notes make this an essential read from one of the most respected authors of children’s literature.