• Poems and stories passed along by word of mouth.

• So old that no one knows who first told them.

• Commonly known by many people in a specific culture.

• Useful in helping people feel like they belong together.

• Often found in various versions around the world.


– short stories featuring animals that teach a lesson about life

Click HERE to find picture book versions.

Fairy Tales

– short stories about magical places and creatures

Click HERE to learn more.


– short stories, retold many times by various people, that have become part of a culture

Robin Hood


– short stories featuring the exploits of a hero, sometimes based on an historical person


– short stories explaining how things came to be on this earth or telling the early history of a group of people

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Nursery Rhymes

– short poems or songs for young children

Puffin Mother Goose
Click HERE to learn more.

A Few Favourites

Codell,Esmé Raji.  Maybe Mother Goose. New York: Aladdin Books, 2016.

DePaola, Tomie. Favorite Nursery Tales. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2022.
This 127-page collection contains 30 well-known poems, fables, and folktales A Child’s Garden of Verses. The Lion and the Mouse. The Three Bears and The Little Red Hen. The Owl and the Pussycat and Chicken Licken.  All are wonderfully illustrated by the beloved Tomie DePaola, author and/or illustrator of more than 270 books in his lifetime. A classic that belongs in every collection of children’s books.

Dinn, Philip. Peg Bearskin: A Traditional Newfoundland Folktale. St. John’s, Nfld.: Running the Goat, Books & Broadsides, 2019, ©2003.
Peg, the youngest of three girls, was not wanted by anyone. But in the end – because this is a folktale – she was the one who saved her sisters and lived happily ever after. This adaptation of a story recorded in 1976 has all the elements of a well-told folktale: a focus on courage and cleverness, a bit of magic, a sense of justice, and the marvellous flowing language of a story from the oral tradition. This is not a sanitized, modernized fairytale but instead a satisfying old-fashioned story of persistence that leads to happiness. A story to read aloud to listeners of all ages. 
Afterwards, you may want to talk about what stands out for the listeners, why that is important, and how an imaginary story can give us courage to face our own battles in the real world. (P.S. For folklore collectors, this is a Canadian version of the Scottish story of Molly Whuppie.)

Lobel, Arnold. The Arnold Lobel Book of Mother Goose. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2022.
This 173-page collection of over 300 nursery rhymes recently reissued is exuberantly illustrated by the famed American author and illustrator. While perhaps best known for his Frog and Toad stories, Arnold Lobel wrote 28 books and illustrated more than 70 before he died in 1987. This wonderful Mother Goose collection showcases his joyously inimitable style. It should be in every home library of children’s books. 

McDermott, Gerald. Jabutí the Tortoise: a Trickster Tale from the Amazon. San Diego: Harcourt, 2001.

Murray, Alison. Hare and Tortoise. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2016, c2015.

Opie, Iona, ed. My Very First Mother Goose. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 2016, c1996. Illustrated by Rosemary Wells. [Nursery Rhymes]


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