By Chelsea Gwinn, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Folktales are often our favorite stories. They are a classics that have been passed down for generations. They may take the form of fairytales, legends, or fables, each with their own adventures, lessons and magic. Folktales can help children create connections to their own worlds, as well as connect with each other and generate conversations through a shared foundation of stories.
Folktales frequently explain values, lessons or history of a society. Each retelling of a folktale offers an opportunity for the storyteller to not only add to the cultural history of a story, but also to feature values or issues in the story that reflect his or her time.
Here are a few recently published suggestions to get you started exploring this genre at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library:
The Little Mermaid by Jerry Pinkney (2020)
In his version of The Little Mermaid, Caldecott-Award winner Jerry Pinkney celebrates curiosity and friendship, acceptance of others and of oneself. Dive beneath the waves into a magical sea kingdom and bask in the golden sunlight on shore with the beautiful and detailed illustrations in this empowering retelling of a classic tale.
Federico and the Wolf by Rebecca J. Gomez (2020)
Featuring a red hoodie, a farmer’s market, and an Abuelo in need of groceries, Rebecca J. Gomez’ Federico and the Wolf is a modern, humorous retelling of Red Riding Hood. The lively rhyming text integrates Spanish vocabulary and the vibrant and colorful illustrations are sure to engage readers. How will clever Federico outwit the hungry Lobo and save his Abuelo?
In her twist on the classic story, Susan Verde presents a wolf who has trouble controlling his emotions, especially anger and frustration. Rather than taunting him, the three pigs invite him to participate in their breathing, meditation, and yoga sessions! The engaging text and charming illustrations will invite readers to practice the stress management techniques along with the wolf.
The Big Bad Wolf in My House by Valérie Fontaine (2021)
Using the well-known visual of the Big Bad Wolf, this picture book by Valérie Fontaine relates a powerful story of domestic violence through first-person narration by a little girl. The folktale provides the main character with language to describe her experiences in a way that is accessible for young readers. For children who have suffered this trauma, this book is a mirror to let them know they are not alone. For others, this book could help introduce a difficult topic of conversation.
Forgotten Fairy Tales of Brave and Brilliant Girls from Usborne Publishing (2019)
Not all fairy tales have become household names through the ages. Have fun exploring this collection of eight forgotten fairy tales featuring girls clever, strong and brave who fight their own battles and save the day! With colorful illustrations breaking up the text, this collection is accessible to younger readers ready for longer texts at story sessions and also makes a fun read-aloud for older readers.
Summer Break: Read, Learn, Explore
We hope you’ll continue your reading adventures and will make more connections with the community this summer by participating in the Library’s Summer Break: Read, Learn, Explore (www.summerbreak.cmlibrary.org) online learning program! The program runs June 7-August 14, with early registration starting May 17.
Summer Break participants complete the program by reading 15 hours and completing five (5) learning activities. Participants can also earn a Wendy’s Jr. Frosty coupon at sign up and a prize at completion. Prizes are available while supplies last and prize distribution information will be announced at a later date. The 2021 Summer Break program is brought to you by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library with additional support from Wendy’s and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation, and Spanish translations sponsored by Norsan Media.