Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sail Away to the Land of Stories

A Castle was in Sight, Built Close
 by the Sea
by Thomas Mackenzie, 1920

"A folktale is the poetic text that carries some of its cultural contexts within it; it is also a traveling metaphor that finds a new meaning with every telling." ~ A.K. Ramanujan

Since 2008 I have offered the newlsetter Catch the Storybug, filled with story, craft, curriculum sites and more. If you are not a subscriber you may still access previous issues here
 and of course sign up for upcoming issues. There is always room for one more!

While the newsletter site offers a Google search bar to find specific links I have also compiled and categorized the story sites here for you. 
And if you need additional resources, please visit my Storytelling Links page on my website at . Whether for your storytelling performances, classrooms or libraries I hope you find something useful.


African Folktales - Folktales, have an important place in the history of Black Americans. Here are eight unique folktales from the Dark Continent. The home page offers an array of elementary resources as well.


Jamaican Anansi Stories - Tricksters are universal figures in folkore and Anansi is one of our most beloved. This site offers a wide variety of Anansi tales as well as trickster folklore from various cultures. The text also includes transcriptions of folk music, and a large collection of riddles, all cross-referenced with folklore studies from other cultures. There are also musical notations in some of the texts for the musical among us!



Speak Bird, Speak AgainPalestinian Arab Folktales by Ibrahim Muhawi and Sharif Kanaana 


Armenian Fairy Tales - Sixteen interesting folktale.  

  • Australian Storytelling - January 26 is Australia Day and we can celebrate along with them with just a few clicks of the keys! Stories, articles, interviews, guild events, festivals and more.
  • Indigenous Australia - Explore Indigenous Australia. The site offers audio and video clips of stories through storytelling, cultures and histories, teacher resources and more.



Cambodian Folktales - Four folktales retold; the main site also offers information on the history, people and culture of Cambodia.

Princess Badoura - Edmund Dulac, 1913

  • Catch the Storybug - You can find the legend of the Chinese calendar along with additional information on the Chinese New Year at my 2008 blog post at  
  • Chinese Fable Stories -
  • Chinese Legends or The Porcelain Tower - There are many wonderful myths, folktales and legends from China in this 1848 book now in the public domain. You can even download a copy for free for your own files.
  • Chinese Moon Festival - I have put together some stories, crafts and more about this wonderful Mid-Autumn Chinese festival at my blog post for you to enjoy.



Earth Cakes, Sky Cakes - Folktale from Cambodia -

The Thrifty Tailor - A wonderful tale to share the idea and fun of recycling with your students.

When the Earth and Sky Were Married
- Folktale from India

Earth Care – World Folktales to Talk About - A limited preview of this excellent book by Margaret Read MacDonald. You can read some of the folktales online but I bet you will want a copy of your own.

Pitara for Kids - Many fables from the Panchatantra and Aesop, Jataka stories and tales from India's tribal people. -




The Princess Rosette - The French fairytale collected by Andrew Lang.

From The Violet Fairy Book by Andrew Lang


    The Witch's Meeting by Arthur Rackham
  • Can Such Things Be? Short stories, published in 1910, from the talented Ambrose Bierce, courtesy of I am sure you will find some spine tingling tales to add to your storytelling repertoire.
  • Catch the Storybug - Stop by my website for an array of tales to fright and delight your audiences.  
  • Crabtree Books – Well, this book doesn’t fall into the category of terrifying but it is full of fun for Halloween, offering stories, rhymes, costume ideas, recipes and more. It is a free pdf file and downloads quickly.
  • Russian Folk-tales by William R. S. Ralston - Just in time for All Hallow’s Eve. Download this book from 1880, full of myths, legends, and folktales of demons, witches, vampires and ghouls if you dare! 
  • - Halloween Bare Bones for Storytellers with 100 years of story skeletons from around the world!  
  • Victorian Ghost Stories -Twenty-two ghost stories from such spectral luminaries as Bram Stoker, Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens.



The Fish Market
Patrick Street, Dublin by

Walter Osborne, 1894

KWANZAA - Some folktales that highlight the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

Lancelot Bears Off Guenevere 
The Book of Romance, Andrew Lang, 1902


Fionn mac Cumhail (Finn Mac Cool)

4 TO 40
- The name of this interesting site is based on their goal to cover age groups from 4 to 40. Offering folktales and stories from around the world, including Jakarta, Estonian and Ukrainian folktales, as well as the Panchatantra and more, I would say this site is ageless!

Aesop's Fables Online - Thousands of Aesop’s Fables in five languages from the likes of Joseph Jacobs and William Caton, among others. You won’t have to cry wolf to find what you need!

The Baldwin Project - The Baldwin Project is a virtual page turner, a comprehensive collection of literature in the public domain.  
    • Edgar Allan Poe - October 11 is the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe. This site offers his short stories, poems, quotes, biography and additional links.  
    • Fairy Tales From All Nations - July 14 is Bastille Day in France so I went in search of a French folktale to share with you. I found this free, public domain book on Google books, which contains the French tale, Prince Chaffinch and so much more.  
    • Fairy Tale Plays and How to Act Them - From 1910, a wonderful book you can download for your own use. While some of the language is antiquated it can be easily updated. The book also offers suggestions on costumes, props and scenery. 
    • Folk Tales Every Child Should Know -Twenty tales that have survived the centuries; some well-known, others will be a treat to your storytelling senses. “The stories made by the people, and told before evening fires, or in public places and at the gates of inns in the Orient, belong to the ages when books were few and knowledge limited, or to people whose fancy was not hampered by familiarity with or care for facts…”
    • The Golden Rod Fairy Book - Stories from England, France, Poland, Bohemia, Russia, India, China, Italy, Denmark, Ireland and Spain are contained between these cyber covers. 
    The Sea-lady allures Maurice into the Sea
    The Lilac Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, 1910
H-NILAS: Stories for the Seasons - An excellent array of seasonal stories. From forest to frogs, moons to maidens, storyteller Cathy Mosley offers us her folktale adaptations from around the world.

Holiday and Winter Tales - Warm up your winter with folktales of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and other stories of the season.

Myths and Ancient Stories
- From China to France,
Lapland to Peru and beyond, tales featuring the fun and fanciful fox!
  • Myths From Around the World - Explore myths from distant countries from India, Egypt, Japan, and more. 
  • The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci - Edited by John Paul Richter in 1880 this website offers da Vinci’s perceptions on a variety of topics. Click on the link “Humorous Writings” to discover fables on plants, animals and objects. All of these works are in the public domain.
  • Nursery Rhymes Online - Like Alice in Wonderland you can fall down this hole and find a world of wonder! Rhymes, riddles, proverbs, fairy tales, crafts, activities and more!  
  • Peace Corp World Wise Schools - From Africa to the Pacific Islands, stories collected by Peace Corp volunteers around the world.  
  • The Real Mother Goose - May 1 is Mother Goose Day! Here is the original 1916 edition, now available online.
  • Story Lovers World - Storyteller Jackie Baldwin is host of this superb radio program, offering tales from tellers around the world. Listen via your own home computer. Turn up the volume and let your imagination take you away!
  • Tales of Laughter - A collection of familiar and not so familiar tales from Russia, Ireland, Spain, France and many more countries from around the globe. They are sure to have you smiling with delight!
  • – Interesting sight that offers the text of Aesop’s Fables combined with 1692 translations by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Also, the fables are organized by primary characters along with their specific morals.  
  • World Folklore Online - An index of stories listed by culture, country, book title and story page number. It will make story research a breeze!


  • Native Languages of the Americas: Wampanoag Indian Legends - Meet Moshup the Giant, read about Squant the Sea Monster and more. There are also additional links and resources to help you learn more about this Indian nation.   
  • The Circle of Life and the Clambake - A lovely story from the Wampanoag culture that encompasses the spirit of thanksgiving, the circle of life and caring for the earth.


Phikul Thong - A Philippine folktale for spring. It is a Cinderella variant, which is also another version of the French folktale, Toads and Diamonds.


The Sweetest Sound – A Story for Ramadan



  • Orkneyjar ~ The Heritage of the Orkney Islands - Pronounced "orc-nee-yahr", the name is generally taken to mean Seal Islands. This is a well crafted site. The information is astounding; tradition, folklore and more. Enjoy the beauty and history of the Orkney Islands.
  • Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales - A lovely collection of Scottish fairy and folk tales. Printed in 1901, the work is now in the public domain.
  • The Welsh Fairy Book - Eighty-four stories published in 1907 by Jenkyn Thomas, along with a page of pronunciation notes.

The Little Mermaid -
Fairy Tales and Fables by
 Hans Christian

  • The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen  
  • Sea, Lake Monsters - From lots of information on a variety of serpents and monsters from around the globe. You will be seeing scales in no time at all!  
  • Mermaids on the Web - Listen to their call; this site offers you more than 1,720 resources about mermaids, selkies and sirens. 

    The Firebird by Edmund Dulac
  • Cossack Fairy Tales and Folktales by Robert Nisbet Bain, 1902 – Bain collected these folktales from Ruthenian, the language of the Cossacks, a language intermediate between Russian and Polish.
  • Myths and Folk-Tales of the Russians, ‘Western Slavs, and Magyars by Jermiah Curtin 1903

    Russian Folk-tales by William Ralston Shedden Ralston - Just in time for All Hallow’s Eve. Download this book from 1880, full of myths, legends, and folktales of demons, witches, vampires and ghouls if you dare!
  • Russian Sunbirds -While this site is home to Russian lacquer art, it also offers a stunning array of Russian folktales, fairytales, songs, literature and poetry.
  • Russian Wonder Tales by Post Wheeler, 1921
  • Sixty Folktales from Slavonic Sources - A delightful mix of tales from Bohemia, Moravia, Serbia, Hungary and more.  
  • - Jackie Baldwin shares a compilation of books, resources and stories on winter and the winter solstice.
  • The Twelve Month Brothers - Ukrainian folktale to complement the lesson plan in the Curriculum Connections section.



  • Nasreddin Hodja - Information and stories about the beloved character of Turkish tales, including reading comprehension exercises. This website is also a portal to many other Hodja sites.
  • Forty-Four Turkish Fairy Tales - Be whisked away to the magical land of Turkey, courtesy of the amazing Sacred-Texts site.


  • The Baker's Dozen - A charming folktale of generosity that harkens back to a story published in 1836 and perhaps further, retold by storyteller and author Aaron Shepherd. 
  • Folklore and Legends: Scandinavian - Translated by C.J.T. circa 1890. Download this public domain book for free. 
  • Beneath the Snow Encumbered Branches
    by Joseph Farquharson, 1901
  • Holiday and Winter Tales - Warm up your winter with folktales of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and other stories of the season.
  • The Heroes of Asgard: tales from Scandinavian Mythology by A & E Keary 1900
  • Myths and Folk-Tales of the Russians, ‘Western Slavs, and Magyars by Jermiah Curtin 1903
  • Russian Wonder Tales by Post Wheeler, 1921
  • The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson
  • - Jackie Baldwin shares a compilation of books, resources and stories on winter and the winter solstice.

  • American Folklore - Celebrate America’s birthday and take an armchair journey with folktales, myths, legends, Tall Tales and ghost stories from the 50 United States. Tales are clearly indexed so you won’t even need to ask for directions. 
  • Legends of America - Straddle your saddle and get ready for a rollicking ride across the wide open spaces of the American West. Here are just a few of the topics covered:
Heritage of the American West
Legends, Myths and Folktales of the American West
Native American Legends
Outlaw Legends
Women of the American West
Treasure Tales
“This is a site for the nostalgic and historic minded” with everything you need to know about the people who lived in the towns and on the plains in a time gone by.
  • Davy Crockett and the Frozen Dawn -
  • Hawaiian Legends of Old Honolulu - From 1915 and Sacred Texts 25 legends from beautiful Hawaii.
  • Louisiana Folk-tales - A downloadable book of public domain folktales by AlcĂ©e Fortier shared in both French Dialect and English Translation.
  • Paul Bunyan: American Folklore - Read the story of Paul Bunyan’s birth, watch him dig Lake Michigan and follow him down to the Whistling River. Six stories that will make him step right off of the page!
  • Traditions of O’ahu - In honor of our President-Elect, I offer you stories of the island's ancient history and ancestors. The site also offers an extensive bibliography.  
  • Women in American Folklore - Heroines, strong women, witches, ghosts and curious girls are ready to welcome you.  


The Tree Angel a Vietnam Legend - A lovely story for Arbor Day about how the banana tree was created.