Here are the 21 best folk tales books of 2020 according to Google. Find your new favorite book from the local library with one click.
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Clever Federico outsmarts el lobo in this fresh and funny Mexican-American take on Little Red Riding Hood.
Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh brings an ancient Mesoamerican creation myth to life Long ago, the gods of Mesoamerica set out to create humans. They tried many times during each sun, or age. When all their attempts failed and the gods grew tired, only one did not give up: Quetzalcóatl—the Feathered Serpent. To continue, he first had to retrieve the sacred bones of creation guarded by Mictlantecuhtli, lord of the underworld. Gathering his staff, shield, cloak, and shell ornament for good luck, Feathered Serpent embarked on the dangerous quest to create humankind. Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh brings to life the story of Feathered Serpent, one of the most important deities in ancient Mesoamerica. With his instantly recognizable, acclaimed art style and grand storytelling, Tonatiuh recounts a thrilling creation tale of epic proportions.
Humor abounds in this masterfully-bilingual twist on “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” that dares to ask the question: why is that troll so grumpy anyway? Three little cabritos have a clever plan to get past the grumpiest troll in the land. But then one of the billy goats wonders: Why is that gigante so grumpy, anyway? This thoughtful question sends their plan in a new direction, and the results are better than they ever imagined. Dashes of humor, empathy, and kindness make this modern twist on a classic tale a charming delight.
2021 Pura Belpré Honor Book NYPL Best Book of 2020 2020 Evanston Public Library Great Books for Kids In this magical middle-grade debut novel from Adrianna Cuevas, The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez, a Cuban American boy must use his secret ability to communicate with animals to save the inhabitants of his town when they are threatened by a tule vieja, a witch that transforms into animals. All Nestor Lopez wants is to live in one place for more than a few months and have dinner with his dad. When he and his mother move to a new town to live with his grandmother after his dad’s latest deployment, Nestor plans to lay low. He definitely doesn’t want to anyone find out his deepest secret: that he can talk to animals. But when the animals in his new town start disappearing, Nestor’s grandmother becomes the prime suspect after she is spotted in the woods where they were last seen. As Nestor investigates the source of the disappearances, he learns that they are being seized by a tule vieja—a witch who can absorb an animal’s powers by biting it during a solar eclipse. And the next eclipse is just around the corner… Now it’s up to Nestor’s extraordinary ability and his new friends to catch the tule vieja—and save a place he might just call home.
*”Awe-inspiring artwork as powerful as any force of nature.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review) From Caldecott Medalist Ed Young comes a picture book retelling of Aesop’s fable The Wind and the Sun. Once upon the sky, there were three powers–the Wind, the Rain, and the Sun–each claiming to be the mightier than the others. One day, the powers came upon a shepherd girl fast asleep upon a hill, so they made a bet to see who could make her take her cap off. Who will be the strongest of them all? Rendered in exquisite mixed-media collage, Caldecott Medalist Ed Young’s gorgeous and deeply poignant retelling of the well-known Aesop’s fable The Wind and the Sun, proves that sometimes gentle persuasion and kindness are the best virtues of all. Praise for The Weather’s Bet: “Lyrical and profound.” –School Library Journal “A good classroom readaloud.”–Publishers Weekly
With intricate dioramas, Maggie Rudy’s Sootypaws: A Cinderella Story retells the classic fairy tale—with a modern twist! Sootypaws the mouse lives with her stepmother and sisters, who are rats in all senses of the word. But with a little help from her woodland friends, Sootypaws finds her way to the ball to meet her Prince—will they live mousily ever after? Sootypaws features stunning hand-built diorama art, including hand-sewn outfits and an environment that is beautifully constructed and filled with charming details. Posed and photographed, these characters come to life!
The classic tale of the Three Billy Goats Gruff gets a cheeky twist in this picture book retelling. Trip trap, trip trap. “ACH! Who is that tap-tap-tapping on my bridge?” The story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff and the way they outwitted a hungry bridge troll is one of our most well-known fairy tales…but how exactly did it become so? It turns out, the cleverness of the Brothers Gruff isn’t limited to tricking trolls—they are also genius self-promoters! (Keep those goats away from Instagram!) Find out the rest of the story in this wily retelling.
Inspired by Jewish folklore, this is the story of young Reuven and a giant talking fish. When the villagers realize the fish’s scales are real gold, each has good reason to ask for one. Devorah needs clothes for her children. Old Joseph needs money for a cane. The fish has plenty to share, but he grows weak from giving away too much, too fast. Can Reuven stand up to the village and save his friend?
Is she a powerful witch . . . or is it all in her head? When Neve awakens in a hospital room, cuffed to the bed, the only thing she knows is her name. Her doctor says she’s been a patient at the Blackbriar Institute for most of her life, that she’s been battling mental illness since she was a small child . . . that bouts of amnesia are common with her condition. But something doesn’t add up. And weird things keep happening. Sparks erupt from her fingertips and wishes inexplicably come true. Neve has visions of a woman claiming to be her sister, warning that she’s in danger. Is it all a delusion? Then there’s Torbin, the mysterious man in her therapy group with fathomless pain in his dark eyes. At first he seems to hate her, but Neve feels drawn to him in ways she can’t explain. Together, Neve and Torbin must uncover the secrets of the Institute and fight their way to freedom. Along the way, Neve will discover power beyond her imagination . . . and a love she never thought possible. Of Snow and Roses is a magical adventure inspired by the fairy tale, Snow White & Rose Red. If you like contemporary fantasy with plenty of twists, turns, and a splash of romance, you’ll love this modern twist on a classic. Download today!
Bestselling author Rick Riordan presents the second book in the New York Times best-selling and award-winning Tristan Strong trilogy by Kwame Mbalia. Tristan Strong, just back from a victorious but exhausting adventure in Alke, the land of African American folk heroes and African gods, is suffering from PTSD. But there’s no rest for the weary when his grandmother is abducted by a mysterious villain out for revenge. Tristan must return to Alke–and reunite with his loud-mouthed sidekick, Gum Baby–in order to rescue Nana and stop the culprit from creating further devastation. Anansi, now a “”web developer”” in Tristan’s phone, is close at hand to offer advice, and several new folk heroes will aid Tristan in his quest, but he will only succeed if he can figure out a way to sew broken souls back together.
“Wholly original and captivating.” – Brigid Kemmerer, New York Times bestselling author of A Curse So Dark and Lonely Girls team up to overthrow the kingdom in this unique and powerful retelling of Cinderella from a stunning new voice that’s perfect for fans of A Curse So Dark and Lonely. It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again. Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . . This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.
In Ireland, the link between place and myth is strong, and there is no more enlightening way to understand the rich tapestry of Irish mythology, and its relationship to our true history, than by reading the landscape. Earthing the Myths is an engaging and exhaustive county-by-county guide to the vast number of fascinating places in Ireland connected to myth, folklore and early history. Covering the period 800 BC to AD 650, this book spans the Late Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the early Christian period, and explores the ways in which the land evolved, and with it our catalogue of myths and legends. Smyth chronicles sites the length and breadth of the country, where druids, fairies, goddesses, warriors and kings all left their mark, in tales both real and imagined. With over one thousand locations recorded, from Rathlin Island to the Beara Peninsula, Earthing the Myths breathes life into places throughout Ireland that find their origins in our pre-Christian and pre-Gaelic past, and shows that they still possess unique wisdom and vibrant energy.
“It’s hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tiâãen, he doesn’t even have the right words because his parents are struggling with their English. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he’s going through? Is there a way to tell them he’s gay?”–
A princess fleeing an arranged marriage teams up with a snarky commoner to foil a rebel plot in B. R. Myers’ Rogue Princess, a gender-swapped sci-fi YA retelling of Cinderella. Princess Delia knows her duty: She must choose a prince to marry in order to secure an alliance and save her failing planet. Yet she secretly dreams of true love, and feels there must be a better way. Determined to chart her own course, she steals a spaceship to avoid the marriage, only to discover a handsome stowaway. All Aidan wanted was to “borrow” a few palace trinkets to help him get off the planet. Okay, so maybe escaping on a royal ship wasn’t the smartest plan, but he never expected to be kidnapped by a runaway princess! Sparks fly as this headstrong princess and clever thief battle wits, but everything changes when they inadvertently uncover a rebel conspiracy that could destroy their planet forever.
“Fans of Menon’s frothy, contemporary rom-coms will be excited for this venture into new territory.” —Booklist “[A] dreamy, sassy confection of a romance…Funny, extravagant, and satisfying.” —Shelf Awareness From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite boarding school that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast. Will the princess save the beast? For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right? His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck… As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.
** OVER 1 MILLION YOU CHOOSE BOOKS SOLD ** Make up your very own fairy tale adventure where YOU CHOOSE what happens next! Which fairy tale hero would you like to be today? Where will you go on your fairy tale quest? And what fairy tale baddy would you least like to meet? The possibilities are infinite in this captivating creative toolkit which will inspire children from three up to make their own stories again and again. A magical sequel to YOU CHOOSE, YOU CHOOSE YOUR DREAMS and YOU CHOOSE IN SPACE – it’s spell-binding!
Fairy tales shape how we see the world, so what happens when you identify more with the Beast than Beauty? If every disabled character is mocked and mistreated, how does the Beast ever imagine a happily-ever-after? Amanda Leduc looks at fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to Disney, showing us how they influence our expectations and behaviour and linking the quest for disability rights to new kinds of stories that celebrate difference. “Leduc persuasively illustrates the power of stories to affect reality in this painstakingly researched and provocative study that invites us to consider our favorite folktales from another angle.” —Sara Shreve, Library Journal
Winner oF the 2021 Caldecott Medal Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption—a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade. Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all . . . When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth And poison her people’s water, one young water protector Takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.
The magic of myths comes to life in this Celtic mythology book for kids Imagine a world where fearsome giants, mischievous fairies, charming witches, and ageless queens wander the land. In Celtic Mythology for Kids, you’ll be taken on a guided journey through the mystical realm of the Celts told through folklore and tall tales. This engaging book for kids (ages 8 to 12) will keep your imagination running as wild as Ireland’s emerald-green forests. Featuring a handful of famous and lesser-known myths from places like Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and Brittany, this is your introduction to a faraway world of wonder. With vibrant, colorful illustrations at the beginning of every myth, you’ll feel like you’re part of the action–whether you’re chasing deep-sea treasure or starting off on a quest. Celtic Mythology for Kids includes: 20 stories–20 different myths of Celtic culture come together in this captivating book. Dive deeper–Along with each myth, you’ll find thought-provoking questions to help you talk about each story. Speak the Celtic way–Use the extensive glossary of Celtic mythology terms to better understand words like banshee, brownie, and selkie. Enter the magical universe of Celtic mythology with this riveting book for kids.
Tales of East Africa is a collection of 22 traditional tales from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Welcome to a world of magical adventure—a place where a boy spares the life of a fearsome monster, a flock of doves brings a girl back from the dead, and a hare wreaks havoc among all the other animals. Translated and transcribed by folklorists and anthropologists in the early 20th century, these stories evoke the distinctive beauty and irresistible humor of East African folklore. • The tales come alive alongside bold, contemporary art in this special illustrated edition. • Each story transports readers to an enthralling world. • Part of the popular Tales series, featuring Tales of Japan, Celtic Tales, and Tales of India Tales of East Africa will enthrall fans of fairytales and captivate those interested in East Africa’s rich history and culture. Readers will encounter mischievous animals, plucky heroes and heroines, and monsters, and artist Jamilla Okubo pairs each tale with a bold and vibrant illustration. • A visually gorgeous book that will be at home on the shelf or on the coffee table. • A perfect gift for fairy tale and folklore lovers, fans of East African culture, people of East African ancestry, collectors of illustrated classics, adults and teens alike, and bibliophiles • Add it to the collection of books like The Girl Who Married a Lion: and Other Tales from Africa by Alexander McCall Smith, Favorite African Folktales by Nelson Mandela, and Indaba My Children: African Folktales by Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa
The Spanish language edition of one of the world’s most beloved picture books, Tikki Tikki Tembo. Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo- chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo! Three decades and more than one million copies later children still love hearing about the boy with the long name who fell down the well. Arlene Mosel and Blair Lent’s classic re-creation of an ancient Chinese folktale has hooked legions of children, teachers, and parents, who return, generation after generation, to learn about the danger of having such an honorable name as Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo. Tikki Tikki Tembo is the winner of the 1968 Boston Globe – Horn Book Award for Picture Books. This is the Spanish language edition.
Last updated on October 17, 2021