5 Fun Fables & Folktales From Around the World
Author/Contributor: Language Lizard
Language Lizard is offering a special 10% discount on some favorite fables. Use code WFF2018 to get a 10% discount on The Giant Turnip, Yeh Hsien: A Chinese Cinderella, and The Dragon’s Tears. Discount code valid through the end of March 2018.
If you are supporting language learners, consider reading bilingual folktales from around the world. Bilingual fables encourage children to practice a second language while teaching students about other cultures. Reading folktales is a great way to teach valuable lessons to children while entertaining them with interesting stories. With simple characters and settings, they show cunning and ingenuity used to solve problems, good triumphing over evil. Below, we share some popular bilingual folktales from around the world to enjoy with your kids or students.
This wonderful bilingual children’s book includes two fables. The first, The Fox and the Crane, is about sneaky Fox who makes it hard for Crane to eat dinner by feeding Crane (who has a large beak) from a short and shallow bowl. Crane then teaches Fox a lesson by giving him a tall and narrow bowl from which Fox is unable to reach his dinner. The story ends with the lesson that we must treat others the way we want to be treated.
The second story, the Chinese fable, The King of the Forest, addresses the idea of whether intelligence or strength is more important. Fox tricks Tiger into thinking that Fox is king of the forest because all the animals cower in fear when the two of them walk by. Tiger does not realize the power of Fox’s fearsome cleverness.
Available in English with Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Farsi, French, Scottish-Gaelic, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Turkish, Twi, Urdu, Vietnamese and Yoruba.
This intriguing story follows Buri and her journey to her daughter and back home again, while avoiding being eaten by a fox, a tiger and a lion. It teaches students about problem solving and overcoming challenges as Buri tries to make it home hidden inside her marrow. It’s a fun and silly read for children of all ages.
Available in English with Albanian, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, Gujarati, Panjabi, Polish, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.
This bilingual book is a new spin on the classic story of Cinderella. Yeh-Hsien lives a less than desirable life, and her only friend is the fish that lives in the pond near her house. One day, her evil stepmother kills the fish, but Yeh-Hsien discovers that the fish’s bones are magical. She wishes for a new dress to wear to the Spring Festival. She later must leave the festival in a hurry, and her golden shoe slips off her foot. The king finds it, and searches for the woman who left it behind.
Available in English with Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Japanese, Kurdish, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.
This story, based on the Russian Fable The Enormous Turnip, teaches younger students about cooperation and perseverance. The author tells us the story of a huge turnip that Miss Honeywood’s class is trying to get out of the ground. Together, they are finally able to do it, but it takes some rope, a little strength and (most importantly) teamwork.
Available in English with Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Czech, Farsi, French, German, Gujarati, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu and Yoruba.
This book comes with two bilingual fables. The first one, titled The Lion and the Mouse, teaches children why it’s important not to judge anyone too quickly. The lion in the story decides not to eat the mouse because the mouse says that one day he could possibly save the lion’s life. The lion’s decision pays off when he later gets stuck in a hunter’s net, and the mouse spends all night chewing the rope on the net to free the lion, and ultimately saves his life.
The second story, a Malaysian fable called The Hare’s Revenge, is the story of a hare who uses his cleverness to trick the lion into a trap. The hare makes use of the lion’s vanity and jealousy to escape with his life.
Available in English with Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, French, Lithuanian, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.