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Best-Loved Folktales of the World

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  377 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
A collection of over 200 folk and fairy tales from all over the world, this is the only edition that encompasses all cultures. Arranged geographically by region, this book also includes category index groups that list the stories by plot and character.
Paperback, 816 pages
Published August 9th 1983 by Anchor (first published January 1st 1982)
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(showing 1-30)
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Glenn Berger
Jun 19, 2009 Glenn Berger rated it it was amazing
A great compendium of stories with the common hidden theme which you can find if you read them with your heart.

Some favorites:

Maid Lena: This story reveals that the source of our lack of energy and courage is the result of something being “dead at our center,” and the necessity of completing impossible tasks to win the princess and kingdom, or getting everything we want in life.

The Giant With No Heart In Its Body: This is the great example of a mythic/fairy tale archetype where the thing hidden
Feb 16, 2016 M rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anthology, fairytales
This is an excellent collection of fairy tales. I really like that it includes stories from a wide variety of cultures, even if I feel that non-European ones are definitely underrepresented. Slightly more than half the book is spent on stories from various parts of Europe. Yes, these are often some of the major classics of fairy tales, but that also means that it'd be very easy to find them elsewhere. Grimms and the British Isles especially don't need to be quite so highly represented here, sinc ...more
Jul 06, 2009 Audrey rated it it was ok
Shelves: folktales
The editor did a very good job of choosing stories for this collection, but I find that the retellings often leave something to be desired. The style tends to be rather formal and detached, which made it difficult for me to get too involved in any of the stories. I can't imagine using this book as a read-aloud. I've found myself using it mostly for research, to decide which stories I like enough to seek out in a better version.
Ghost of the Library
Once upon time there was a young ghost...well, youngish ghost, who, whenever weary of all the misery of the world enjoyed reaching for a folk tale or two and reading to relax and think happier thoughts.
Guilty as charged, that's me! :) and yes on occasion I do enjoy reading the genre for a break, for a change, to see the latest theories on why Red Riding Hood ever paid attention to the wolf and whether Sleeping Beauty is a empty headed princess or just very unlucky due to her
What you
Timothy Pitkin
Great collection of folktales with a nice selection of cultures that really help in understanding the world.
Taylor Rubeck
Mar 09, 2014 Taylor Rubeck rated it really liked it
I grew up loving mythology and that love transferred into folktales when I grew a little older. This love was sparked by my elementary school librarian reading a tale about Anansi the spider spinning a web of dreams.

So! In honor of that I found a couple of tales about Anansi, "Anansi's Hat-shaking Dance" and "The Rubber Man" to read. The first is a funny tale about a prideful man Anansi who refuses to mourn at an important funeral because he wants to eat instead. It ends up that he tries to hid
This book is indispensable. Not only does the table of contents inform the reader of which country the tales were found, but it has indexes in the back that are quite useful. The indexes separate the books into categories such as "Especially Good for Young Children" and "Wonderful for Reading Aloud". There is also an index of titles that separates stories alphabetically, since the contents is separated by country and region. This is how I found my favorite folktale of all time, "Blue Beard". My ...more
Aug 19, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
The one story that I can remember and recite is "Master of all Masters". About a man who hires a girl to help him in his house but gives strange names to things. Here is an excerpt.

So he led her to the kitchen. "Over there, in the corner, is where you’ll be sleeping, Jane.

What do you call what you’ll be sleeping on?"

"Why, a bed or a couch, or whatever you wish, Master of all Masters."

"Jane, I want you to call that," he said thoughtfully, "A barnacle."

"A barnacle," Jane repeated, rather doubtfull
Oct 23, 2013 paperdollmom rated it it was amazing
This book is full of fairytales/folktales all catagorized by where they originated. The index in the back seperates the stories under different topics, to make it easy to find what you want to read about. It is true, that not all these stories are for young ones, but one of the topics in the index is for young children, which allows you to pinpoint just which stories are appropriate to read at bedtime! Now when it comes to will have a great time reading through all of these fun ta ...more
Christine D.
Apr 17, 2011 Christine D. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-it
A compilation of folktales and fairy tales from different regions of the World, this book is one that I will always cherish. I think it is great for children to be exposed to these because it allows them to see the cultural diversity of the world, such as the African folktales of the tricky spider, Anansi. There are so many stories in it that give the book a versatility and uniqueness when compared to other compilations like it. This is one childhood book that I find myself cracking open every n ...more
Jun 08, 2013 Jien rated it really liked it
Bear in mind that I'm writing this review five years after reading it. I remember liking this book, though a reader must keep in mind the contexts in which these stories came about. They represent tropes that may not be appropriate to the context of the contemporary era, but the histories that birthed these notions are still relevant and worth acknowledging today. I actually don't really remember this book at all, except for a vague sense that I thought it was good at the time. I may reread in t ...more
Jun 14, 2011 Steven rated it really liked it
Very good collection of folk and fairy tales from around the world. There are bound to be stories in here you've run across and many more you haven't. However, the stories have been edited to make them more child friendly and some of the original flavor is lost. Still, the collection is a good one and if you enjoy folk and fairy tales at all (or if you want to share them with friends and family), this is probably the best compendium you can get your hands on.
Jul 13, 2013 Perry rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Great for Parents, Children and Children-at-Heart

This is quite a treasure. I wish I'd known about it when my kids were younger.

It's organized by regions of the world. In addition to a title index, the book contains a perfect and much-used Index by Category, with 21 categories ranging from "Especially Good for Young Children," "Wonderful for Reading Aloud," "Fables and Tales with a Moral" to "Quests, Tasks and Victories."

A perfect collection for any home library.
Apr 24, 2011 Emily rated it liked it
Shelves: foreign-works
Definitely love this one. It is a compilation of folktales from all over the world. I loved the stories from Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, etc). Reading different adaptations of classic tales is always fun, a quick read. It's not necessarily one that you have to sit and read for ever; you can read one story a night to your kids. (Which is really nice because you won't run out of material for at least 200 days!) Absolutely recommend!
Cassie Werner
Nov 02, 2015 Cassie Werner rated it it was ok
I used to blame Disney for bad stories with dead parents. I now know I was wrong. Disney took bad stories full of nonsense, bad morals, and dead parents-and made them palatable and entertaining. After reading this book, I discovered that I don't like folktales. If you like folktales, then by all means enjoy, but otherwise move along.
Jul 02, 2009 Gracie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any literate person
Recommended to Gracie by: Dad
Shelves: favorites
My absolute favorite book of all times. I could read each story a million times and still find joy in them. I've memorized many a tale, and simply adore this book. My dad used it for a course in college, and handed it down to me. I plan to read these stories to my own kids one day!
Jun 30, 2014 Far rated it it was amazing
It took more than a year to read this, but I'm glad I finished it. I was introduced to it through a fairytales course, and wanted to read all of it, and I wasn't disappointed. Cole has a extensive collection of tales on a global scale, and I bet I'd come back to read it again. :)
Trisha Haddad
May 04, 2009 Trisha Haddad rated it really liked it
This is an excellent collection. There are some stories most people know (especially those Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson), and plenty that those in the West don't know. There are also a few that are odd and disturbing originals, certainly worth the read... for adults.
Aug 14, 2012 Skye rated it really liked it
Shelves: homeschool
Some really great stories!
May 19, 2008 Bridgett rated it it was amazing
A huge collection of folk tales, most of which I did not know of before. Sometimes it got a little challenging to keep going on the reading.
Apr 11, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
I have read this book through so many times - beginning with when I was very young. It is a really eclectic collection. I still love and remember some of my favorites today.
Jared Detter
Oct 02, 2011 Jared Detter rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-fiction
Not fantastic. Some interesting stories, but most weren't really reading.
Aug 19, 2010 Amanda rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the folktales, but they were longer than I really wanted to read.
Madeline Stone
Jun 08, 2009 Madeline Stone rated it really liked it
A great collection of stories; the perfect choice for people who want to read all the folktales they can get their hands on.
Dec 23, 2012 Erin marked it as to-read
Currently on pg310
Matt B.
Jan 25, 2009 Matt B. rated it it was amazing
I read this book multiple times and im going to read it even more.
Farrell rated it it was amazing
Oct 16, 2012
Angelica Dimeo
Angelica Dimeo rated it really liked it
Jan 09, 2014
Ariela rated it it was amazing
Aug 07, 2008
Jadyn Marshall
Jadyn Marshall rated it it was amazing
Mar 21, 2017
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Joanna Cole who also writes under the pseudonym B. J. Barnet is an author of children’s books who teaches science.

She is most famous as the author of The Magic School Bus series of children's books. Joanna Cole has written over 250 books ranging from her first book Cockroach to her famous series Magic School Bus.

Cole was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in nearby East Orange. She loved scie
More about Joanna Cole...

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