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Children's Literature - Indianapolis - Fables, folk and fairy tales

Fable, Folk and Fairy Tales and Modern Fantasy in the Ivy Tech Learning Resource Center. This guide will connect you with the folktales, fairy tales, variants, and fractured versions of traditional tales from around the world.

Library of Congress Call Numbers

BL:                             Mythology from all cultures

E 98 and E 99:           Native American legends and folktales

GR 99.6 - GR 390:     Folklore from specific countries or regions

P (Literature):             Folktales, fairy tales myths and fables spread throughout under cultures, countries and languages.

PZ 8 - PZ 8.3:             Children's and teens, fairy tales and folktales


Definition of fable - A short allegorical narrative making a moral point, traditionally by means of animal characters who speak and act like human beings.
Examples: Aesop's Fables, which is located in the children's section of the library, PZ 8.2 A254
Definition of folktale - A traditional narrative, usually anonymous, handed down orally - e.g., fables,fairy tales, legends, etc.

tall tale is a special kind of hero story because the heroes of tall tales are 'larger than life'. An exaggerated, unreliable story: “My uncle claims that he was raised in a drainage ditch, but it's just another of his tall tales.” Examples:  Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill and many others located in the children's section of the library, PZ8.1 

Fairy tale: One definition is a children's story about magical and imaginary beings and lands.   
How are Fairy Tales different from Folk Tales? 
Fairy tales are a subgenre of folk tales and almost always involve some element of magic and good triumphing over evil.   A good rule of thumb: if there's a fairy in the story, it's a fairy tale.


Web Resources

Web Resources

Modern Fantasy

In Defense of Folk and Fairy Tales


Psychological Fantasy
​​     Psychological fantasy is the ability to distinguish what is real.  Some critics believe that by allowing children to read fantasy stories, they will "lose touch with reality". However, this is not true.  They are less at risk of losing touch of the real world.  Studies have shown that the world of psychological fantasy can act as a vent for children to release their frustration and help succeed in the world.

     Due to the fact that much of the violence contained in folklore are directed towards "bad people", some critics believe that this will promote violence in children, which was proven wrong by psychologist, Ephraim Biblow.  Biblow actually stated that those students who are exposed to rich fantasy tend to decrease in aggressive behaviors and vice versa.  In his study, the child of low-fantasy displayed more aggressive behaviors during play, while the high-fantasy child approached with a more creative and structured verbal response.

Frightening for Young Children
      Some educators believe that young children cannot handle folktales because some folktales might cause fear and phobias from all the violence happening.  However, there are different versions that do not involve violence.  For example, there are two versions of the story, The Three Little Pigs."  One version, the pigs end with a brutal death, and the other version the pigs are not eaten are boiled to death.  It is important for educators to choose folktales that are age-appropriate for their readers.  Nowadays, there are a variety of stories designed for different age and comprehension levels that

Waste of Time
     Some parents and educators believe that children should spend the majority of their time learning from realistic books. However, studies have shown that exposure to fantasy fosters creativity and allows children to make real world deductions in a way that is stimulating and meaningful for them.