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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

  • Modern Fantasy books are books written about a world that could never be. (Contrast this with Science Fiction which describes worlds that could possibly be, given advances in technology. Some maintain that Science Fiction should be included in Modern Fantasy anyway.)

    Fantasy is important for children because it helps them to develop imagination and entertain new ideas or alternative ways of life.

    Examples of Modern Fantasy are:

    • Animal Fantasy
    • The World of Toys and Dolls
    • Eccentric Characters and Preposterous Situations (think Mary Poppins)
    • Extraordinary Worlds
    • Magical Powers
    • Suspense and the Supernatural
    • Time-Shift Fantasy
    • Imaginary Realms (think King Arthur stories)
    • High Fantasy (think Lord of the Rings)