Famous Fairy Tales

Annette McDermott
Child reading fairy tale

If you're working on building a comprehensive library for your child, don't forget to purchase a collection of famous fairy tales for your bookshelf. Fairy tales are timeless and take children on wonderful, imaginative adventures.

Famous Fairy Tales

Boys and girls alike love tales of princes and princesses, spunky characters and heroes and heroines who accomplish great things.

  • Cinderella: One of the most famous fairy tales of all time, this story tells about a girl who is constantly mistreated by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters. She goes to a ball, and then meets up with a handsome prince.
  • Sleeping Beauty: Sleeping Beauty is a princess who has been cursed by an evil witch to die if pricks her finger on a spindle. A good fairy is able to reverse the curse partially, however, and the princess and everyone in her kingdom are made to sleep until she is awakened by the kiss of a handsome prince.
  • Beauty and the Beast: In this story, a beautiful young girl agrees to live in a castle with a hideous beast in order to save her father's life. Despite the beast's outward appearance, she falls in love with him, and he later turns into a handsome prince.
  • Little Red Riding Hood: A manipulative wolf stalks a girl on her journey through the forest to visit her sick grandmother.
  • Snow White: A jealous stepmother forces her beautiful stepdaughter, Snow White, into the woods where she meets seven dwarves who care for her. After an evil spell forces Snow White into a deep sleep, a prince awakens her with a kiss.
  • The Princess and the Pea: In this story, a princess is given a test to see if she's truly royalty. Will she be able to feel one tiny pea placed beneath a tall stack of mattresses?
  • The Ugly Duckling: Everyone loves this tale about a duckling who is teased for being ugly and later matures into a beautiful swan.
  • The Gingerbread Man: This classic fairy tale tells about a talking cookie that escapes from various pursuers, only to end up being eaten by a fox.
  • Hansel and Gretel: Hansel and Gretel are siblings who are left to fend for themselves in the forest and stumble upon a candy house inhabited by an evil witch.
  • Jack and the Beanstalk: Jack's family is very poor, so his mother asks him to sell the family's cow at the market. However, Jack doesn't listen and instead trades the cow for five magic beans. When planted, the magic beans turn into a beanstalk that leads to the home of an angry giant.
  • Little Red Riding Hood: A little girl traveling through the woods to take food to her sick grandmother is tricked by a wolf who wants to eat her.
  • Puss and Boots: The story of a manipulative cat who tricks people in order to marry a princess and become wealthy.
  • Rapunzel: When a beautiful girl is locked away in a tower by an evil witch, the only way anyone can reach her is by climbing her long, golden hair.
  • Rumpelstiltskin: When a miller lies to a king and tells him that his daughter can spin straw into gold, the girl enlists the help of a magical little man. In return, she agrees to give up her firstborn child.
  • Snow White and Rose Red: Snow White and Rose Red are poor sisters who befriend a bear who later turns into a prince.
  • The Three Little Pigs: This famous fairy tale demonstrates the value of hard work in protecting you from adversity. When building their houses, only one of the pigs takes the time to build a dwelling strong enough to keep him safe from the big bad wolf.

Printable List of Fairy Tales

Click on the picture below to download and print a list of fairy tales. Please note that you'll need Adobe reader to view the list. If you don't have adobe, you can download it for free here.

Fairy Tale Collections

If you're looking for the perfect collection of fairy tales for your child's library, here are a few Amazon.com selections you may wish to consider:

The Appeal of Fairy Tales

Why are fairy tales a good choice for story time?

  • The stories have universal themes of love, family, and friendship. Some fairy tales are also considered fables, so they impart important moral lessons.
  • Fairy tales are relatively short stories, making them a perfect choice for youngsters with limited attention spans.
  • Children who are reluctant to read are interested in fairy tales simply because many of them have been made into popular movies. This is especially true with Disney fairy tales.
  • Having parents and older siblings share their favorite fairy tales helps youngsters to see that reading is a fun activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Timeless Treasures

Fairy tales are beloved by the young and young at heart. Their popularity has stood the test of time and shows no sign of slowing. Although it can be argued that some fairy tales are dark, many are beautiful and full of hope. Fairy tale characters persevere through almost impossible adversity until they find true love or justice is served, making them timeless treasures that teach valuable lessons.

Famous Fairy Tales