Gnomes, wizards, dragons, fairies, hobbits and more can be found in fantasy stories for kids.
Types of Fantasy Stories
Even the earliest fables can be considered fantasy tales. After all, they're full of talking animals that act very much like humans. Today's fantasy stories for kids may incorporate chatty beasts, as well as all manner of humanlike creatures and some that are completely made up. Some of the more popular types of fantasy stories may be about:
- Magic: Long before Harry Potter became a huge franchise, magic was a big part of many fantasy stories, including some of the most beloved Disney tales. There's something about being able to wave a wand and get instant results that appeals to young and old alike.
- Time travel: Who hasn't wished he could travel back in time at least once, to do or undo something? Most people have, kids included. Some of the most popular stories about the fantastic include an element of going back and forth in time.
- Mythical creatures: Dragons, fairies, vampires, werewolves, hobbits, centaurs, unicorns and goblins may not exist in your world, but they have free reign in fantasy books.
Some fantasy stories can incorporate all of these elements as well.
Options in Fantasy Stories for Kids
If you have a young reader at home who loves stories about all kinds of unlikely subjects and storylines, she may enjoy some of these fantasy books written for children:
- The Indian in the Cupboard: This is the first in a series of books, and is about a young boy who discovers a magical cabinet can turn inanimate objects into living, breathing creatures. Once he brings a young Native American to life, he finds out that being careless with others' lives has consequences.
- Harry Potter: Seven books comprise this series of a boy wizard who has to defeat the most evil wizard of all. While the first few books in the series were pretty easy reads targeted to the preteen and young teen set, the stories grow more complicated and dark as it progresses.
- The Hobbit: Bilbo Baggins started it all in his quest for a share of treasure, if he can get past a mighty dragon.
- A Wrinkle in Time has been a classic since the late 20th century. Two siblings search for their scientist father, along with a friend. Their travels introduce them to celestrial creatures and takes them through the universe.
- Eragon: Once a teenage boy discovers that he's more than a poor farm kid, but actually a Dragon Rider, he enters a magical world. Accompanied by his sword and his faithful dragon, Eragon searches for a gang of rebels who desire the downfall of the evil king, the same king who forced Eragon to flee his village for safety.
- His Dark Materials is a trilogy which features The Golden Compass as released in North America, though known as Northern Lights elsewhere. This young adult series details the adventures of two children who travel between parallel universes.
- James and the Giant Peach: Children will cheer as James leaves his miserable life with two evil aunts behind and travels with a gang of talking insects and bugs to a better future.
- Keys to the Kingdom is another series covering the adventures of young Arthur Penhaligon, an asthmatic who discovers he is the Rightful Heir of the House, or the center of the universe. Along the way, he has to defeat seven evil Trustees, representing the seven deadly sins, who each hold a key to the kingdom. The series is full of fantastic creatures, many of which are "Nithlings," which have been formed from Nothing (not the kind of nothing that exists in our world, but an entirely mythical substance).
Seeking Out Fantastic Stories
There are many other fantasy stories out there, just waiting to be discovered. Children can always ask teachers and librarians for recommendations, as well as ask their friends about good books. Most parents see fantasy tales as harmless fun and entertainment. When you talk about "traveling to other worlds in a book," nowhere is that more apparent or possible than in a fantasy story.