Fairy tales are fun to share and have tons of curriculum possibilities, so it’s no wonder fairy tale books for kids are fixtures in most elementary classrooms. If you’re looking to add some fun new options to your collection—especially to improve representation—check out this list of some of our less-conventional favorites.
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
Fairy Tale Books For Kids
1. Once Upon a World series by various authors
This series of fairy tale board books for kids is a must-have for Pre-K, and we even love them for elementary school. They distill classic stories down to a few words and bring them to life with multicultural illustrations. A Caribbean Little Mermaid, Indian Rapunzel, and Japanese Snow White? Yes, please!
Buy it: Once Upon a World at Amazon | Once Upon a World at Bookshop
2. Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar
Little Red wants to enter the forest ice skating competition, but she needs a partner. The one she finds has unexpected features: sharp teeth, big ears, and lots of fur! Lots of other familiar characters make appearances, too. This fairy tale mash-up is a read aloud crowd-pleaser.
Buy it: Little Red Gliding Hood at Amazon | Little Red Gliding Hood at Bookshop
3. The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz
We never tire of this martial arts-inspired rendition of the porcine classic. The three pigs decide they’ve had enough of the wolf’s bullying ways and prepare themselves at the dojo. This is tons of fun to read aloud and gives classes new themes to discuss. Check out Ninja Red Riding Hood and Hensel and Gretel: Ninja Chicks, too.
Buy it: The Three Ninja Pigs at Amazon | The Three Ninja Pigs at Bookshop
4. Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T. Smith
Little Red heads out to take baked goods and medicine to her Auntie Rosie. A lion tries to thwart her plans, but Little Red is one smart niece. We love the fun twists on the classic tale and nods to African culture and setting.
Buy it: Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion at Amazon | Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion at Bookshop
5. Rapunzel by Bethan Woollvin
If you’re looking for fairy tale books for kids that challenge the characterizations of the originals, you’ll want Bethan Woollvin’s titles. In her version, Rapunzel is smart and brave and won’t let the witch get the best of her. Great for story element compare and contrast lessons. Also check out Little Red and Hansel and Gretel.
Buy it: Rapunzel at Amazon | Rapunzel at Bookshop
6. La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya
This familiar story gets updated with Peruvian influences and Spanish language included throughout. The ending is fun to compare with the classic version.
Buy it: La Princesa and the Pea at Amazon | La Princesa and the Pea at Bookshop
7. Redlocks and the Three Bears by Claudia Rueda
This creative retelling imagines what would happen if characters from two tales intersected. It’s fun to read as a follow-up to the traditional versions of “Red Riding Hood” and “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” This one also gets students thinking about how villains have feelings—great for empathy discussions.
Buy it: Redlocks and the Three Bears at Amazon | Redlocks and the Three Bears at Bookshop
8. Goldilocks and the Three Engineers by Sue Fliess
Goldilocks the inventor gets stuck, so she uses a great strategy: She takes a walk. Who shows up in her absence? Three STEM-minded bears, of course! Kids love this imaginative retelling.
Buy it: Goldilocks and the Three Engineers at Amazon | Goldilocks and the Three Engineers at Bookshop
9. Reading Beauty by Deborah Underwood
Strong and smart space princess Lex has to reverse an evil fairy’s curse to bring books back to her kingdom. Also check out Interstellar Cinderella by the same author.
Buy it: Reading Beauty at Amazon | Reading Beauty at Bookshop
10. Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack
This title and the next two help add much-needed LGBTQIA+ representation to this genre. A Prince isn’t interested in marrying any of the princesses his parents introduce to him. When a dragon threatens his kingdom, a brave knight catches his attention.
Buy it: Prince & Knight at Amazon | Prince & Knight at Bookshop
11. Maiden & Princess by Daniel Haack
A maiden isn’t excited about going to a prince’s royal ball. She ends up attending anyway, and it turns out to be the prince’s sister with whom she has a special connection. The illustrations are diverse all around, with various skin tones and body types. Hooray!
Buy it: Maiden & Princess at Amazon | Maiden & Princess at Bookshop
12. Cinderelliot: A Scrumptious Fairytale by Mark Ceilley and Rachel Smoka-Richardson
We adore this retelling both for its LGBTQIA+ representation and its fun baking-themed twists. Prince Samuel hosts a bake-off to find his next royal baker. Cinderelliot ends up baking his way into the prince’s heart.
Buy it: Cinderelliot: A Scrumptious Fairytale at Amazon | Cinderelliot: A Scrumptious Fairytale at Bookshop
13. The Poisoned Apple: A Fractured Fairy Tale by Anne Lambelet
An evil witch tries to pass off a poisoned apple to a princess in this fractured version of “Snow White.” What the witch thought would be a simple plot turns into a funny forest escapade. This is a fun title to read aloud to a group and ask students to predict how all the antics will turn out.
Buy it: The Poisoned Apple at Amazon | The Poisoned Apple at Bookshop
14. Endlessly Ever After: Pick Your Path to Countless Fairy Tale Endings by Laurel Snyder
What if YOU got to decide how the fairy tale goes? This choose-your-own-adventure-style tale lets readers choose the actions in a host of familiar situations.
Buy it: Endlessly Ever After at Amazon | Endlessly Ever After at Bookshop
15. Once Upon a Fairy Tale series by Anna Staniszewski
These Scholastic Branches titles are perfect fairy tale books for early elementary kids to enjoy on their own. Kara and Zed have enchanted adventures that include many elements from classic tales—think magic mirrors, missing slippers, and an evil queen.
Buy it: Once Upon a Fairy Tale at Amazon | Once Upon a Fairy Tale at Bookshop
16. Fairy Tale Feasts series by Jane Yolen and various authors
These fairy tale books for kids add a new way to explore favorite stories: through food! The original title includes familiar tales like “Snow White” and “Hansel and Gretel,” plus recipes to match. Other titles share tales and dishes from different cultures.
Buy it: Fairy Tale Feasts at Amazon | Fairy Tale Feasts at Bookshop
There are so many great fairy tale books for kids out there! Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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