Guest post from Language Lizard
Historically, fables often feature talking animals in a short story format that teaches a simple lesson. The most well-known creator of fables is Aesop, a Greek slave believed to have lived around 560 BC. Some of his most popular fables are “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg,” and “The Lion and the Mouse.” There are also more modern-day fables, like Dr. Seuss‘s The Lorax.
Folktales are a little different. With folktales, children can explore various cultures because these stories have been passed down through generations by diverse groups of people. Folktales and fables provide an excellent way to teach kids about the consequences of good and bad behavior, the importance of cooperation, and the rewards of courage and ingenuity. Bilingual editions of these traditional stories allow parents and teachers to expose children not only to a different culture but also to another language.
This year, Language Lizard is highlighting three books from our collection that celebrate clever women from three different cultures. As a woman-owned small business, Language Lizard is committed to making sure young readers see themselves represented in the books they read. When learners more closely identify with characters, they make deeper connections to the material and can build effective literacy skills.
World Folktale Stories from Language Lizard | Strong Women Around the World
-Retold by Dawn Casey
You’ve heard of Cinderella, but what about the story of Yeh-Hsien? Believed to be the original Cinderella story, Yeh-Hsien is a girl raised by a wicked stepmother, living a hard life with the most difficult chores. The stepmother kills her favorite fish, but Yeh-Hsien is amazed to discover that the fish bones are magical! Her greatest wish is to attend the village festival, but she loses her slipper there.
Mamy Wata and the Monster
– Véronique Tadjo
Mamy Wata is the queen of all the water. One day, when she is swimming peacefully in a big river, she hears the news: a terrible monster has been scaring the nearby villagers. So Mamy Wata lies in wait near the monster’s cave. But, to her great surprise, instead of finding a monster, she finds a sad and lonely man who has been bewitched. This colorfully illustrated book brings African culture to life on each page.
Buri and the Marrow
– Henriette Barkow
This entertaining Bengali story is about an old woman who travels through the forest to meet her daughter. The woman meets many creatures along the way – and they all want to eat her! She makes a plan to outsmart them, with the help of her daughter. But will the sly fox be fooled?
Language Lizard’s bilingual version of the Indian folktale Buri and the Marrow (in which Buri wears an Indian sari) exposes children to traditional Indian stories and foreign-language scripts. These are just a few examples of how you can use this week’s celebration to explore unfamiliar stories with universal themes.
To celebrate World Folktales and Fables Week, Language Lizard is offering a 10% discount through March 31, 2021, on these three books. Use coupon code WFF2021!
Language Lizard wishes you an exciting World Folktales and Fables Week, exploring new characters, adventures, and cultures from far away lands!