Books by Theme

Hispanic Folktales, Fables, and Legends

Borreguita and the Coyote

Borreguita and the Coyote

By: Verna Aardema
Illustrated by: Petra Mathers
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Left alone to graze, Borreguita outsmarts the fierce coyote who thinks the small lamb would be a tasty lunch. This tale from Ayutla, Mexico, is retold with sly humor and illustrated with dramatic, full color illustrations.

Doña Flor

Doña Flor

By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: Raul Colón
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Dona Flor has gigantic proportions and unusual skills such as understanding the language of plants. Eventually, her talents are appreciated by the villagers in this attractively illustrated, richly told original tale. Winner of Pura Belpré Award. Also available in Spanish.

Golden Tales: Myths, Legends, and Folktales from Latin America

Golden Tales: Myths, Legends, and Folktales from Latin America

By: Lulu Delacre
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Myths and Legends, Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This lush collection of twelve traditional Latin American tales brings the history and culture of thirteen countries into a vivid new perspective. Readers will have a unique glimpse of the early indigenous cultures, and of the literature that later blossomed with the blending of the Spanish and Native cultures.

Half-Chicken

Half-Chicken

By: Alma Flor Ada
Illustrated by: Kim Howard
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Do you know why a weather vane has a little rooster on the top, spinning around to tell us which way the wind is blowing? Here is the answer in this old story about Half-Chicken, who has one eye, one leg, and one wing. His adventures take him far and wide until he's carried straight to the top, in this lively retelling — in Spanish and English — of a traditional folktale.

Jabuti the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale from the Amazon

Jabuti the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale from the Amazon

By: Gerald McDermott
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Vulture is sick and tired of Jabuti’s trickery. He gets his revenge when he flies the tortoise high in the air, then drops him, breaking his shell. But Jabuti puts himself together and comes out on top — with the help of the birds of the rainforest. How those birds got their colorful plumage is vividly explained in this brilliantly colored and well-told tale.

Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book

Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book

By: Yuyi Morales
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction, Fantasy
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Señor Calvera is back! This time, he is looking forward to Grandma Beetle's birthday party — but he can't figure out what gift to give her. He consults with Zelmiro the Ghost and chooses one gift for every letter of the alphabet: acordéon, bigotes, cosquillas (accordian, moustaches, and tickles). It isn't until he reaches the letter Z, however, that Señor Calvera finds the best gift of all for Grandma Beetle.

Once Upon a Time: Traditional Latin American Tales / Habia una vez: Cuentos tradicionales Latino Americanos

Once Upon a Time: Traditional Latin American Tales / Habia una vez: Cuentos tradicionales Latino Americanos

By: Reuben Martinez
Illustrated by: Raul Colon
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Animals and people wise and foolish are presented in these tales retold. Their origins, from a range of Spanish-speaking countries including Argentina, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Spain, are retold and handsomely illustrated — just right for reading aloud.

Roadrunner's Dance

Roadrunner's Dance

By: Rudolfo Anaya
Illustrated by: David Diaz
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Snake terrifies children and their parents. He claims to be the "king of the road." But with gifts from the animals, Desert Woman fashions Roadrunner to defeat Snake. In the tradition of a folktale, this original story explains why rattlesnakes have their rattle and how cooperation can save the day.

Señor Cat's Romance and Other Favorite Stories from Latin America

Señor Cat's Romance and Other Favorite Stories from Latin America

By: Lucía González
Illustrated by: Lulu Delacre
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction, Fantasy
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Spanish words add flavor to these appealing folktales, cuentos favoritos, carefully illustrated to reflect their Latin American roots. Readers young and old will recognize Juan Bobo's foolishness, and delight in the sound of the language in the tale of Little Half Chick. Like all folktales, these are ideal for sharing aloud.

Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection

Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection

By: Isabel Campoy, Alma Flor Ada
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

"Stories have delighted both children and adults for as long as there have been families and communities on Earth." So begins the informative introduction to the dozen takes which are presented here to charm another generation, ideal for reading independently or sharing aloud.

The Bossy Gallito /Bossy Gallito / El gallo de bodas: A Traditional Cuban Folktale

The Bossy Gallito /Bossy Gallito / El gallo de bodas: A Traditional Cuban Folktale

By: Lucía González
Illustrated by: Lulu Delacre
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Travel with Bossy Rooster to his uncle's wedding. Of course the road is not entirely smooth in this cumulative, handsomely illustrated tale from Cuba — and that's when the fun begins!

The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America

The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America

By: Jaime Hernandez
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Myths and Legends, Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Meet the dragon slayer, a girl and a mouse, and a boy who talks to ants. Three traditional tales, each revealing a particular truth, are recast here in comic book format. An introduction and the concluding background note provides a glimpse into the cultures from which the tales come.

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!

By: Carmen Agra Deedy
Illustrated by: Eugene Yelchin
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

La Paz is a happy, but noisy village. A little peace and quiet would make it just right. So the villagers elect the bossy Don Pepe as their mayor. Before long, singing of any kind is outlawed. But there is one noisy rooster who doesn't give two mangos about this mayor's silly rules. Instead, he does what roosters were born to do. This allegory celebrates the spirit of freedom, and the courage of those who are born to sing at any cost.

The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote

The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote

By: Tony Johnston
Illustrated by: Tomie dePaola
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Coyote howls at the moon because of a small, smart, and very tricky rabbit. This lively retelling of an Oaxacan (Mexico) tale has familiar elements like rabbit becoming stuck on a farmer made of sticky beeswax. The energetic tale is complemented by illustrations reminiscent of folk art.

The Three Golden Oranges

The Three Golden Oranges

By: Alma Flor Ada
Illustrated by: Stephen Cartwright
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Far on the other side of the mountains, next to an enchanted castle, grows a tree with three golden oranges. It is there that three brothers must journey if they wish to find a wife. Will the brothers be able to avert misfortune by working together? Will they be strong enough to break the spell that a wicked sorcerer has placed on the castle? Alma Flor Ada offers this poetic retelling of a well-loved traditional story about Blancaflor, a mythical young woman who appears in stories throughout the Hispanic world.

Whiskers, Tails and Wings: Animal Folktales from Mexico

Whiskers, Tails and Wings: Animal Folktales from Mexico

By: Judy Goldman
Illustrated by: Fabricio Vanden Broeck
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

What do a cricket, a turtle, an opossum, a flea, and a frog have in common? Each are featured in a story that comes from one of the indigenous people that live in Mexico. Fluid retellings combine with information about the natives from whose culture the tales were drawn. A glossary and where to go for additional information and sources are included in this attractively illustrated book.

Proceeds from the sale of books purchased at Bookshop.org and Amazon.com help support the Reading Rockets project. Thank you!

We Are Storytellers promo

 

Space Rangers

Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.

Sign up for our free newsletters about reading

Our Literacy Blogs

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." — Groucho Marx