Bedtime Stories from Around the World
Bedtime stories and fables have long been told to children since ancient times. However, some of them may have terrifying characters that could keep little ones up at night. But there are plenty of soothing and warming stories to tell your children as you tuck them into bed.
Here are some of the most magical folklore tales from around the world that will become your little one’s new favorite story. Read the excerpts below, and if they intrigue you, explore the full story together with your children!
Bald Boy and the Magic Seal
It’s a story from Turkey about a friendship between a boy, a dog, and a cat. The boy is given a magic seal and wishes to have a palace and to marry the emperor’s daughter so his mom can have a better life. Things go slightly awry as someone steals the magic seal, but the cat and dog work together to get it back and restore everyone’s happiness.
The First Sunrise
From Australia, this story is set ages ago when the earth was dark. All the animals had a difficult time looking for food while the heavy clouds hung low. The magpies then get all the animals to work together and raise the sky. They push it up over the mountains and the land is washed in warming light. The magpies sing and it becomes a celebration of the first sunrise, the reason why these birds sing such lovely songs.
The Beauty of Difference
In Iran, there is a story of a girl named Shirin who is told she’ll be moving to London to live with her cousins. Her parents will send her for her safety though she is nervous. Once she arrives, she feels out of place and different until a boy, Stephen, is kind to her and tells her being different is okay.
The Elephant Who Lost His Patience
This tale from India is about a mean ant that teased all the animals in the jungle. It picks on the elephant for its nose and ears, but the elephant says nothing. The ant also teases other animals but they threaten him and keep him away. Unfortunately, the ant doesn’t seem to realize that the elephant is the only one who will tolerate him, but even the patient elephant has enough and he jumps into the water while the ant is on him, washing him away.
Turtle and Monkey
A fable from The Philippines involves a tricky monkey that plays cruel games on the turtle. Although the turtle is slow, he is clever. The monkey thinks he is ahead but the turtle outwits him, much like in the Tortoise and the Hare. However, in this tale, both the turtle and monkey fail to succeed and the reader learns that without cooperating between differences, nothing could be possible.
The Magic Mirror
In this story from Spain, the King of Granada seeks a wife, though before any woman can marry him, they must look into a magic mirror. The mirror shows the goodness of her character and reveals it as blemishes. Every woman eager to marry the king refuses to look into the mirror. There is one shepherdess, and lowly as she is, she says she’s not afraid to look into the mirror because everyone makes mistakes and those can be forgiven. However, the king reveals after she looks into the mirror that it was just a test – the mirror is not magical – he wanted the women to reveal their confidence.
So now when your little one begs for a story at bedtime, you can tell them one of these folklore tales from around the world!