Fairy tales and folktales
- Article by:
- Jamila Gavin
Fairy tales and folktales are so much more than entertainment. They reflect our history and culture, our fears and our dreams. When did we start to write them down and how have they changed over time?Read more
How do you go from a bright idea in your head, to a picture book in your hands? In this video, Axel Scheffler reveals how he transformed a few descriptors – purple prickles, poisonous wart and knobbly knees – into the Gruffalo we know and love.View Video
You know what your characters look like, but to write a story you need to find out who they are. Do they have a favourite food? What are they afraid of? Viviane Schwarz talks us through her simple steps for getting to know your characters.View Video
Once you’ve got your characters, you can get started on your story. In this clip Viviane Schwarz shows us how she creates an illustration, with lots of colour and collage. Why not grab some scraps of paper and a paintbrush, and see where your imagination takes you?View Video
Get creative with activities for children of all ages. Invent your own superhero, make a pop-up book and much more.
From fantastical medieval beasts to Winnie the Pooh and Varjak Paw, meet the wonderful creatures that bring children’s books to life.
From strict behaviour manuals to rebellious rule-breakers, explore the morals and mischief at the heart of children’s books.
From books that fit in the palm of your hand to Roald Dahl’s Big Friendly Giant, find out how children’s writing plays with ideas of size and scale.
From campaigns against slavery to climate change resistance, discover the power of children’s books to fight for a better world.
From Red Riding Hood to Hua Mulan, from Anancy to Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, read ancient stories and playful new tales from around the world.
Face your fears by exploring the most spine-tingling stories, from dark and enchanting fairy tales to Coraline and Haunted House.
From Alice in Wonderland’s bottles to baby bear’s perfect porridge, discover the temptations of food in children’s books.
How do children’s books explore questions of home, family and belonging? Delve into books by Jacqueline Wilson, Errol Lloyd and many more.
Learn the secrets of writers and artists from Jacqueline Wilson to Zanib Mian, with these exclusive interviews and tips for budding authors.
Set off on magical journeys or real voyages of migration, from Gulliver’s Travels and Treasure Island to Sarah Garland’s Azzi in Between.
Explore our themes in more detail and find more fascinating facts in these illustrated articles by scholars and children’s authors.
Free your imagination with tales of mystery and magic, from medieval phoenixes to Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights.
Find out how children’s books use funny jokes, strange secrets and pictures to give you information about people, places, science and history.
From rude and ridiculous rhymes to inspiring verses and poems, explore centuries of nonsense, poetry and wordplay for children.
From the earliest noisy books to brilliant modern pop-ups, find out how pages spring to life at the pull of a flap or tab.