Fables, Saints & Heroes

Teaching with the Fables

A holistic approach

Sieglinde de Francesca

teaching with the fable as: extended tale, poem, illustration, play puppet show & natural science lesson

Spiral Bound


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Teaching with the Fables is so much bigger on the inside than it looks to be on the outside. It is the finest book I have ever seen on the topic of Waldorf teaching, and hands-down the best, fullest, and most beautiful exposition of the fables and what they can become to a child of about 8 years old (2nd grade).

There is no question about Main Lesson teaching in general (not just for 2nd grade), it's rhythms and wherefores, its content and delivery that is not answered in this priceless gem. That the book itself is beautiful and also includes instruction for painting, sculpting and acting these timeless fables makes it one of the most valuable gifts ever to be put forth in the interest of our children. I am both moved and heartened that such a book now exists -- for surely, it has been hoped for by many for a very long time.

Sieglinde includes 3 extended fables with poems, illustrations and suggestions for additional lesson work. Here you can learn how to:

  • extend a fable into a full, engaging story
  • illustrate a fable with crayons and water colors
  • write a poem about the fable or its characters
  • create a play or puppet show about the fable
  • sculpt the fable characters with wax or clay
  • create a natural science lesson around a fable

Teaching with the Fables brings to the door of every teacher and homeschooler everything you need to share the beauty and joy of the fables with the 2nd graders in your care. Beyond that, it offers a lifetime of teaching wisdom and technique. It is truly a treasure.

The Fables of Aesop

Edited by Joseph Jacobs



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I was so pleased to come upon this book -- it is exactly the same edition of Aesop that I grew up with (at about the same price, too!). Seeing the charming pen-and-ink illustrations was like coming home, and rereading the stories, told so simply, yet with such sparkle that there are many that I found I had remembered almost word-for-word even 40+ years after last reading them.

Anyway, this, in my opinion, is simply the finest edition of Aesop's Fables available in English. The animals are all animals, not made to look like humans. The language is straightforward, to the point, and yet packed with an interest of the world and its ways. Share these with a child and I promise that you'll laugh, you'll ponder, sometimes you'll even complain at the outcome -- mostly, both of you will love each and every story and carry them with you long after you've set the book aside.

What Animals Say to Each Other

30 Nature Fables in Rhyme

Jakob Streit



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These story rhymes are a joy!  Jakob Streit has managed to capture so much that is essential about different animals and insects, and to do so in such a way as to charm child and adult alike.  We get to listen in as Butterfly talks to Cricket, or Squirrel and Cat converse, and in so doing get to meet them both as they might tell us they see their world.

I must mention how truly wonderful Nina Kuettel's translations of these poems are: poetry, particularly metered and rhymed verse such as this, is incredibly hard to translate well.  Nina's translations are nothing less than masterful.  Thank you, Nina.

Also - the black and white drawings by Kilian Beck, a very gifted 13-year-old, add a delightful dimension to this lovely book.

Perfect for the Grade 4 Animals block, for Grade 2 Fables, or for anytime when a humorous nature story seems like just the right thing.

Why the Crocodile Has a Wide Mouth

and Other Nature Myths

Florence Holbrook



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These fifty-four stories, gathered from cultures around the world and told for children, offer up the myths of the creation of some of the most fascinating animals and phenomena of the world.

Learn why the rabbit is timid and the bear has a short tail. Find out how fire was brought to the Indians, and how summer came to the earth. Discover why the sea is salty and evergreen trees never lose their leaves. You can meet the children in the moon and the first grasshopper, too.

In my opinion, this is a delightful accompaniment to fables and good, happy reading any time.

The Eight-Year-Old Legend Book

Isabel Wyatt


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Isabel Wyatt created these stories from the tales told by the Buddha over 2500 years ago.  I see them as the perfect bridge between the fables and saints and heroes as taught in Grade 2 within the Waldorf curriculum.  Here you'll find both animals and humans peopling the world as kings and wise men, clever monkeys and faithful elephants.  There are great adventures which tell of danger and courage, and show so well how it is that wisdom and thoughtfulness always triumph over selfishness and greed.

Wonderful for ages 8 and up - truly heartwarming tales!

Brother Francis

The Life of Francis of Assisi

Jakob Streit



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Beautifully retold, beautifully translated stories from the life of St. Francis of Assisi.    No child can help but love the gentle saint whose life goes so far in showing us the power of kindness and faith.  These vignettes are perfect for the Waldorf grade 3 curriculum where saints and heroes people the lesson books of all subjects.  Adults and children will love these stories.

Saint Odelia

Through Darkness and into the Light

Jakob Streit

Translated by Nina Kuettel

Illustrated by Martina Müller



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The story of Saint Odelia, patron saint of the Alsace region in France, is one of the most beautiful legends from the middle ages. It is about the destiny of a child, born blind and turned out by her father, who gains her sight through a miracle at her baptism. The young girl goes her way unerringly and against all odds, to establish the convent later named for her: Odilienberg.

A beautiful retelling, lacking any trace of sentimentalism and filled with wonder.  Ideal for the Saints and Heroes block in the Waldorf 2nd grade.

Stories of the Saints

Retold by Siegwart Knijpenga


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The thirty-seven stories of Christian saints are told in a way that will captivate and inspire children from 7-12. (In fact, they captivate and inspire me!) Saints, like the rest of us, are very different one from another; but the thread that unites all the stories gathered in this book is that through an unswerving union with Love (Christ), tragedy is always transformed into victory and rejoicing. These stories can be learned and retold by adults or read to younger children. The vocabulary is such that older children can enjoy reading the stories themselves.

Twenty Jataka Tales

Retold by Noor Inayat Khan

Illustrated by H. Willebeek La Mair



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These twenty tales have been drawn from famous legends concerning the former lives of the Buddha. Beloved by children and adults, they tell of people and animals moved to acts of sacrifice by the noble example of their fellow creatures. There is a wonderful interweaving of a sentient creation throughout these stories. The flavor of these stories will remind you of Aesop, as will the lessons they contain which are so beautifully conveyed. These stories are ideal for reading or telling to children - their highly dramatic adventures that resolve in non-violence and compassion are often just exactly what today's children are hungry for. You'll love the exquisite illustrations, also - there is a light delicacy to them that at the same time conveys enormous strength - just right for these tales.


Talking Eagle and the Lady of Roses

The Story of Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe

Amy Córdova and Eugene Gollogly

Hardcover, large format, dustjacketed

Illustrated by Amy Córdova


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I very much like the way this story is told.  There is a gentleness that is lovely when paired with its deep respect for and understanding of the pre-Columbian peoples and their lives and beliefs.  In addition to giving us a New World saint story to share with our children (especially in Waldorf 2nd Grade), Talking Eagle and the Lady of Roses warms the heart by uniting the worlds of the indigenous population with those of the Western explorers and missionaries.  Through this telling of the story of Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe, it is possible to see a very wide rift begin to heal.  I can't think of anything better for todays children than the spirit this book evokes.

I also want to add that for me, it doesn't matter whether Juan Diego's tilma was painted directly by the hand of God or whether it was painted by a human being wanting to share a vision with the world.  That isn't the real miracle of Guadalupe, at least not to my mind.  The evident miracle of Guadalupe is the millions of hearts that have been inspired toward goodness by her story and their connecting with her through her message.  For me, Talking Eagle and the Lady of the Roses brings this message to life with love.

Highly recommended for ages 8 and older.




Patron Saint of Ireland

Tomie de Paola

Softbound, Large Format


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There is a sacred simplicity to Tomie de Paola's art when he writes of saints and goodness. This quality shines forth in Patrick. With an abundance of green and blue, just like the Emerald Isle, both de Paola's pictures and his words recreate the life of Patrick from his boyhood as a lonely shepherd whose solitude gifted him with a mystical and personal relationship with God, to the Saint who brought healing and unity to the Irish people. This is a story that will be loved by children 6 to 9 and beyond.

The Little Flowers of St. Francis

Translated by Thomas Okey



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We are so pleased to have found this very inexpensive edition of what must be one of the most beloved accounts ever written about this special saint. Whether you are preparing a main lesson on the saints and want learn stories about St. Francis to share with your students (and who wouldn't?) or would simply like to warm your own heart with these simple, sweet and love-drenched stories, you'll want this book at your side.

The Little Flowers was written in the 15th Century and is a collection of stories chronicling the journeys, activities, and miracles of Saint Francis and his brethren. It is among the world's most popular and most read of the religious classics. This is an unabridged republication of the Thomas Okey translation originally published in 1963.

St. Martin de Porres

Apostle of Charity

Giuliana Cavallini



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I first encountered St. Martin de Porres (1579-1639) through Hilda Charleton's lecture about him in Saints Alive! I fell in love immediately and searched high and low for a biography that did him justice. This account by Giuliana Cavallini is the book I was looking for - you can almost feel Martin next to you, so vividly is his life retold.

I think that most of us can benefit from coming to know St. Martin de Porres, but most especially I think his story would be a wonderful addition to those saints that most Waldorf schools teach our children about in 2nd grade. Here is a saint of the New World, whose life and work have so very much to do with our own world. My hope is that adults will read this books and then tell story after story about this saint - I think anyone who does this will find themselves before children held in rapt attention, awaiting each and every word.

This saint's heart was so big that it seemed to radiate with the warmth of the sun itself. And what he accomplished for children, the poor, his fellow monks - and for us! He was a consummate healer, he created schools that poor children could attend, fed those who were hungry, inspired the rich to give generously and joyously to his many causes, established an orphanage in which the boys were taught a trade and a dowry provided for the girls (so that they would not have to become prostitutes to support themselves - this was the early 1600s), and created the first social services agency on record so that no one in Lima, Peru would have to go hungry or suffer an illness untreated.

He did all this as a mulatto who was called to the Domincan Order at Holy Rosary Church in Lima, Peru where he entered as a lay brother in 1591. Actually, he was barred from entering as anything else, for the Dominicans at that time had a rule against allowing mulattos or blacks into their order. However, Martin's heart was so big and his devotion so inspiring that the Domincan's side-stepped their own rule and insisted - despite Martin's protests that he deserved no honors - that Martin become a friar. St. Martin is therefore called the Patron Saint of Civil Rights - he may well be the first saint to have broken down codified race barriers, and he did it not by attacking them, but simple by melting the hearts of those arround him with his love.

St. Martin de Porres is a joy to get to know - I wish you all this happiness.

The King of Ireland's Son

Padraic Colum

Illustrated by Willy Pogány


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This edition contains the identical text as the Floris edition, but is graced with the original illustrations by Willy Pogány. It is a reproduction of the 1916 first edition and is printed in the United States - hence, the lower price. I find the older style of the illustrations very in keeping with the story, serving to carry the reader into the realm of Old Ireland. I am also delighted to be able to offer our customers a less expensive, worthy alternative.

Padraic Colum, an award-winning Irish storyteller whose children's stories always ring with the music of the spoken voice, weaves a tale of long ago, when the King of Ireland's son set out to find the Enchanter of the Black Back-Lands. He meets the Enchanter's daughter, Fedelma, falls in love and is betrothed to her. Then, he loses her. His adventures to find her again lead him to the Land of the Mist, the Town of the Red Castle and the worlds of Gilly of the Goatskin, the Hags of the Long Teeth, Princess Flame-of-Wine and a meeting with the Giant, Crom Duv. Our children had a wonderful time with this story when they were in 2nd and 3rd grades. Ages 8-11.