Tales from Europe, Britain, and Russia

The Boy Who Knew What the Birds Said

Padraic Colum


Add a review

This is a gem of a book by the renowned poet, dramatist, novelist, folklorist and storyteller, Padraic Colum.  No less than three of his books for children received retrospective citations for the Newbery Honor.  Filled with drama, action, tenderness and adventure, Padraic Colum spins a series of tales which draw us into a world of imagination and beauty.  The tales have a strong and clear storyteller's voice which is still as alive, fresh and direct as it was when first spoken.

This edition has been edited by the artist, teacher and author, Reg Down, with grade 4 to 8 students in mind.  In addition to editing for clarity and pronounceability (Celtic spellings are sometimes impossible!), he refreshed the original illustrations by Dugard Stewart Walker, inserted footnotes where a word was uncommon or seldom used, added a map to show where countries and mountains mentioned in the book are located, added a section with characterizations and drawings of all the birds which appear in the book, included the Celtic Ogham alphabet referenced in one tale (plus examples for the reader to deciher and encouragement for them to write their own Ogham), and finally, added a brief biography of Padraic Colum, with a description of his dramatic life and times in Ireland and his arrival in the land of hope, America.

Outstanding! Highly recommend for ages 9 and older.

The Shifty Lad

and the Tales He Told

Retold by P. L. Snow



Add a review

Shifty Lad is sort of a Loki/Coyote figure who comes creating mischief, but also with wondrous stories to tell, so wondrous that they even save his life.  In these tales of roguery and cunning, we learn about his childhood, how he longed to become a thief (and became one!), and his life as a villain of the highways and byways.  We learn how he outwitted the Dark Stranger, and how his gift of storytelling saved his own life.

And, we get to hear his stories, collected by P. L. Snow from the Celtic cultures of Scotland, Ireland and Wales.  They are beautiful, traditional folktales that speak of human nature and touch our hearts with laughter and tears.  This is a great collection of timeless tales wrapped in Shifty Lad's delightful story - a real treat!

Ages 8 to adult.

Over the Hills and Far Away

Stories of dwarfs, fairies, gnomes and elves from around Europe

Edited by Els Boekelaar and Ineke Verschuren

Illustrations by Daniela Drescher



Add a review

Over the Hills and Far Away

Stories of dwarfs, fairies, gnomes and elves - as well as nature beings by other names - are among the most universal in humanity's storytelling pantheon.  Regardless of the culture of origin, they share insights into the wisdom of nature and the effect of human morality upon it.  In fact, all such stories I've ever read or heard told are in one way or another morality tales -- only here, the human's morality affects nature and her beings and they, in turn, affect the destiny of the people involved, whether for good or ill.  The reverse can also be true: naughty nature beings have their effect in the world and the world and more evolved beings respond to counter it. 

However, there is a warmth to these tales that most morality tales lack: even when the deeds arise out of the lower nature of people, or from a recalcitrant gnome, there is a sympathy in the telling that leads to a type of heartwarmed understanding.  In short, this quality makes them wonderful for children (and adults, I might add).  These stories invite the child into the heart of the world, and evoke a desire to be helpful and kind in the process.

Most of the tales in Over the Hills and Far Away are ideal for children 6-10 years old.  Some of the simpler ones would be lovely for children 4 years old or older.  This is a wonderful collection of stories made even richer by Daniella Drescher's beautiful paintings.

Best Loved Folktales of the World

Selected and with an Introduction by Joanna Cole



Add a review

I am so happy to be able to offer this collection to you. It was one of our family's favorite treasures, containing story after story that we loved and worlds we explored. It has also been one of those books that over the years goes in and out of print. Happily, we again arrive at a time when it is available for families and teachers and, most importantly, our children.

Best-Loved Folktales of the World is a collection of over 200 folk and fairy tales from all over the world. It is also the only such collection of which I am aware that covers all areas of our planet and represents all major cultures with beauty and integrity. The stories are arranged geographically and include the familiar (to us) classics such as "Snow White" and "Sleeping Beauty" as well as their counterparts for around the world - and much more besides!

These stories are delightful, enriching, satisfying. They also offer a loved-filled feast prepared by the heart of our world. May you enjoy them for years, as we did!

For the Children of the World

Stories and Recipes from the Internatinoal Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education

Louise deForest, Editor

Illustrated by Gudrid Malmsten



Add a review

* * * Temporarily out of stock. More on the way!! * * *
If you order this item it will be shipped in 1-2 weeks.

Here is a joyous collection of folktales from around the world, retold from the heart for young children.  In addition to some of the best stories the world's people have to offer, an extra treat is the recipes from many of the cultures that contributed to this rich and wonderful book.  Each recipe was clear chosen to be tasty and wholesome for young children, as well as being simple enough to make while tending our little ones.  Altogether, this is a vibrant collection that evokes love and wonder.  I can't recommend it highly enough.



  • The Name of the Tree (South Africa)


  • Tunjur, Tunjur (Israel)
  • Momotaro, the Peach Boy (Japan)


  • The Little Flame
  • The Little Possum Who Wanted a Peach
  • Time for Bed
  • Where Has Father Sun Gone?
  • Recipe: Peppercorn Birthday Cake


  • The Duckling's Journey (Austria)
  • The Story of the Cat with the Long, Long Tail (Belgium)
  • Tailor Tom (Denmark)
  • Little Ash Squirel and Little Oak Squirrel (France)
  • Turlutin (France)
  • The Lantern (Germany)
  • Speaking Grapes, Smiling Apples and Ringing Peaches (Hungary)
  • The Old Woman and the Little Mouse (Sweden)
  • Sir Cat-O-Puss (Ukraine)
  • The Soupstone Story (United Kingdom)
  • Recipes:  Spitzbuben Cookies, Michaelmas Soup, St. John's Elderflower Drink, Potato Pogatcha, Salty Pretzels, Hot Cross Buns


  • How the Robin Got Its Red Breast (Canada)
  • Tajin and the Seven Thunders (Mexico)
  • The Legend of the Tepozteco (Mexico)
  • The Story of the Jumping Mouse (United States)
  • Recipes: Cree Bannock Bread, Tamales, Birthday Muffins


  • The Magic Stone (Brazil)
  • The Golden Fish and the Magic Star (Brazil)
  • The Little Seed (Brazil)

Also available in the Spanish Edition, Para Los Ninos del Mundo

Tell Me a Story

Stories from the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America

Edited by Louise deForest


Illustrated by Deborah Grieder and Jo Valens


Add a review

The good people at WECAN are very much to be congratulated - they have produced what is, in my opinion, the finest collection of stories for young children ever published in English (maybe in any language, but others will have to judge that).  Tell Me a Story brings together in one volume over 80 stories told and loved in Waldorf kindergartens throughout North America, and as such really offers a resource that can last throughout a lifetime.

Wherever there are children, the cry of "Tell me a story . . ." is heard, and in Waldorf education, storytelling is an integral (and often favorite) part of each day.  Stories connect us to one another, give us a sense of who we are, and can help to guide us into the future.  Tell Me a Story is filled with treasures for all ages and all occasions.  Whether you are a teacher, parent, grandparent, caregiver, or just a lover of good stories, you will find inspiration and nourishment in these pages.

An Illustrated Treasury of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales

The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea and many more classic stories

Hans Christian Andersen

Illustrated by Anastasiya Archipova

Hardcover with Clothbound Spine


Add a review

The wonder and mystery of these well-known and well-loved stories from Hans Christian Anderson here are brought to life with the charming illustrations from Anastasiya Archipova. The stories chosen for this collection are also some of my personal favourites from my own childhood, stories that children carry in their hearts for life.

Foolish emperors, lonely mermaids, icy queens and clever princesses are all found in this lavishly illustrated gift edition, ready to delight children and adults alike. The magic and wonder are beautifully bound in a hardcover edition designed for little hands. A perfect companion to matching , A Favourite Collection of Grimm's Fairy Tales.

An Illustrated Treasury of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales via waldorfbooks.com

Each story is accompanied by charming illustrations from prolific children's illustrator Anastasiya Archipova, with words and pictures mixing on nearly every page.

Table of contents:

  • Thumbelina
  • The Princess and the Pea
  • The Snow Queen
  • The Brave Tin Soldier
  • The Emperor’s New Suit
  • The Little Match Girl
  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Christmas Tree

A beautiful edition for any bookshelf, especially with companion volume, A Favourite Collection of Grimm's Fairy Tales.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was a Danish author who wrote many fairy tales. His best known tales include The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen and The Emperor's New Clothes.

Anastasiya Archipova has illustrated many children's books including many traditional fairy tales. She lives in Moscow.

Ages 5-10

176 pages, 7" x 8 3/4", 2014

Norse Mythology

by Charles Kovacs

Charles Kovacs



Add a review

Charles Kovacs' curriculum notes are so wonderful - it is a recurring joy to browse through them and to see new titles appear.  There is no doubt in my mind that he has planted seeds of hope for our children and the world.

In this newest collection of Norse Myths, Kovacs beautifully retells the stories of 19 of the Norse gods (including Freya, Thor, Odin, Loki and many more), 4 of the great Sagas (Nibelung, Gudrune, Frithiof, and Kvasir) and the 3 key stories of the Twilight of the Gods ("The Death of Baldur," "Loki's Punishment," and "Ragnarok").  The sweep of these stories if read in order paints a heartfelt picture of the flourishing and fall of an age where giants and gods strode across the earth itself.  To read it is to apprehend anew the heartbeat of Norse mythology.

Used in Grade 4 within the Waldorf curriculum. 

Tales from the Kalevala

A Prose Rendering

Irmgard Burtscher

Translated by Hartmut Schiffer



Add a review

Tales from the Kalevala is another one of those books that I have heard so very many people ask for over the years: "Is there a Kalevala in English that tells the story in a way I can use in the classroom/to teach my children?" Now I can answer "yes" - and it is a lovely, well-told tale indeed.

Rudolf Steiner recognized the stories of the Kalevala as having the clearest pictures of an earlier phase of human soul development. He also said that in addition to telling us much about the particular experiences of life in Northern Europe, the stories also offer insights into humanity's earlier time on Earth as well as glimpses of our future development. Steiner went so far as to say that he believed the Kalevala would become as important in the future as the stories of Ancient Greece have been in the past.

The Kalevala is used in the 4th grade curriculum in Waldorf Education. Irmgard Burtscher is a class teacher in Liechtenstein who prepared this prose version of the stories to help other teachers present them to their students. Schiffer's translation brings these robust tales to our door with an English that is at once modern, yet retains the flavor of the ancient world. Do enjoy!

Nordic Gods and Heroes

Padraic Colum



Add a review

One of the world's greatest storytellers has given us what I believe is the most elegant and engaging versions of the core of Norse mythology. Padraic Colum's retellings of these timeless stories of the rather raucous pantheon of Norse Gods, giants and heroes will draw you and your students or children into the story, hold you there through to the end and when it is over, leave you hoping for more stories to come. This is a reprint of Colum's book that was originally published in 1920 -- and what a wonderful thing it is to have it available here and now!

Among the many stories in Nordic Gods and Heroes are:

  • Iduna and Her Apples - How Loki Put the Gods in Danger
  • How Freya Gained Her Necklace and How Her Loved One Was Lost to Her
  • How Frey Won Gerda, the Giant Maiden, and How He Lost His Magic Sword
  • The All-Father's Forebodings: How He Leaves Asgard
  • Odin Goes to Mimir's Well - His Sacrifice for Wisdom
  • How Thor and Loki Befooled Thrym the Giant
  • Ægir's Feast: How Thor Triumphed
  • Loki the Betrayer
  • Baldur's Doom
  • Sigurd at the House of the Nibelungs
  • The Twilight of the Gods

And many, many more!

Norse Mythology and the Modern Human Being

Ernst Uehli

Translated by Rudolf Copple



Add a review

This is a valuable study of a mythology that has as much to do with the future of human evolution as it does with these old stories of the Norse gods. Uehli moves systematically through the major figures in this ancient saga, reflecting on the deeper meaning and showing why they are so valuable for children, especially those in the fourth grade. It will provide insight for teachers, parents, and other adults who hope to answer some of the life questions of today.

Norwegian Folk Tales

From the collection of Peter Christien Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe



Add a review

Jacob Grimm once said that the Norwegian folk tales "surpass nearly all others."  This collection, long held as a treasure in Norway, justifies that opinion.  Within these captivating tales we meet witches, trolls, and ogres; sly foxes and great, mysterious bears; beautiful princesses and country-lads-turned-heroes.  Collected here in a sparkling contemporary translation by Pat Shaw Iversen and Carl Norman, these tales brim with the matchless vitality and power of their original telling.  Included also are the rich illustrations of Erik Werenskiold and Theodor Kittelsen.

These tales are a delight to read and delicious to retell!

Swedish Folk Tales

Illustrated by John Bauer

Hardbound, large format, richly illustrated with amazing paintings


Add a review

from "Leap Elk and Little Princess Cottongrass"

This dazzling collection of twenty-nine illustrated stories, retold by some of the greatest Swedish writers, includes:

  • “When Mother Troll Took in the King’s Washing” by Elsa Beskow
  • “The Magician’s Cape” by Anna Wahlenberg
  • “Leap the Elk and the Little Princess Cottongrass” by Helge Kjellin
  • “The Four Big Trolls and Little PetHer Pastureman” by Cyrus Granér
  • “The Trolls and the Youngest Tomte” by Alfred Smedberg
  • “The Ring” by Helena Nyblom
  • “The Seven Wishes” by Alfred Smedberg
  • “Stalo and Kauras” by P. A. Lindholm
  • “The Maiden in the Castle of Rosy Clouds” by Harald Ostenson
  • “The Boy and the Trolls, or the Adventure” by Walter Stenström
  • “The Crofters and the Gnomes” by Anna Wahlenberg
  • “The Golden Key” by W. E. Björk
  • “The Giant Who Slept for Ten Thousand Years” by Einar Rosenborg
  • ... and many more!

John Bauer’s original and evocative illustrations bring these classic Swedish folk tales to life. His art seems to me to be a combination of earthly idealism and a fascintating evocation of spiritual reality (or perhaps "elemental reality"). It is no wonder that he is so beloved in Sweden. This collection, paired with his paintings, makes this a book to treasure for generations.

Because of the complexity of some of the themes, as well as the rather robust encounters of humans and elemental beings, I personally recommend this collection for children ages 9 and older, though some of the stories are appropriate for younger children.

Russian Fairy Tales

Illustrated by Aleksander Nickolaivicher Afanasyev



Add a review

This is the largest collection of these beautiful, rich stories that I know of. Beautifully retold, charmingly illustrated in Russian folk-art style, this is a treasure that will serve you and your children for years and years. Nearly 200 characteristic and colorful traditional folk and fairy tales are brought together in the only comprehensive edition available in English.

I especially love the Russian tales because they are so richly woven - there is a glorious "fullness" to them, with a wonderful sense of detail that never mires, but always results in the most engaging, most multi-layered folk tales I have encountered. Our children heard and read hundreds of fairy tales - these are the ones they most often mention as still living in their adult hearts.

As Eudora Welty wrote when the original edition was published in 1945, "These tales are gorgeous."

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

English Fairy Tales

Collected by Joseph Jacobs

Illustrated by John D Batten



Add a review

At the end of the 19th Century, one of England's greatest folklorist (and a mighty storyteller!) brought to life so very many of the folk tales succeeding generations have loved as their own. The kings and queens, the wicked giants, clever youngests sons, talking animals and trees, magic cloaks - all are the ingredients of wonderful stories that stir the imagination and delight the heart.

In this volume you'll find many tales you already know and many that will be new to you. "Jack and the Beanstalk," "The Story of the Three Bears," "Henny Penny," and 40 more await you and your children.

Celtic Myths and Legends

T. W. Rolleston

with 76 illustrations from the original edition as well as background essays on the history and culture of the Celts



Add a review

For those who would like to learn something about the people behind the great Celtic myths, this edition is a gift. Originally published in 1917, it gathers together in one place pretty much the full core of Celtic mythology and historical legends. The author, in addition to lending these stories a voice through which the magic and panoply of these tales that now belong to the entire world, also illuminates the world of the Celts through his introductory essays. Those essays, in my opinion, make this book a resource to be treasured.

As for the stories, they are pure enchantment. Focusing mainly on Irish myths, Rolleston takes us into the myths of the Irish invasion and the early Milesian kings. You'll meet Queen Maev, Cuchulain the Giant, King Arthur and his knights (including the Grail quest) and much more.

In the Waldorf curriculum, these stories will fit nicely into the history and literature of the 6th grade. Outside Waldorf schools, I would recommend them for anyone 12 or older.

Celtic Folk and Fairy Tales

Collected by Joseph Jacobs



Add a review

This collection of Celtic tales is most noteworthy for its inclusion of many tales that are (at least in our day and age) "for adults only." Or, at least for those over 13 or so. For this, we owe him a great debt of gratitude, as these tales give glimpses into the life of the Celtic peoples, most often in relationship to the incoming Christian religion. This sort of glimpse into a more living history is rare and informs in ways that simple statements about the outcomes of battles, who ruled whom and when and so forth cannot do. I can't recommend reading these and other such tales to highly - they are treasures.

There are, though, several stories you may happily share with children: "Jack the Cunning Thief," "The Greek Princess and the Young Gardener," "The Russet Dog" and many others. For these tales, this book will find a place as stories at bedtime and in lessons - many are relatively unknown and quite wonderful, too.

For children ages 7 and up when wisely selected by an adult; for adolescents and adults on their own.


Great Myths of the World

Selected and Retold by Padraic Colum

Identical to Myths of the World, but in an older typesetting.


Add a review

As a tour of the world's great civilizations and the myths that give voice to their cultures, Padraic Colum's stands out as being not only sweeping in scope but beautiful in voice.As a tour of the world's great civilizations and the myths that give voice to their cultures, Padraic Colum's stands out as being not only sweeping in scope but beautiful in voice. Colum has selected what I will call 'keystone myths' from the ancient cultures that have informed our modern world:

Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Post-Christian Judaism, Greece, Rome, Graeco-Rome, the Celtic world, Finland (Kalevala), Iceland, India, China, Japan, Polynesia, Peru, Central America and Mexico, Zuni.

Colum also treats us to his wonderful essay, "The Significance of Mythology."

This one-volume edition carries within its covers more cultural heartbeats and beautiful vision than any other single book I can think of. Great Myths of the World is a book to enjoy throughout a lifetime. In Waldorf education, many of these myths are at the heart of 4th and 5th grade curricula.


Advent and Christmas Stories

A treasury of stories, verses and songs

Estelle Bryer and Janni Nicol



Add a review

This illustrated treasury of over fifty stories, verses, songs and puppet plays range from Advent and the Twelve Days of Christmas, to the flight into Egypt.  Estelle Bryer and Janni Nicol tell their favorite Christmas stories with an approach that is both simple and profound.  They draw on their lifelong experience as Waldorf kindergarten educators, puppeteers, and as mothers. These stories will delight young children, and invite parents and teachers to become more confident storytellers.

Estelle Bryer and Janni Nicol offer a treasury of Christmas stories that create a peaceful, enfolding space for our children, where wonder can do its healing work.  Each of these tales inspires us to take a deep, fulfilling breath of imagination and let Christmas radiance grow in our eyes, words and hearts.  They lead us beyond the ordinary laws of nature into the truth of miracles and wonders: we discover the holiness of rabbits and birds, turtles and trees as they guide the holy family.

Nancy Mellon, author of Storytelling with Children

Warm, wonderful, delightful!  Highly recommended!

Stories for the Festivals of the Year

Told for Children

Irene Johanson



Add a review

I had never heard of this little treasure of a book until a few weeks ago. In fact, I had never seen a copy until those I had requested sight unseen arrived at my door.

It's been a long time since I was in a community where simple yet deep and beautiful stories were told at festival times -- Irene Johanson has brought that all back to me and offers it to anyone who opens her book. Although these tales for the Christian festivals are indeed told for children, it is hard for me to imagine anyone who could listen to or read these stories without loving them.

Most of the stories are quite short, which is good not only because they can be told at bedtime, but because there is so much imaginative gold contained in each that these small portions allow the heart to wrap itself completely around the stories and lets the mind imagine each one to the fullest.


  • Easter, Ascension and Whitson - 9 different stories
  • Legends about St. John (the Baptist) - 10 stories
  • The Marriage of the King's Son (for Michaelmas) - 3 stories
  • The Animals' Joy at Christmas - 6 stories
  • Star Legends for Epiphany - 6 stories
  • Holy Week - 6 stories

Puck the Gnome

Jakob Streit



Add a review

Written by master storyteller, Jacob Streit, Puck the Gnome is one of the most delightful children·s stories to appear in quite awhile. Puck is a hard-working fellow whose one foot faces forward while the other faces backward (something many of us can relate to, I suspect). Streit's delightful tale illuminates the world of the hard-working gnomes through the courage and antics of the one who's literally coming and going at the same time. The moral insights, wisdom, humor, and true goodness found in Puck·s adventures will delight both children and adults. The illustrations by Georges Feldmann are truly magical.


Stories of Gnomes and Trolls

Jakob Streit

Illustrated by Susanne A. Mitchell



Add a review

From the northern realms of the Old World come these delightful stories of gnomes and trolls, told in Jakob Steit's characteristically heartwarming way. Children and adults will be captivated by the wee folk in all these tales - and by their courage and goodness. Especially wonderful in first grade - but cherished by all ages.