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Fable, Folk and Fairy Tales and Modern Fantasy - Central Indiana  

Fable, Folk and Fairy Tales and Modern Fantasy in the Ivy Tech Learning Resource Center. This guide will connect you with the folktales, fairy tales, variants, and fractured versions of traditional tales from around the world.
Last Updated: Oct 21, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Folklore and Mythology

Folklore and Mythology

  • American Folklore
    Hey there folks! Welcome to American Folklore. This folklore site contains retellings of folktales, myths, legends, fairy tales, superstitions, weatherlore, and ghost stories from all over the Americas. Learn answers to those pesky folklore questions that keep you up at night, such as: "Why is a black cat unlucky?" and "Who the heck is Paul Bunyan?" So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a comfy chair, and stay awhile. -S.E. Schlosser
  • Fairy Tale Lobby ~ a dialogue for storytellers and story lovers
  • World Stories
    World Stories is a growing collection of stories from around the world. The collection includes retold traditional tales and new short stories in the languages most spoken by UK children.
  • Folklore and Mythology
    By far one of the most comprehensive sites on folklore and mythology from around the world. The tales are numerous and grouped alphabetically by genre. There is also another link to Germanic folklore
  • Karen Chace - Catch the Story Bug!
    Dedicated to Storytelling: The ancient art of Oral Tradition
  • 8 Reasons Why Fairy Tales are Essential to Childhood
    “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
    ― Albert Einstein


Definition of fable - A short allegorical narrative making a moral point, traditionally by means of animal characters who speak and act like human beings.
Examples: Aesop's Fables, which is located in the children's section of the library, PZ 8.2 A254
Definition of folktale - A traditional narrative, usually anonymous, handed down orally - e.g., fables,fairy tales, legends, etc.

tall tale is a special kind of hero story because the heroes of tall tales are 'larger than life'. An exaggerated, unreliable story: “My uncle claims that he was raised in a drainage ditch, but it's just another of his tall tales.” Examples:  Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill and many others located in the children's section of the library, PZ8.1 

Fairy tale: One definition is a children's story about magical and imaginary beings and lands.   
How are Fairy Tales different from Folk Tales? 
Fairy tales are a subgenre of folk tales and almost always involve some element of magic and good triumphing over evil.   A good rule of thumb: if there's a fairy in the story, it's a fairy tale.


Additional Resources


Modern Fantasy

  • Modern Fantasy
    •  Definitions:  
      • Modern fantasy is rooted in traditional literature, but has an identifiable author. Modern fantasy also includes modern fairy tales like those from Hans Christian Andersen. In general, modern fantasy stories involve magic, the "quest," and/or "good versus evil."  Fantasy creates an alternative universe, which operates on laws different than our own. Sub-genres of fantasy include animal fantasy, quest fantasy, machine fantasy, toy and doll fantasy, time fantasy, comic fantasy, high fantasy, and other world fantasy. High fantasy are complex stories characterized by recurring themes and often take place in created or imaginary worlds.
      • Modern Fantasy

        Modern fantasy is a genre of literature that is closely related to traditional literature. The biggest difference is the fact that the books that fall into this genre are not originally told orally. This works are written down by known authors who can be identified, unlike traditional literature where the original author is unknown. While this is the biggest difference, readers of this genre will notice that there are still many similarities between the two. For example, much like traditional literature, modern fantasy sometimes uses talking animals as characters. In addition to this, readers will still encounter magical realms or spells and mythological figures, like gods and goddesses. In essence, modern fantasy borrows from the tales of old, sometimes uses ancient mythologies and folktales to create a new and original tale that may be set in the present or in the past, depending upon the preferences of the author.
        Aside from magic, mystical realms, and monsters, this genre is also most remembered because of its "mythological" structures and the monomyth of the hero's journey. As Joseph Campbell pointed out in his Hero with a Thousand Faces, there are often specific archetypes (or symbols/motifs) that arise in this type of literature. In addition to this, the hero in these works of fiction are often called to experience some form of quest where he/she needs to not only reach a goal (or boon), but also develops and learns about him/herself as a character.
        The final point to be made about modern fantasy is the role that science fiction plays in the genre. Science fiction is often grouped with fantasy even though it explores scientific concepts in our world versus magical concepts in an imaginary world. To be clear, however, the big difference between the two is that science fiction explores scientific concepts that are in our real or pseudo-scientific based on the technology we have in the world today. It then attempts to illustrate for readers the potential (or potential horrors) of that technology based on the different ways it might be used. 
    • Authors to explore:  Lloyd Alexander, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Orson Scott Card, Lewis Carroll, John Christopher, Susan Cooper, Roald Dahl, Peter Dickinson, Cornelia Funke, Alan Garner, Ursula Le Guin,  Monica Hughes, Madeleine L'Engle, C.S. Lewis, Margaret Mahy, Anne McCaffrey, Robin McKinley, Kenneth Oppel, Tamora Pierce, Philip Pullman, J.K. Rowling, Jon Scieszka, Richard Scrimger, William Sleator, Cora Taylor, J.R.R. Tolken
    • Titles to explore: "Tuck Everlasting" by Natalie Babbitt, "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White, "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams, "Winnie the Pooh" by A.A. Milne, "The Giver" by Lois Lowry, "Ella Enchanted" by Gail Carson Levine 
    • Library Catalogue subject headings:  fantasy, magic fiction, science fiction
Cover Art
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman; Dave McKean (Illustrator)
Call Number: FIC GAI 2008
ISBN: 0060530928
Publication Date: 2008-09-30
In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are being such as ghouls that aren't really one thing or the other. The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal and is a Hugo Award Winner for Best Novel. Supports the Common Core State Standards

Cover Art
The Lost Hero - Rick Riordan
Call Number: CHP RIO 2010
ISBN: 142311339X
Publication Date: 2010-10-12
Jason has a problem. He doesn't remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently she's his girlfriend Piper, his best friend is a kid named Leo, and they're all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for "bad kids." What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea-except that everything seems very wrong. Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he's in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn't recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on? Leo has a way with tools. His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What's troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper's gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all-including Leo-related to a god. Rick Riordan, the best-selling author of the Percy Jackson series, pumps up the action and suspense in The Lost Hero, the first book in The Heroes of Olympus series. Fans of demi-gods, prophesies, and quests will be left breathless--and panting for Book Two.

Cover Art
The Adoration of Jenna Fox - Mary E. Pearson
Call Number: CHP PEA 2008
ISBN: 0805076689
Publication Date: 2008-04-29
Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?This fascinating novel represents a stunning new direction for acclaimed author Mary Pearson. Set in a near future America, it takes readers on an unforgettable journey through questions of bio-medical ethics and the nature of humanity. Mary Pearson's vividly drawn characters and masterful writing soar to a new level of sophistication.   The Adoration of Jenna Fox is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Cover Art
The One and Only Ivan - Katherine Applegate; Patricia Castelao (Illustrator)
Call Number: CHP APP 2011
ISBN: 0061992259
Publication Date: 2012-01-17
Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he's seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line. Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home--and his own art--through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it's up to Ivan to make it a change for the better. Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan's unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

Cover Art
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Catherynne M. Valente; Ana Juan (Illustrator)
Call Number: CHP VAL 2011
ISBN: 0312649614
Publication Date: 2011-05-10
"One of the most extraordinary works of fantasy, for adults or children, published so far this century."-Time magazine, on the Fairyland seriesTwelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn't . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.   With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when author Catherynne M. Valente first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.   The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Fiction title for 2011.


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