The Greatest "Fairy tales" Books of All Time

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 280 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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Fairy tales

Fairy tales are a genre of literature that typically feature magical and fantastical elements, often with a moral lesson or message. These stories often involve mythical creatures, such as fairies, witches, and dragons, and are often set in a far-off land or a magical kingdom. Fairy tales are often aimed at children, but can also be enjoyed by adults, and have been passed down through generations as a way of teaching important values and lessons. Common themes in fairy tales include good versus evil, the power of love, and the importance of bravery and perseverance.

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  1. 1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

    This novel follows the story of a young girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantastical world full of peculiar creatures and bizarre experiences. As she navigates through this strange land, she encounters a series of nonsensical events, including a tea party with a Mad Hatter, a pool of tears, and a trial over stolen tarts. The book is renowned for its playful use of language, logic, and its exploration of the boundaries of reality.

  2. 2. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    A young prince from a tiny asteroid embarks on a journey across the universe, visiting various planets and meeting their strange inhabitants. Along the way, he learns about the follies and absurdities of the adult world, the nature of friendship, and the importance of retaining a childlike wonder and curiosity. His journey eventually leads him to Earth, where he befriends a fox and learns about love and loss before finally returning to his asteroid.

  3. 3. One Thousand and One Nights by Unknown

    This is a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales compiled during the Islamic Golden Age. The stories are told by a young woman, who must weave a new tale each night for her husband, a king, to delay her execution. The tales are filled with magic, adventure, love, and betrayal, and include well-known stories such as "Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp", "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", and "The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor".

  4. 4. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

    Four siblings are evacuated from London during World War II and sent to live with an old professor in the countryside. In his house, they discover a magical wardrobe that serves as a portal to the land of Narnia, a world filled with mythical creatures and ruled by an evil White Witch. The children are soon caught up in a struggle to free Narnia from the witch's eternal winter, aided by the majestic lion Aslan. The story combines elements of fantasy, adventure, and Christian allegory.

  5. 5. Fairy Tales and Stories by Hans Christian Andersen

    This collection of stories offers a mix of enchanting fairy tales and narratives, many of which have become universally recognized classics. The stories range from tales of whimsical creatures and magical realms to poignant narratives that explore themes of love, sacrifice, and the human condition. Some tales are light-hearted and humorous, while others are profound and thought-provoking, demonstrating the breadth and depth of the author's storytelling abilities.

  6. 6. Household Tales by Brothers Grimm

    "Household Tales" is a collection of German fairy tales that includes popular stories such as "Cinderella", "Little Red Riding Hood", "Hansel and Gretel", and "Snow White". These narratives, often featuring magical elements and moral lessons, have been influential in shaping Western popular culture. The tales range from the whimsical and humorous to the dark and cautionary, reflecting a wide array of human experiences and emotions.

  7. 7. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

    A young girl from Kansas is swept away by a tornado to a fantastical land called Oz. To return home, she must find the mysterious Wizard in the Emerald City, and on her journey, she befriends a Scarecrow in need of a brain, a Tin Woodman longing for a heart, and a Cowardly Lion seeking courage. They all hope the Wizard can grant their wishes, but they must first overcome the Wicked Witch of the West who poses a great danger to them.

  8. 8. Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

    This sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland sees the young protagonist, Alice, embarking on another whimsical journey after stepping through a looking glass. In this mirror-image world, Alice encounters talking flowers, living chess pieces, and a variety of eccentric characters, including Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Red Queen, and Humpty Dumpty. The narrative is structured around a game of chess, with Alice striving to become a queen. The book is filled with clever wordplay, riddles, and fantastical elements, reflecting the author's unique take on logic and language.

  9. 9. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

    This classic children's novel is about a boy named Peter Pan who never grows up and lives in a magical place called Neverland. Peter Pan, along with his fairy sidekick Tinker Bell, invites the Darling children - Wendy, John, and Michael - to Neverland where they encounter pirates, mermaids, and other fantastic adventures. The story explores themes of innocence, friendship, bravery, and the bittersweet nature of growing up.

  10. 10. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

    This book is an illustrated edition of a classic tale of true love and high adventure. It tells the story of a beautiful princess and her one true love. After he is reportedly killed, she agrees to marry a wicked prince instead, only to be kidnapped and face numerous dangers. The story is filled with humor, romance, and swashbuckling action, all brought to life by vivid illustrations.

  11. 11. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

    This children's classic tells the story of a mischievous young rabbit who disobeys his mother's warning and ventures into Mr. McGregor's garden. After indulging in the garden's bountiful offerings, the young rabbit finds himself chased by Mr. McGregor, narrowly escaping capture. He eventually makes his way back home to his mother, who scolds him for his disobedience and sends him to bed without supper.

  12. 12. The Bloody Chamber And Other Stories by Angela Carter

    "The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories" is a collection of short stories that reimagines and deconstructs traditional fairy tales. The narratives are filled with strong female characters, sexual exploration, and violent and gothic themes. Each story presents a unique spin on classic tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast, and Bluebeard, challenging the typical gender roles and expectations found in the original stories.

  13. 13. The Complete Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault by Charles Perrault

    This book is a comprehensive collection of classic fairy tales, featuring enchanting stories that have been passed down through generations. It includes beloved tales such as "Cinderella", "Sleeping Beauty", "Little Red Riding Hood", "Puss in Boots", and "Bluebeard", among others. Each story is rich in fantasy, moral lessons, and iconic characters, making it a timeless treasure for both children and adults.

  14. 14. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

    The book is a fantastical children's novel that explores the importance of storytelling. It follows the journey of a young boy named Haroun who sets out on a magical adventure to restore his father's ability to tell stories. Along the way, he encounters a vast array of colorful characters and strange lands, including a Sea of Stories. The narrative addresses themes of censorship, the power of storytelling, and the struggle between light and darkness.

  15. 15. Peter And Wendy by J. M. Barrie

    "Peter And Wendy" by JM Barrie is a beloved children's classic that tells the enchanting story of a young girl named Wendy Darling who, along with her two brothers, embarks on a magical adventure to the whimsical world of Neverland. There, they encounter the mischievous and eternal boy, Peter Pan, and his fairy companion, Tinker Bell. Together, they face thrilling escapades, battles with the villainous Captain Hook, and discover the importance of imagination, friendship, and the power of never growing up.

  16. 16. The Adventures Of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

    "The Adventures of Pinocchio" is a classic children's novel that follows the mischievous adventures of a wooden puppet named Pinocchio. As he strives to become a real boy, Pinocchio encounters a series of trials and temptations, learning valuable life lessons along the way. From encounters with talking animals to being swallowed by a giant fish, Pinocchio's journey is filled with humor, excitement, and moral dilemmas. With themes of honesty, bravery, and the consequences of one's actions, this timeless tale captivates readers of all ages.

  17. 17. The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter by Unknown

    "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter" is a classic piece of Japanese literature that follows the story of a bamboo cutter who finds a tiny girl inside a glowing bamboo stalk. The girl grows into a beautiful and desirable woman, attracting numerous suitors including the emperor. However, she reveals that she is not from Earth, but from the moon and is eventually taken back, leaving the bamboo cutter and her suitors heartbroken. The tale is a poignant exploration of love, loss, and the transient nature of beauty.

  18. 18. Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino

    This book is a comprehensive collection of 200 traditional Italian folktales, meticulously gathered from different regions of Italy. The stories range from humor to horror, from fairy tales to moral lessons, from whimsical to deeply symbolic, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Italy. These tales, translated and retold, provide a fascinating insight into the folklore, traditions, and beliefs of Italian people.

  19. 19. The Adventures Of Cipollino by Gianni Rodari

    "The Adventures of Cipollino" is a delightful children's book filled with whimsical characters and enchanting adventures. Set in a world of fruits and vegetables, the story follows the brave and mischievous Cipollino, a little onion, as he leads a rebellion against the tyrannical Prince Lemon and his oppressive regime. With a blend of humor, fantasy, and social commentary, this captivating tale teaches valuable lessons about justice, friendship, and the power of standing up for what is right.

  20. 20. The 13 Clocks by James Thurber

    The book tells the story of a cold-hearted Duke who has frozen time, stopping the 13 clocks in his castle, and his beautiful niece, the Princess Saralinda. The Duke sets impossible tasks to her suitors, turning them into stone when they fail. However, a mysterious prince, disguised as a minstrel and guided by a magical figure known as the Golux, arrives at the castle, determined to complete the tasks, thaw the clocks, and win the Princess's hand.

  21. 21. The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby by Charles Kingsley

    "The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby" is a children's novel that tells the story of a young chimney sweep named Tom who falls into a river and transforms into a 'water-baby'. He embarks on a series of underwater adventures, meeting various creatures and learning important moral lessons. The book uses fantasy and satire to explore themes of child labor, social reform, and the natural sciences.

  22. 22. My Book House by Olive Beaupré Miller

    "My Book House" is a comprehensive collection of literature for children, designed to progress with the reader, starting from nursery rhymes in the first volume to classic literature and poetry in the final volumes. The series, compiled over a span of 50 years, aims to cultivate imagination, foster a love for reading, and encourage moral character in children. It includes stories, poems, and folktales from various cultures around the world, carefully selected and edited to be age-appropriate and engaging.

  23. 23. Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

    This novel tells the story of a young princess who is bored with her life and decides to go live with dragons instead of marrying a prince as expected. She becomes the servant of a dragon and learns about magic, dealing with wizards, and how to outsmart those who underestimate her. The book is a humorous and empowering twist on traditional fairy tale tropes, emphasizing the importance of intelligence and independence over beauty and obedience.

  24. 24. Blue Bird by Maurice Maeterlinck

    This classic play tells the story of two children, Mytyl and Tyltyl, who embark on a magical journey in search of the Blue Bird of Happiness. Guided by the Fairy Bérylune, they explore various realms – the Land of Memory, the Palace of Night, the Kingdom of the Future, and more – encountering symbolic figures like the Cat, the Dog, Light, and the Souls of Bread. Throughout their quest, they learn profound lessons about happiness, the nature of good and evil, and the value of appreciating the simple joys of their own lives. The narrative is a rich tapestry of fantasy, philosophy, and a quest for meaning, emphasizing the idea that true happiness is often found closest to home.

  25. 25. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

    This children's book tells the story of a clever mouse who uses his wits to avoid being eaten by various predators in the woods. The mouse invents a monster, the Gruffalo, to scare away a fox, an owl, and a snake, only to discover that the creature actually exists. Using his quick thinking, the mouse manages to convince the Gruffalo that he is the most feared creature in the forest, thus avoiding becoming the Gruffalo's meal.

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!


If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.