11 Spanish Fairy Tales: Free Spanish Reading Materials
Searching for Spanish fairy tales? You came to the right place!
Fairy tales are short stories that include magical and mythical characters and settings. And they can be super useful for the language-learning process of children!
Here, you’ll find a list of fairy tales from all around the world in Spanish language, their synopsis, and the direct links to the stories so you can read them with your children. Let’s go!
Why are Fairy Tales Useful and Important?
According to Sally Goddard Blythe, psychologist and director of The Institute for Neuro-Psychological Psychology, fairy tales have a lot to teach to children about life. They’re important because they give form to deep fears and dreams about life through fantasy.
In fairy tales, it’s always clear that the setting isn’t the real world. Yet, the characters’ problems and feelings are themselves often very true to life. Fairy tales give children a way, through stories that are held at a safe distance, to understand the confusing and difficult emotions that they can’t yet articulate. Happily-ever-after tales assure us that, somehow, everything will turn out alright in the end.
Spanish fairy tales are also super useful to help kids learn Spanish by listening, reading, and speaking. If we’re transmitting them orally, the poetic rhythm and descriptive language of fairy tales makes them pleasant to listen to and easy to follow.
Reading them aloud improves your children’s language pronunciation and vocabulary, and they are designed to be spoken and heard by others. Spanish fairy tales may also improve students’ speaking skills by providing an interesting and novel topic for discussion, which could encourage more creative students to speak up.
For example, ask your students or children to describe their favorite Spanish fairy tales to their classmates or siblings in their own words, using their non-native language, and see if they can guess a title.
Fairy Tales vs Folktales and Fables
Before getting to the Spanish fairy tales, it’s important to differentiate them from folktales and fables.
Fairy tales are short stories mostly set in a magical land, with human characters as well as beings from other worlds, such as mermaids and witches. The heroes of these stories face improbable scenarios against villains or situations. Also, fairy tales are mostly written stories with credited authors, although many have been transmitted verbally from generation to generation. They commonly start with “once upon a time” and end with “happily ever after.”
On the other hand, folktales are mostly oral traditions without an author. Their characters are typically animals acting with human characteristics, and are rooted more in human scenarios (instead of magic and mythical lands).
Finally, fables are similar to folktales. They generally contain animals who act and speak like humans, and the setting isn’t necessarily in magical lands. Fables always teach the reader a valuable moral or lesson.
11 Splendid Spanish Fairy Tales
Check out the following Spanish fairy tales from all around the world. I’m sure your kids will love them!
1. El príncipe rana (The frog prince)
A little princess was playing with her golden ball near a pond and accidentally dropped it in the water. A frog appeared and while she was crying, she explained what had happened. Later, she promised the frog that she’d do anything if he’d get the golden ball for her, so he did.
The frog asked to eat with her, live in the castle, and be her friend. He then turned into a prince; he’d been under a spell from a witch and needed a princess to break it. They got married and lived happily ever after. See full Spanish fairy tale here.
2. Hansel y Gretel (Hansel and Gretel)
Hansel and Gretel are two siblings whose stepmother abandoned them in the woods. While they were there, they found a house made of sweets and ate some of them. It turned out that a witch who liked to eat children lived there.
She trapped them and fed them lots of food (because she wanted to eat fat children, of course). Later, they managed to escape. They found out that their stepmother wasn’t part of their family anymore and lived happily ever after with their father. See full Spanish fairy tale here.
3. La bella durmiente (Sleeping Beauty)
When princess Aurora was born, an evil fairy placed a spell on her that she would prick her finger when she was 16 and die. A good fairy made another spell so that she wouldn’t die, but sleep for 100 years until a prince kissed her.
When Aurora turned 16, she pricked her finger and fell asleep, so the good fairies decided to make the whole kingdom sleep for 100 years, too. A prince found Aurora and kissed her, waking her up. The whole kingdom awoke and everyone lived happily ever after. See full Spanish fairy tale here.
4. Blanca Nieves y los siete enanitos (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
The queen was the fairest in the land, until Snow White appeared. The jealous queen ordered a huntsman to kill Snow White. He spared her life and told her to run away.
In the forest, Snow White found a cabin that belonged to seven dwarfs and stayed there with them. Soon enough, the queen found her and, disguised, gave her a poisoned apple. Snow White fell into a deep sleep until a prince found her, kissed her, and woke her up. See full Spanish fairy tale here.
5. Jack y los frijoles mágicos (Jack and the Beanstalk)
Jack and his mother were poor. One day, Jack traded his cow for magic beans, and his mother threw them out the window. The next morning, a giant beanstalk had grown, so Jack climbed it. At the top, he found a giant with gold coins and a hen that laid golden eggs. He stole some but the giant caught him, so Jack cut the beanstalk. See full Spanish fairy tale here.
There was a girl who was given up by her parents on her tenth birthday, because they wanted to protect her from the evil powers of a witch. Every day, the witch asked Rapunzel to drop her long hair so that she could climb the tower with it. One day, a man managed to climb the tower and met Rapunzel. See full Spanish fairy tale here.
7. Cenicienta (Cinderella)
Cinderella lived with her evil stepmother and stepsisters. They didn’t let her go to the royal ball and ripped her dress. A fairy godmother appeared and helped Cinderella go to the ball using her magic powers.
She danced with the prince and they fell in love, but because she needed to get back home before midnight, she ran away and lost her shoe. The prince found it and searched for Cinderella all over the kingdom. See full Spanish fairy tale here.
8. Ricitos de oro y los tres osos (Goldilocks and the Three Bears)
Goldilocks saw a cabin in the woods and decided to enter. What she didn’t know was that the house belonged to three bears. She found three bowls of soup, and she ate it the one she liked best.
Then, she found three chairs, sat on the one she liked, and accidentally broke it. Finally, she went upstairs and found three beds, so she fell asleep on the most comfortable one. The bear family came home, found her, and got angry, so she ran away. See full Spanish fairy tale here.
9. Caperucita roja (Little Red Riding Hood)
Little Red Riding Hood’s mother sent her to her sick grandma’s house with a basket of goodies and told her not to talk to strangers. On her way, a wolf asked her where she was going and, disobeying her mother, she told him.
He went to grandma’s house, devoured her, and put on her clothes. When she arrived, Little Red Riding Hood was surprised at grandma’s eyes, ears and teeth, remarking on how big they were. The wolf pounced, eating her, too. Hearing her scream, a hunter ran in, saw the wolf, and rescued both the grandmother and the girl. See full Spanish fairy tale here.
10. Los elfos y el zapatero (The Elves and the Shoemaker)
One day, a poor shoemaker and his wife almost ran out of leather, so they decided to get some rest and work the next day. That night, the shoemaker said some prayers and hoped for the best.
In the morning, they found a pair of leather shoes already made. One night, they decided to hide in the store and saw two elves making the shoes. In gratitude, they made clothes for the elves. The elves were happy and blessed the couple with a lot of work, and they lived happily ever after with their shoe business. See full Spanish fairy tale here.
11. La bella y la bestia (Beauty and the Beast)
Belle was kind, lovely, and caring. She ended up living in an abandoned castle, which she later found out was owned by a beast.
Belle promised to stay with the beast. She lived in the castle for some time but then managed to go back home. She remembered her promise and went back to the castle, where she took care of the beast and fell in love with him. When he turned into a prince, Belle realized he was under the spell of a wizard, which could only be broken by true love. See full Spanish fairy tale here.
Learn with Spanish Fairy Tales!
Aren’t Spanish fairy tales awesome? Those you found here are probably the most famous ones around the world, so I’m sure both you and your kids will love to hear/read them in another language! Which of the Spanish fairy tales is your favorite one? Leave me a comment!
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