Happily Ever After: 21 Multicultural Fairy Tales To Delight Every
Child and Teen

by Charnaie Gordon

As a kid, I used to love reading fairy tales. Fairy tales are unlike any other kind of story. They’re magical, enchanting tales where anything is possible, and they almost always end with the line “…and they lived happily ever after.” We all know life doesn’t always have a happy ending, but I found something uplifting in the optimism of these stories.

Perhaps one of the best things about reading fairy tales today is that there are so many multicultural versions for children and adults to enjoy. Gone are the days when all the main characters looked virtually the same. Now children from all over the world can glimpse different cultures through these stories and see themselves reflected as well.

Reading fairy tales with a multicultural twist also allows parents and teachers to have richer conversations with children. You can talk about the similarities and differences between the stories as well as the different cultural references, main characters, settings, and plot. Below are 21 fairy tale retellings to explore with little readers in addition to the classics.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2020 and updated in 2024.