Fairy tales have been used for centuries to build up children’s vocabulary and teach French verb tenses, pronouns, linking words…
Here is my own lively rendition of these eight very famous French tales. I tell them here using relatively simple French, in a very lively way, the same way I told them to my young daughter, the same way my mother told them to me.
Each tale comes with a French transcript and English translation.
Fairy Tales are a fun and enticing way to practice French for children and adults alike!
1. “Le Petit Chaperon Rouge”
A little girl is on her way to her grandma’s house when she has an unfortunate encounter. It’s the big bad wolf. What will happen to her?
2. “Le Chat Botté”
A cat with boots, a king, a fake Marquess, an ogre, and of course, a beautiful princess…
3. “Les Fées”
French fairies can be tricky: the one featured in this tale resorts to disguise to test the kindness of heart of two sisters. The truly nice one will be rewarded with pearls and flowers for each word she speaks, the unkind with snakes and toads.
4. “Peau d’Âne”
After the death of his beloved wife, a king gets desperate and falls in love with his daughter. She has to run away and disguise herself under a hideous donkey skin. What will happen to the unfortunate and innocent princess? And what about the magic chest, the splendid dresses, and the prince charming?
5. “La Belle au Bois Dormant”
A young and beautiful princess is forever asleep in a hidden castle, deep in the middle of a dense forest. She is waiting for her prince, and a true love kiss that will break the spell and free her from her enchanted slumber.
6. “Les 3 Petits Cochons”
Three little piglets leave their mother’s house to go live their lives. One builds a straw hut, the second a twig cabin, the third a house made of stone. What will become of them when night falls and the Big Bad Wolf shows up at their doorstep? This tale is cute and short and will be very easy to understand.
7. “Le Petit Poucet”
It was a time of deep famine, and this poor woodcutter’s family was starving. The parents schemed to lose their 7 children in the depths of the forest. Their plan would have surely succeeded if it were not for the youngest child, a frail and silent boy, so little that is was named ‘Tom Thumb’. Will his wit suffice to save his family?
8. “Riquet A La Houppe”
An ugly but very smart man, 2 twin princesses, and a fairy. And the strangest hairdo in the fairytale world…
When you are done studying this easier version of the French fairy tales, you may want to challenge yourself with my recording of the original 17th-century version of the tales, included in my Easy French Poetry audiobook.