Wonderland in a Nutshell: Easy Short Fairy Tales for English Learners

Elly KimRevisado porSana Liashuk / más sobre Proceso editorial7 min
Creado: Jul 20, 2023Última actualización: Feb 12, 2024
Easy Short Fairy Tales

When we were little kids, we all liked to listen and read easy short fairy tales. They’d been immersing us in fantastic enchanting worlds, surrounding us with magic and wizardry. But the older we got, the lesser became our interest in such stories. Today, we are about to change that! In this article, we will try to revive your childhood memories and return you to the charming world of fairy tales. 

The Magic of Learning English via Easy Fairy Tales

While many people believe that fairy tales are only for kids, we can’t agree with this statement. These stories can sometimes have a plot so engaging that it captivates even adult readers, yet they can also benefit your language learning! And it doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about examples of fairy tales written by students or professional authors – they all have tons of advantages. 

  • Tales’ enchanting narratives, whimsical characters, and fantastical events can engage adults and create a sense of wonder, making the learning process enjoyable and motivating.
  • The stories typically use concise sentences, clear vocabulary, and repetitive patterns, allowing learners to grasp the meaning more easily. This simplicity enables one to focus on understanding the story rather than getting lost in complex language constructions.
  • By immersing themselves in a fairy tale story in English, learners encounter new vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, and grammatical structures within a meaningful context. It facilitates comprehension and retention as learners can infer word meanings from the overall narrative, character interactions, and plot developments.
  • Analyzing and interpreting fairy tales allows learners to develop their reading comprehension abilities, inference skills, and the capacity to draw connections between different text parts. These skills are transferable to other English texts, improving overall language proficiency.
  • When people read quick fairy tales in English, they gain exposure to cultural references, customs, and values inherent in different traditions and societies. It develops competency alongside language skills, fostering a deeper understanding of other cultures.

Overall, we can easily call fairy tales a gateway to literature. Once learners become more comfortable reading any fairy tale stories in written English, they can gradually progress to more complex texts, including novels, short fiction, and poetry. Fairy tales provide a foundation for understanding narrative structures, literary devices, and different genres, empowering learners to explore a broader range of literature.

Best Fairy Tale Stories in English

Thousands of fairy tales are available from different authors and countries. Some of them are very famous worldwide, whereas others are not. Today, we won’t discuss too familiar stories. Instead, we’ll share with you our favorite fairy tales in English written for both kids and adults. All of them are quite short – you can read within a day. But they also contain a lot of morals, exciting plots, and adorable characters.

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

This fairy tale beginning takes us to a cozy Christmas morning in a regular house, where the little Boy finds a small velveteen rabbit in his stocking. The Boy enjoys his gift, but with more presents arriving, he forgets about it for some time. 

Meanwhile, the stuffed rabbit interacts with other toys in the nursery, including the wise Skin Horse, which tells the rabbit about the transformative power of love. From now on, the rabbit’s primary goal is to become real. And eventually, his wish is granted.

Uncle Remus Tales by Joel Chandler Harris

Okay, and now we are cheating a little because it is not one fairy tale story in English but a compilation of over a hundred different stories. Yet, we’ve still decided to add them to this list because each one deserves your attention. It is a collection of short tales that revolve around the character of Uncle Remus, an elderly African American man. 

All stories are set in the Southern United States and feature animals – Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear. Through these animals, Uncle Remus imparts moral lessons and wisdom to the young boy, teaching him about the consequences of greed, pride, and other vices. The tales are rich in dialect and provide insights into the African American oral storytelling tradition.

How the Leopard Got His Spots by Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling is known for his love of nature and for writing fantastic stories. And this fairy tale combines both features! It is set in a time when animals had plain coats, making them easy to spot in the wilderness. The main characters in this story are the leopard and the Ethiopian.

Both of them are hiding from their prey; to succeed, the Ethiopian and leopard enter into a pact with the Ethiopian to paint spots on the leopard’s skin using berries from the forest. As a result, the leopard acquires spots that match his surroundings, enabling him to blend in with trees and bushes.

The Miller, His Son, and the Ass by Aesop 

This famous fable tells the story of a Miller and his son who set out on a journey with their donkey (and yes, this animal is also called an Ass). As they travel, they encounter various people who pass judgment on their actions.

In an attempt to please everyone, characters continuously adjust their behavior, leading to comical and absurd situations. Ultimately, they realize that trying to please everyone is impossible and, sadly, end up with a disappointing final of their journey.

The Travelling Companion by Hans Christian Andersen

The last story in our list of easy fairy tales is a bit more complicated than the previous ones. It is written by famous writer Hans Christian Andersen, known for his fairy tales for kids and adults. In this story, you meet a man named Poor John. After his father’s death, John leaves his home and ventures into the unknown to carve his destiny.

Poor John meets a man with magical powers during his wanders. Together, they continue their journey. At some point, they face a series of unjust executions taking place in the realms they cross. Poor John and his companion eventually take action to end these grievous acts and prevent further injustice.


Discuss Simple Fairy Tales with Promova Conversation Club

While we believe in the power of fairy tales for language learning purposes, we also know that sometimes it’s really hard to find people with the same interests. That is why we want to invite you to Promova’s free Conversation Club – the best place to meet new friends, discuss your favorite stories, and enhance your speaking and conversation skills at the same time. All you need to do is choose the discussion topic, wait for your invitation, and enjoy!

But, of course, we won’t stop there. Promova is your ultimate one-stop solution for mastering English. With our team of professional tutors, we offer both personal and group lessons tailored specifically to your needs. And if you want to take a glance first, you can access a free trial lesson before making your final decision.

In addition to that, we provide a convenient Promova app – the perfect option for those who prefer studying on the go. With our application, you approach tons of interactive lessons, useful exercises, and much more. As you can see, there is a lot to choose from. And the best part is that you are the one to find the best solution for yourself. 


Albert Einstein once said: “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.” And how can we disagree with one of the smartest people? Today, you’ve learned that fairy tales and short stories can be not only great for teaching children morals. They can also benefit other areas of life, including even language learning. We hope you’ll read at least a few stories we recommended. But before you do, tell us about your favorite fairy tale in the comments!


Are fairy tales only suitable for children?

Fairy tales are not just for children; people of all ages may enjoy them. While they often contain elements that appeal to younger audiences, such as magical creatures and whimsical settings, fairy tales frequently convey universal themes and moral lessons that resonate with readers of any age.

What other skills besides reading can be enhanced with fairy tales?

There are so many! For example, fairy tales spark imagination and encourage creative thinking. They also often present moral dilemmas, complex situations, and ambiguous choices, prompting readers to analyze and make judgments about actions, consequences, and lessons conveyed.

Are there any movie adaptations of famous fairy tales suitable for language learning?

You bet! Some of the most popular adaptations are numerous Disney fairy tale movies and animated pictures, including “Cinderella,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,” and the freshly released movie “The Little Mermaid.”

What are the main features of fairy tales that distinguish them from novels and short stories?

While technically fairy tales are indeed short stories, they have a few key features that distinguish them from other novels. First, most fairy tales incorporate magical or supernatural elements, such as talking animals, enchanted objects, and mystical creatures. Also, fairy tales convey moral lessons or teach virtues through symbolic characters and events. Finally, they generally follow a simplified narrative structure, often with a clear conflict, challenges, and resolution.


Archard Aug 29th, 2023
Cool! I'm impressed by how these easy short fairy tales cater to language learners.