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Vietnamese Folktale and Vietnamese Fairy Tale Books

Vietnamese children and adults are very familiar with Vietnamese folktales and fairy tales. Themes from Vietnamese folktales and fairy tales show up in Vietnamese literature, Vietnamese dances, Vietnamese paintings and other cultural media - both ancient and modern. Some Vietnamese folktales are rather dark by recent American standards, while some, derived from Chinese folktales, will seem familiar. These reviews highlight books of Vietnamese folk and fairy tales for children and also for adults.

Vietnamese Folk Tale Books and Vietnamese Fairy Tale Books

Children of the Dragon: Selected Tales from Vietnam
by Sherry Garland
"This is the best book of Vietnamese folktales for children. Colorful paintings illustrate a collection of fables from Vietnam in this lovely hardcover book." (Allison Martin)
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The Dragon Prince : Stories and Legends from Vietnam
By Thich Nhat Hanh
In this entertaining and enlightening book of folk stories, the internationally known Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, retales popular Vietnamese legends with his own unique twist. Stories of the beginning of the Vietnamese people, Tet cakes, and other tales are populated with colorful details and fluid action. These folk tales have a more modern day touch: women play a bigger role, violence is downplayed, and even sad circumstances have a silver lining. A call to appreciate the natural world, respect others, and be true to values more important than wealth add an endearing wisdom. This collection of Vietnamese folk tales can be enjoyed by pre-teens and adults, and will linger in your mind long after you finish reading the book. (Allison Martin)
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To Swim in Our Own Pond : A Book of Vietnamese Proverbs
By Ngoc-Dung Tran  and Xuan-Quang Dang 
"A Vietnamese proverb book with incredible pictures." (Nancy Hope-Landon)
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Two Cakes Fit for a King: Folktales from Vietnam
This collection of Vietnamese folktales is suitable for older children or adults.
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A Taste of Earth : And Other Legends of Vietnam
by Nguyen Dong
A collection of twelve traditional Vietnamese folktales.
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Jauanah, A Hmong Cinderella
By Jewell Reinhart Coburn
"The illustrations are wonderfully evocative of Hmong culture and convey a sense of pride and appreciation that is will be welcome to adoptive parents. The Hmong are one of the subsets of peoples in Vietnam." (Allison Martin)
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The Crystal Heart: A Vietnamese Legend
by Aaron Shepard
A lovely Vietnamese storybook.
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Toad is the Uncle of Heaven
by Jeanne M. Lee.
A popular Vietnamese legend for young children, about the origin of croaking noises of toads.
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Pearl in the Rice - Ancient Vietnamese Fables
by Leo Booth and Kien Lam
From the publisher: Pearl in the Rice brings the essential transforming power of the Vietnamese fable to life. These beautiful stories all have a sacred theme and speak to us in spiritual ways. Through these stories, we realize the Pearl, or wisdom, is always waiting to be revealed in the everyday, ordinary events of life, i.e., the Rice.
Father Leo Booth is a former Episcopal Priest and an international speaker on alcohol and drug abuse on television shows as Oprah, Sally Jessy Raphael, Geraldo, and Good Morning America. Kien Lam is an American who was born to a Chinese father and a Vietnamese mother.
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A Time of Golden Dragons
by Song Nan Zhang, Hao Yu Zhang
This is a lovely illustrated hardcover providing an overview of the dragon in Chinese culture. I include it here because it is a unique look at a subject that is similar in Vietnam, which was deeply influeced by Chinese culture. A Time of Golden Dragons tells the story of the Chinese dragon's history and legends, its role in celebrations, and its image as a zodiac sign. Dragons are miraculous creatures, often helpful, which are said to embody parts of many animals - deer, camel, serpent, frog, fish, tiger, eagle and ox. This book explains celebrations such as the Dragon Boat race, the symbolism of being born in the sign of the dragon, and representations of dragons in ancient and modern times. This is a colorful and educational book for anyone who is fascinated by Asian dragons.
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The Golden Slipper: A Vietnamese Legend
by Darrell Lum
A Vietnamese version of Cinderella.
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Tam's Slipper : A Story from Vietnam
by Janet Pallazo-Craig.
A Vietnamese version of Cinderella.
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