Many folklore traditions around the world reference snow queens, winter witches, and other powerful female figures who appear when the nights grow long and the weather cold. These winter witches buck tradition by relying on their own choices and magical powers, asserting agency, meting out good & bad, punishments & mercy:
It’s no surprise that we might have a penchant for folklore here at Breathing Books…after all, the Reckless series, and so many of Cornelia’s magical stories, draw from folk and fairytales! While many of us are most familiar with Anglo-centric and European folklore, all around the world there are rich oral traditions, magical stories, and centuries of lore told by firesides. Through the Water Curtain (Pushkin Press), an anthology of global folktales curated by Cornelia Funke, explores folklore from oral traditions in Japan, Siberia, Germany, and beyond.
Here are just a few folktales from around the world that we’ve grown to love: