These are very old folk stories that explain the creation of our world or how we should behave.
One of the most popular fables is The Tortise and the Hare, one of Aesop's Fables. Aesop was a slave who lived during the time of the Greek Empire (a very long time ago) and recorded many of the popular folk tales of his lifetime. These stories usually end with a statement of the moral (or important message) of the story.
The Race, by Caroline Repchuk. This book uses beautiful illustrations and rhyming text to update the tale of the turtle and the rabbit.
How the Beetle Got Her Colors -This is a story from Brazil about a race between a rat and a beetle. This story provides an excellent compare and contrast opportunity with The Tortise and the Hare.
These are stories in which a character (usually a smaller and weaker character) has to use his or her brain to escape danger or get what he wants. The trickster character appears in stories all over the world, and all through time.
Trickster tales are unique because the traditional ending of the tale is uncertain. Sometimes the trickster "wins" and gets away with tricking other characters, but other times he is tricked in turn and becomes caught in his own traps or lies.
"A Story, A Story" -- This tale describes how stories entered the world.
"Anansi and Turtle," from the book, African American Folktales for Young Readers. In this story, Anansi first tricks Turtle, but then overestimates his own cunning.
"Change" from the book, Porch Lies. This is a story about a notorious trickster who might (or might not) be playing tricks.
Cultural Learning Through Folktales - A good place to learn more about Trickster tales
Folktale Machine (this game requires the Flash plugin) - A cute way to find a few more folk tales to read