Jataka tales in English

The Jataka Tales are ancient stories retold even today, even though they were originally rooted in Buddhist traditions. In present times, the Jataka tales are published in several languages including English, so that young readers can savour the gems of wisdom present in these stories. 

The Jataka tales are from 300 B.C to 400 B.C. These tales are an integral part of Buddhist literature. About 547 stories in Jataka tales are about Gautam Buddha’s previous reincarnations. The stories are set in and around Benares. These folk tales have Buddhist philosophy and morals.

In the stories, various characters get into some troublesome situations. The incarnation of Buddha solves the problem. Buddhist temples have relics of carvings and sculptures depicting the Jataka tales. These folktales have moral lessons that help build character in kids.

jataka tales in english for kids

Jataka tales books for kids in English – favourite short moral folktales

Why do I think kids must-read Jataka tales? Well, in current times both parents work full-time. In most cases, parents find little time to impart spiritual, moral, and character-building stories to children. Moreover, grandparents may not be close by to tell them stories.

So, buying storybooks of Jataka tales in English will help your child read and learn these character-building messages. However, just buying books is not enough, you need to read aloud these stories at bedtime or other convenient times.

If you do not have time to read out stories or discuss them with your child, then you could arrange for someone to read them to your child and discuss the stories fruitfully. Else, if you have a home tutor or nanny visiting your home, you could ask them to read aloud Jataka tales from the books and discuss them in English. 

Read more about the origin of Jataka Tales.

If your child spends time at a daycare centre, then you could ask the caretaker to have a storytime session and help your child read these stories. This way, there will be a perceivable improvement in spoken English, expressing ideas and learning moral lessons.

More Stories from the Jatakas: 5 in 1 (Amar Chitra Katha) Hardcover

This hardcover edition by Amar Chitra Katha is great for reading Jataka Tales. Readers of 9 to 14 years can read this 160-page book. Needless to say, the stories are timeless. Beautiful Illustrations and the cloud-shaped dialogue boxes in ACK books are familiar to most parents.

Having read them in our childhood, we can recall how we spent hours reading these tales. Kids can learn new words and expand their vocabulary by reading this book. Discussing stories with friends and young siblings can be a fun activity. Stories include,

  • Giant and Dwarf,
  • Mouse Merchant,
  • Magic Chant,
  • Priceless Gem,
  • Tales of Miser.

More Tales from the Jatakas: 3 in 1 (Amar Chitra Katha) Paperback

The reading level for this 96-page book is 9 to 14 years. The stories are amazing and the illustrations are captivating. Many kids take to sketching, learning them from illustrations of Amar Chitra Katha. Jataka tales are great folktales and add moral value to the kids reading activity. ACK needs no introduction. They are very popular with the generation of young readers. Many more stories from the Jatakas are present in this book. 

151 Jataka Tales Paperback

This 80-page book was published by Manoj Publication in 2020. Written by Sawan and illustrated by Sahil Gupta. The book has 151 fabulous selected short stories from the Jatakas. The language is easy to read and new independent readers will enjoy reading this book.

The Illustrated Jataka Tales: Classic Tales from India Hardcover

This 80-page book is for ages 7 to 12 years. Published by Wonder House Books in 2019, the book is beautifully illustrated. The short stories are most absorbing. The language is simple to understand. The hardbound book will last for many years.


Jataka tales captivate attention and weave their magic on children of all ages. Each story offers a message of kind, wise and ethical principles. 

Reading the Jataka tales in English helps improve children’s language fluency, improves comprehension and develops interest in reading.

Reading these Jataka tales helps readers learn new words to broaden their reading experience and use them in writing, understanding values and wisdom to live a good life. 

The diverse animal characters, like courageous lions or clever monkeys, with human-like qualities talk of compassion, selflessness and humility. 

Young readers find suspense, and humour and learn to contemplate their learnings. Reading these stories is a light-hearted and amusing experience, at the same time, these stories impart profound wisdom.

Also read related articles:

Tenali Raman Stories

Panchatantra Stories in English

Vikram Vetal Books and Stories

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