Folklore generally refers to stories and traditional beliefs spread informally, usually by word of mouth. The term was first coined by British antiquarian William J. Thoms in 1846, replacing phrases such as "the lore of the people" and "proverbs of the olden times."
Author and storyteller Aaron Shepard specializes in "retelling folktales and other traditional literature from around the world." Each of his tales is annotated with genre, country of origin, reader age range, and word count. Each also has an Aaron's Extra which might be a song, a poster, or a deleted passage omitted from the published picture book because of limited space. For a complete site map, use Aaron's Indexes, where his stories are organized by title, age level, genre, theme, ethnicity, geography, holiday and more.
"This folklore site contains retellings of American folktales, Native American myths and legends, tall tales, weather folklore and ghost stories from each and every one of the fifty United States. You can read about all sorts of famous characters like Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Daniel Boone, and many more." American Folkore is my pick of the day because of the variety and number of stories they offer. The site also has lesson plans, tongue twisters, and audio versions of many of the ghost stories.
From India, China, Burma and Aesop, Pitira offers up nearly a hundred illustrated folktales and fables. "Some of these tales will make you think, some of them will make you laugh, some will make you wonder, but almost all of them have hidden wisdom for you to discover!" They also have collections of poems, stories, book reviews, games, coloring pages, and art projects. When navigating the site, be sure to scroll down the page (past several ads) because the page navigation is near the bottom of the layout.
This Scholastic site is a treasure trove of resources for learning about myths, folktales and fairy tales. Several authors have contributed, fielding questions from young writers wanting to create tales of their own. "When we read these traditional stories from around the world, we find that the things we value most highly, fear most deeply, and hope for most ardently are valued, feared and hoped for by all people. When we read these traditional stories from around the world, we find that the things we value most highly, fear most deeply, and hope for most ardently are valued, feared and hoped for by all people."
Whootie Owl stories, folktales from many cultures, show us "that people all over the world share many of the same concerns." The collection is searchable by age, country, type of story or theme. To see them all, simply leave all the selection criteria at "ALL." The best part of the site is the ability to submit your own illustrations or comments about the stories. For each tale, editor Elaine Lindy also includes a Footnote with the source of the story and a bit of commentary.