top of page

Margaret Read MacDonald

Margaret Read MacDonald

Margaret Read MacDonald is well known for her lively retellings of folktales, as well as her in-depth knowledge of stories from the world’s great oral traditions. Drawing on her background in folklore (Ph.D. Indiana University Folklore Institute) and her many travels throughout the world, MacDonald searches out unusual, timeless tales from the world's folk literature. She has a gift for retelling these stories so they appeal to children and adults alike. In addition to performing her stories, Margaret is a prolific writer, educator and performer, having published over 60 books.


MacDonald teaches storytelling courses for the University of Washington School of Information Science and for Lesley University. As a Children's Librarian for the King County Library System, MacDonald kept finding gaps in her library collection.  So she wrote books to fill these needs.  During her travels, she collected a number of timeless folktales that she adapted into award winning picture books, resource books, and folktale collections from many cultures. She recently received her third Anne Izard Storytelling Award for her resource book: Teaching with Story. Her award-winning LittleFolk picture book, Go to Sleep Gecko was selected by the Prime Minister of Singapore to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of kidsREAD, a program sponsored by the National Library Board to encourage children to read more and to promote good reading habits. 


MacDonald retired from working as a children’s librarian in order to spend more time on the road sharing stories from around the world and sharing her love of storytelling. Recent trips have found her telling stories in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Spain, Singapore, and of course Hong Kong where Nathaniel and Jen Whitman, her collaborators for Teaching with Story, teach and live with their daughter. You can visit Margaret’s web site: Learn more at

bottom of page