From my experience as a second grade teacher, students will need to compare and contrast fairy tales and folk tales in this grade level. So apart from reading the traditional stories, it is also important to read other versions to make the text comparisons. Here are some books that your child will most likely get exposed to at a public school in America:
The Three Little Pigs
I would read these stories out loud and discuss the setting, problem, events that lead to the solution and the solution of the story. Discuss the similarities and differences between them such as the characters and the setting. During this stage students are introduced to the term theme or the message/lesson that the author is trying to convey. In the classroom, your child will be creating charts to compare several texts. If you have a child that needs support, you might have to list each story and then make a list of themes on the next column.
At home discuss various connections to the texts. In school the teacher might ask them personal connections (this reminds me of). They might also ask what text to media connections they made. Kids make these connections easily. Finally, relate the stories to what is happening in the news.
Different versions are called fractured fairy tales or adaptations. My favorite author is Leo Lionni. He creates his own fables but students can easily make connections to other traditional fables. If you were going to gift a friend, niece, or nephew a set of books, I would definitely recommend a set of his books.
This is my favorite. His stories are easy to understand but students at the second grade level can analyze them easily independently. Connections can be pulled and themes can be formulated.
When I was a child my mom made sure I had Aesop’s Fables. This is another book I suggest your child have for his or her collection!
Happy reading and don’t forget to buy your child a dictionary for this coming school year!