A fairy tale is a story, usually told to children, concerning the adventures of mythical characters such as: fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants and others. These stories often involve princes and princesses and normally have a happy ending. The fairy tale is a sub-class of the more general folktale.
Fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.
G. K. Chesterton
Often, fairy tales were disguised morality tales. This is true for the tales of Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale Collection, and many of the tales of Hans Christian Andersen.
An extensive collection of European fairy tales were published by Andrew Lang in a series of books: The Blue Fairy Book, The Red Fairy Book, The Orange Fairy Book, and so forth. These provide some excellent examples of the genre. Some have also classed the Middle Eastern tales from 1001 Arabian Nights as fairy tales.