'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 9 November 2017

Review: The Story of Ferdinand

First published 81 years ago, The Story of Ferdinand is being republished to coincide with the release of a new animated movie.

This is a beautifully produced book in keeping with the style of the original. Square, smaller than A4 in size, and with the original black and white and red artwork.

Ferdinand is a bull who lives in Spain, and he's not like all the other bulls.

Ferdinand prefers flowers to fighting, and relaxing to rough-housing.

His mother worries that he will be lonely and encourages Ferdinand to join the other bulls, but he's perfectly happy by himself and out of the limelight.

Over the years, Ferdinand grows big and strong, but he still prefers flowers and the peace and quiet.

Although he tries to remain in the background, one day something happens that brings Ferdinand to the attention of men searching for the 'biggest, fastest, roughest bull to fight in the bull fights in Madrid.'

Ferdinand suddenly finds himself in the middle of the stadium where he is expected to fight the matador, but he is attracted to the flowers thrown into the ring and will not fight. It's not at all what is expected of a big, strong bull!

Author Munro Leaf reportedly wrote The Story of Ferdinand in under an hour! It's illustrated by his friend, Robert Lawson, who won both the Caldecott Award and the Newbery Medal (for different books).

Much lauded over the years, The Story of Ferdinand is one that lends itself to discussion of topics such as being yourself, pacifism, and peace, or just as easily to being read at bedtime.

Ferdinand is a lovable character, and his story is a heartwarming classic that deserves a place on bookshelves everywhere.

Title: The Story of Ferdinand 
Author: Munro Leaf
Illustrator: Robert Lawson
Publisher: Faber, $ 19.99
Publication Date: October 2017
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780571335954
For ages: 3-8 years
Type: Picture book