Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Story of Ferdinand

The Story of Ferdinand

Munro Leaf
Illustrator:  Robert Lawson 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Penguin, 1977   ISBN: 0140502343

There once was a little bull who liked to sit “quietly and smell the flowers.” He had no interest in running or jumping or butting heads with the other little bulls. Ferdinand liked the quiet life. Even when he became a big bull with strong muscles and pointy horns, Ferdinand had no interest in changing his simple lifestyle. The other bulls were all eager to fight in the bull ring, but Ferdinand was happy to sit “quietly under the cork tree and smell the flowers.”

Then one day, five men wearing “funny hats” came to pick the bull that would fight in the bull fights in Madrid. The other bulls in the field did their best to look fierce so that they would be picked. Ferdinand, not surprisingly, walked over to his favorite cork tree to sit in the shade. Which is when something dreadful happened, something that would dramatically change Ferdinand’s life.

This timeless picture book has charmed several generations of children since it came out in 1936. With its beautiful illustrations, its simple text, and its meaningful story, this book is a must for young children.