The Story of Ferdinand, written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson, is about a bull who would rather sit and smell flowers than fight in the bullfights in Madrid. As a young bull, Ferdinand preferred sitting under his favorite cork tree to snorting, jumping around, and butting heads with other bulls. His mother, initially worried about his isolationist behavior, upon observation concludes that he is actually okay.
‘His mother saw that he was not lonesome, and because she was an understanding mother, even though she was a cow, she let him just sit there and be happy’
Ferdinand is picked to fight in the bull ring of Madrid.
But… When he got to the middle of the ring he saw the flowers in all the lovely ladies’ hair and he just sat down quietly and smelled.
That put an end to his career as a bull in the ring. He is sent back home to sit under his favorite cork tree and smell the flowers.
The Story of Ferdinand was written 74 years ago, just before the Spanish Civil War and is considered a pacifist book. The illustrations are wonderful. My toddler particularly likes the pictures of the five men who go to Ferdinand’s village to select bulls for the bullring. It is a really good book. I must admit to buying children’s books that my toddler will enjoy and that I can stand to read, and read, and read…