Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Favorite - June 4

I can't remember if we had The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf on our bookshelves when I was growing up or if I first read it when I checked it out from a library. I just remember reading it and anytime you remember a picture book you read as a child, that's says something about the book.

Ferdinand is a bull that grows up doing things his own way. While the other bulls are practicing to be in the bull fights, Ferdinand is content sitting under his favorite cork tree and smelling the flowers. One day, when he is fully grown, a group of matadors comes to his meadow looking for the strongest, fiercest bull. While they are there, Ferdinand accidentally sits on a bee and the resulting uproar he causes makes the matadors choose him. But true to his own nature, when Ferdinand gets to the bullring, he refuses to fight.

When the book was first published in 1936, it caused a lot of controversy because it was felt to be promoting pacifism and it was banned in Spain and burned as propaganda in Germany. It has been translated into more than 60 languages and has never gone out of print. Walt Disney made the book into a film that won the Academy Award in 1938.

Leaf commented, "Early on in my writing career I realized that if one found some truths worth telling they should be told to the young in terms that were understandable to them." He wrote almost 50 books, nearly all for children, most with a message. He was so respected that he co-wrote books with Ludwig Bemelman ("Madeline) and Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss).

1 comment:

  1. I have never read this book, and I fear that I may be missing out! I might have to investigate this book a little further because it sounds great!