The Story of Ferdinand

The Story of Ferdinand

by Munro Leaf, Robert Lawson

NOOK Book(NOOK Kids)

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A true classic with a timeless message!
All the other bulls run, jump, and butt their heads together in fights. Ferdinand, on the other hand, would rather sit and smell the flowers. So what will happen when Ferdinand is picked for the bullfights in Madrid?
The Story of Ferdinand has inspired, enchanted, and provoked readers ever since it was first published in 1936 for its message of nonviolence and pacifism. In WWII times, Adolf Hitler ordered the book burned in Nazi Germany, while Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, granted it privileged status as the only non-communist children's book allowed in Poland.
The preeminent leader of Indian nationalism and civil rights, Mahatma Gandhi—whose nonviolent and pacifistic practices went on to inspire Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.—even called it his favorite book.
The story was adapted by Walt Disney into a short animated film entitled Ferdinand the Bull in 1938. Ferdinand the Bull won the 1938 Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451479020
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 06/30/1977
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 72
Sales rank: 352,308
File size: 53 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 2 - 5 Years

About the Author

Wilbur Monroe Leaf (aka Munro Leaf) (1905–1976) was an American author of children's literature who wrote and illustrated many books during his long career. His books were illustrated by a number of famous artists, including  Ludwig Bemelmans, Robert Lawson, and Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss). He is best known for The Story of Ferdinand (1936).
Robert Lawson (1892–1957) received his art training at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts. His favorite medium, pen and ink, is used expressively and with detail in his black and white illustrations in The Story of Ferdinand (by Munro Leaf). In addition to illustrating many children's books, including Mr. Popper's Penguins, Robert Lawson also wrote and illustrated a number of his own books for children. In 1940, he was awarded the Caldecott Medal for his picture book illustrations in They Were Strong and Good and in 1944, he was awarded the Newbery Medal for his middle grade novel Rabbit Hill.

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The Story of Ferdinand 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 81 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read and loved this book as a child and remembered that the illustrations were enchanting. Decided to purchase it as an adult in case any kids come over, and realized I love it as much as years ago. The illustrations are wonderful and entertaining, and everyone can love the mild mannered, flower sniffing Ferdinand.
mw52007 More than 1 year ago
Both of my boys, ages 5 and 3, loved this story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reliving this story in its Nook format. The illustrations are black and white like the original. Brings back the memories.
Solrac More than 1 year ago
What can I say but a classic must have book. Brings back happy childhood memories and my nephews love it as well.
Magpie2Reverie More than 1 year ago
A great read for a child and perhaps a reminder to the adult that is reading to the child. We all. Animals and Humans are more then just what society has decided we are, based on culture family or species. The narrow box of expectations is just that. A box. Outside the box is a vast world. Don't give in and become what society thinks you are based on prejudice. Be who you are meant to be not what others assume you are.
fonsecaelib530A on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Leaf, M., & Lawson, R. (1964). The story of Ferdinand. New York: Viking. (Original work published 1936).Age: 3 to 6 years oldOnce upon a time in Spain, there was a bull called Ferdinand. He was nothing like the other little bulls. While they would compete to see which one was the strongest, Ferdinand liked to rest under a cork tree and smell of flowers. Ferdinand grew to become a strong bull, but while the other bulls dreamt of making it to the bull fights in Madrid, Ferdinand still liked to sit under the tree and enjoy the flowers. One day, scouts came from the city to select the strongest bull for the bull fight. All the other bulls were excited; all but Ferdinand. But fate intervened; Ferdinand sat on a bee, and the pain sent him huffing, puffing, and kicking. The scouts had found their bull! Imagine their surprise when on the day of the fight, Ferdinand chose to sit down in the middle of the ring to smell the flowers in the lovely ladies¿ hair. Ferdinand was sent back home, where he continues to enjoy his cork tree and the smell of flowers.The story of Ferdinand has many powerful messages. It teaches children to be themselves no matter what others may think; it also teaches them that the path to happiness and tranquility is in doing what one loves best. Ferdinand¿s delicate and peaceful nature is at odds with his tough exterior, teaching children yet another lesson: do not judge others by their appearance. Each illustration is accompanied by text explaining the action in the picture. Illustrations are black and white, with extreme attention to detail¿especially when it comes to Ferdinand¿s expressions. It is no wonder that this picture book has withstood the test of time: the story is accessible, the main character very relatable, and the themes still very pertinent even though the book is more than 70 years old.
lrflanagan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Story of Ferdinand is about a young bull who does not want to play with all the other bulls. He only wants to sit under his favorite tree and smell the flowers. Until, one day he was picked to be in the bull fights in Madrid, but still he would not fight no matter how mad they tried to make him. He sat in the middle of the ring to smell all the flowers the women had. So, they took him home so he could be happy under his favorite tree smelling the flowers.
readasaurus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book from my childhood. Ferdinand, the pacifist bull who loves smelling flowers, is thrust into a Madrid bull-fighting ring. The black and white pictures are beautifully drawn. Munro Leaf's message about being true to yourself shows kids that it's okay to be different.
t1bclasslibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ferdinand the bull is not like other bulls, he just wants to sit around and smell the flowers. When the bullfighting people go to get a fierce bull, Ferdinand seems the fiercest after being stung by a bee, but he isn¿t. At the arena, he just sits around smelling the flowers from the ladies¿ hair and doesn¿t fight, so he¿s brought back to the country. I¿m not sure why they don¿t just slaughter him- perhaps the children will also wonder this.
derbygirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story is just as I remembered as a child and I enjoyed rereading it as an adult. The pictures draw you in with their simple black and white lines. Ferdinand's mother and Ferdinand have human qualities in their facial expressions when interacting mimicking a true mother child relationship in their acceptance of each other and of the mother's worry regarding Ferdinand's choices. Humor is interjected when Ferdinand sits on the bee and is chosen as the bull to fight. The reader can feel the crowds frustration and surprise when Ferdinand reveals his true colors in the bull ring. It's a satisfying treat when Ferdinand is peaceably returned to his cork tree to pursue his true interest of smelling the flowers in the shade. Don't forget to smell the roses! Be true to one's self! These two inherent truths are relayed with humor and illustration and the story makes you smile with contentment of their realization at the end.
ReadAloudDenver on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Originally published in 1936 (75 years anniversary in 2011!), this is the tale of Ferdinand, the peaceful and content bull who "liked to sit just quietly and smell the flowers" in his favorite spot under the cork tree. He had a wonderful mom who was "an understanding mother" that "let him just sit there and be happy."
michelleknudsen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A long book with a relatively short, simple (but satisfying) story. Ferdinand alone of all the bulls has no interest in fighting, but an accidental encounter with a bee leads to him catching the eye of the bullfight recruiters. They take him to the arena, he refuses to fight, they take him back home, he lives happily ever after.
whitneyharrison on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ferdinand is a funny story about a bull who was very different than all the other bulls, and he loved flowers. This book is a very funny story about how Ferdinand traveled all the way to Spain to compete in a bull arena.
Treeseed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Written in 1936 this beautiful story of Ferdinand, a gentle calf that grows into a very large but peace-loving bull has enchanted millions of people and continues to do so to this day.Robert Lawson of Rabbit Hill fame has done a great job with the black and white drawings of Ferdinand and his surroundings, filled with humorous details of the Spanish bull-fighting world.Monro Leaf's tale shows what happens when a bumble bee's sting brings Ferdinand, unexpectedly to the attention of the bull ring scouts.This book is always one of the first ones I buy for new babies among our family and friends. It's a true classic. Enjoy this sweet message about being yourself and make Ferdinand a friend for life.
heatherjane7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Classic story of a gentle bull who would rather smell the flowers than fight. One of my childhood favourites.
aflanig1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great story about self-acceptance
caltstatt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The young bull Ferdinand was not like other young bulls who lived in Spain in the way he did not like to fight or butt heads. He would rather spend time by himself smelling flowers under his favorite tree. When they are all grown the other bulls begin showing off so they may be chosen to go to the great bull fight in Madrid. Ferdinand is mistakenly chosen because he absentmindedly sits on a bee while smelling the flowers and begins to go crazy, jumping and kicking. So he is hauled off to Madrid. When the time comes to enter the ring, there are thousands of people in the stand ready for the fight, but Ferdinand just wanders into the middle of the ring and smells the flowers that the ladies are wearing. Everyone is very mad and tries to get Ferdinand to fight, but to no avail. He is finally taken back to his pasture and released to sit under his tree where he may still be today.I remember this story as one of my favorites when I was young. It doesn't seem to be read to children much anymore.This story could be used in the classroom to discuss how being different is okay. Even though Ferdinand was enticed to fight, he did what he wanted no matter what anyone else thought. Children could view the story in this way and discuss how they are different from each other, in positive ways.
dawnfires on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: This story talks about a bull who is very content being by himself and enjoying the smell of the flowers around him. All of Ferdinand friends wants to become bulls that fight in the Madrid, but not Ferdinand. By accident Ferdinand is chosen for the fight but does not do what he is told. Eventually Ferdinand finds his way back to his favorite pasture under his tree enjoying the smell of the flowers. Personal Reaction: I love this book and how it can make kids know that they do not have to be the one in the crowd and its ok to be alone sometimes. I like how it talks about spain and uses many spanish words in the story, this will make the students ask questions about the culture of Spain. Classroom Extension Ideas:1. I would love this book during multicultural week in the classroom. and discuss Spain and then try to see if any of the kids families were from Spain. 2. In the classroom we could celebrate the bull fighting festival in Madrid.
sweetiegherkin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Even though it¿s a well-known classic, I had somehow never heard of this book until earlier this year when an acquaintance brought it up during a discussion about children¿s picture books. Of course, I had to go out and find it, and I¿m happy to be introduced to this gem. Unlike the other young bulls who like to run around and butt heads with one another, Ferdinand prefers to sit just quietly beneath his favorite cork tree in the pasture and smell the flowers. Unfortunately, an unhappy accident involving a bumblebee lands Ferdinand in the bullfight in Madrid. But when Ferdinand sees all the flowers in the ladies¿ hair, he sits down to smell them and refuses to fight. It¿s a sweet story about being true to one¿s self and not succumbing to the pressure to be like everyone else. Pacifist families may also use it as a jumping off point for discussing peace, and animal activists could use is a teaching tool when advocating against animal cruelty. I found the delicate black and white illustrations by Robert Lawson lovely and enchanting, but must admit that my 3-year-old nephew showed little interest in the book and perhaps the lack of color illustrations may have played a role in that (or it may have just been that he was too distracted when I tried to read this to him). One of my favorite details was that the cork tree had cork stoppers hanging from it because that¿s what small children would envision a cork tree to look like!
Amber_88 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Story of Ferdinand is a very cute example of fantasy! While bulls don't actually just sit around and smell flowers all the time, everyone can relate to being different and not fitting in with everyone else, yet being happy with who they are.This story is too short to critique the setting, plot, or characters.
maryanntherese on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story of a young bull who would rather do his own thing, (which in this case is sit and smell flowers), instead of what everyone else was doing (fighting in the bull fights). When he is chosen for the ring, he perseveres in being himself. I liked this book because it illustrates the virtue of sticking to your guns.
msmalnick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ahhh, Ferdinand, the bull who just wants to sit & smell the flowers. You can't blame him for not wanting to fight. The matadors, do, however. This is an absolute children's classic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had this book read to me as a child and I have always loved it. It is a gift I have given to many children as its message is so valuable. My father was like Ferdinand....physically imposing , but so gentle. Such strength is rarely seen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SRHill More than 1 year ago
My 4-year-old nephew is obsessed with all things dinosaur and wolf--and I grew a little tired of reading the age-old classics to him. There are, after all, only so many ways of reading the Three Little Pigs. So I introduced him to Ferdinand, and as expected, he loved it! Leaf so magically captures this little snapshot of Spanish culture that, in my opinion, Disney only got partially right. This one is a delight from start to finish.