The Story of Ferdinand

Ferdinand is the world’s most peaceful–and–beloved little bull. While all of the other bulls snort, leap, and butt their heads, Ferdinand is content to just sit and smell the flowers under his favorite cork tree. Leaf’s simple storytelling paired with Lawson’s pen-and-ink drawings make The Story of Ferdinand a true classic. Commemorate the 75th anniversary of the book’s original publication with this beautiful and affordable 8×8 paperback edition.

What else can be said about the fabulous Ferdinand? Published more than 50 years ago (and one of the bestselling children’s books of all time), this simple story of peace and contentment has withstood the test of many generations. Ferdinand is a little bull who much prefers sitting quietly under a cork tree– just smelling the flowers–to jumping around, snorting, and butting heads with other bulls. This cow is no coward–he simply has his pacifist priorities clear. As Ferdinand grows big and strong, his temperament remains mellow, until the day he meets with the wrong end of a bee. In a show of bovine irony, the one day Ferdinand is most definitely not sitting quietly under the cork tree (due to a frightful sting), is the selfsame day that five men come to choose the “biggest, fastest, roughest bull” for the bullfights in Madrid.

Ferdinand’s day in the arena gives readers not only an education in the historical tradition of bullfighting, but also a lesson in nonviolent tranquility. Robert Lawson’s black-and-white drawings are evocative and detailed, with especially sweet renditions of Ferdinand, the serene bull hero. The Story of Ferdinand closes with one of the happiest endings in the history of happy endings–readers of all ages will drift off to a peaceful sleep, dreaming of sweet-smelling flowers and contented cows.

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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3 Comments

  1. Blessed are the peacemakers. This book is more than sixty years old. I remember hearing it as a small child in the early sixties, and even then it sounded strangely old-fashioned to me, as if it came from some sweet, gentle world that had not existed for a long time. But as a child I passionately loved that world, and this book that evoked its gentleness, and years later, when I found out I was pregnant, the first thing I bought for my son was not a blanket or a crib or a stuffed animal, but a copy of Ferdinand. It was the…

  2. One for the ages “Ferdinand” is one of the best-loved children’s books of all time, and with good reason. This timeless tale of a little bull in Spain who doesn’t mind being different from the rest of the herd strikes an instant chord in youngsters and oldsters alike. Ferdinand is a gentle creature who would rather sit around and smell the flowers than butt his way through life; but when he planks himself down one day on a bumblebee, he gets a jolt that propels him into the bullring in Madrid. The story is…

  3. Love this Book! My mother-in-law gave me her copy of this book (printed in 1938) when my oldest child was 4 or 5 years old and we just adored this story! In fact, she (my daughter) loved it so much she memorized it within months. I chose this book to read to her 2nd grade class and they, too, felt the magic of how the fierce bull loved to just sit and “smell the flowers”! I just sat down tonight to read it for the first time to my youngest child (5 years old) and he already knew how the story…

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