Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bambi” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bambi (Bambi #1)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  24,719 ratings  ·  342 reviews
The Prince of the Forest
Bambi's life in the woods begins happily. There are forest animals to play with -- Friend Hare, the chattery squirrel, the noisy screech owl, and Bambi's twin cousins, frail Gobo and beautiful Faline.
But winter comes, and Bambi learns that the woods hold danger -- and things he doesn't understand. The first snowfall makes food hard to find. Bamb
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 1st 1988 by Aladdin (first published 1923)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bambi, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bambi

Forrest Gump by Winston GroomThe Devil Wears Prada by Lauren WeisbergerJurassic Park by Michael CrichtonJumanji by Chris Van AllsburgMary Poppins by P.L. Travers
I Only Watched the Movie!
21st out of 891 books — 4,998 voters
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
Favorite books from my childhood
225th out of 3,215 books — 6,108 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Nov 03, 2008 Jim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like classics they missed & women from Montana
Recommended to Jim by: Walt Disney
Ah, not the Bambi that works at the Rainbow Tavern, down on Sprague Avenue.

This is the REAL Bambi. The horned lord of the forest that later went to work as an actor for Walt Disney and late in life became best buds with Charlton Heston, head of the NRA. Outrageous, but completely true! This is the book that started it all, my friend.

I just read this book a couple of years ago and found it fascinating and horrifying at times, like when Salten describes the humans through the eyes and m
This is not Disney. This book was incredible. The description was so real, the language not dumbed down for kids. Yes, the animals talked, but it wasn't cutesy, silly talking. It was Watership Down kind of talking. I read this to my five-and-a-half-year-old daughter (I'm trying to give her the original versions of all of the stories before she sees the Disney versions). When the first scary thing happened, I worried that I'd made a horrible mistake. But, although she was upset, she put it all in ...more
The book, Bambi, is slightly different than its Disney counterpart. I know, big surprise. There are still many similarities and in general the two versions track. The book begins with the birth of Bambi and his all-important first relationship with his gentle, loving mother, his childhood friendship with Faline and his early learning about ‘Him’ (who is never named) but we know to be man or men, specifically hunters with their third arm. In time Bambi becomes aware of the old stag who continues ...more
Aug 16, 2007 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone except avid hunters
I remember renewing this book from the library for several months in a row in elementary school and re-reading it obsessively. I wanted to pick it up again just to see if I could figure out what it was about the novel that affected me so much. It was really interesting to read it as an adult. I do still hate the Disney version since Salten's is just so much more compelling - and no forest fire. What struck me this time around was the depictions of masculinity and femininity especially in regards ...more
One of my most wept over books. Depicts humanity as divorced from grace.

*swears vengence on Disney desecration*
Stefan Yates
I'm really not completely sure how I feel about this book now that I've finished it. On one hand, it is well written and there are scenes that illustrate the beauty and innocence of nature so vividly that one is able to picture them even without the wonderful illustrations of this particular version. Yet, there is also much of this book that deals with the violent and grisly destruction that humans bring to the wildlife of the forest.

How this became regarded as a children's story, I'm not really
Shanna Gonzalez
Most of my generation, when they think of Bambi, think of the sentimental Disney movie. But the original book was a serious work. Its one-of-a-kind conception and spectacular writing have earned it classic status as the story of a young deer growing to adulthood in his woodland home. Salten's writing is compelling, and scenes from the story will stay in the mind long after reading, to be often recalled and savored. This Bambi lives a grim and dangerous life, his world filled with blood and fear ...more
I read two different editions of Salten's Bambi, the first a Pocket Edition published in 1942. The statement after the foreword, which is written by John Galsworthy, added the ephemera of time to my reading: [In order to cooperate with the government's war effort, this book has been made in strict conformity with WPB regulations restricting the use of certain materials.] The accession date of the second book is 1988, and is a hard cover copy with beautiful drawings by Kurt Wiese, a German by bir ...more
Sep 21, 2007 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Youth 9-13
This is a very different book than the Disney movie.

I realise at the time that the Disney animated movie caused something of a kerfuffle, since Bambi's mom is shot off-screen. In the book, things only start there. The novel, while well-written, is much more violent than one might expect, and is not especially appropriate for many children under 10.

I do not recommend that people run out and buy this novel if their children thought Bambi, Farina, and Thumper were cute, the therapy bills will be a
Bambi is about mentoring and the phases of learning...and so much more. I wrote my review on it here:
In the copy of Bambi that I read, there is a foreward written a year before the book was published by a John Galsworthy who was given the honor of reading the book in galley proof form. I use his words now, "Bambi is a delicious book. For delicacy of perception and essential truth I hardly know any story of animals that can stand beside this life study of a forest deer. Felix Salten is a poet. He feels nature deeply, and he loves animals...I particularly recommend it to sportsmen."

All I can add
After being told by my mother that this book was "nothing like the Disney version," I came prepared to read something like Watership Down for Children. Surprise! Not really.

This book actually was very like the Disney movie, as I remember it (and it's been quite a few years). It begins with Bambi's birth in a meadow and continues by cataloging his discoveries and experiences one by one: meeting a squirrel, conversing with a screech owl, meeting Aunt Ena and cousin Faline. There's no Bashful or Th
A very well written children's novel. Bambi, A Life in the Woods by Felix Salten makes you think about how everything in the world, by nature, isn't claimed by one being (from humans, to other animals, even to plant life). Very, different from Walt Disney's animated film but just as charming. Reading the book you'll come to the realization that Disney cannot be blamed for the death of Bambi's mother because it was Salten who cam up with the idea. Gobo, Bambi's male cousin, was also an interestin ...more
Apr 03, 2009 Dionisia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: older children, fearless adults
The differences between this book and Disney's animated version are many. As others have already mentioned, this is definitely a darker tale. I thought the beginning was slow, but by the first appearance of the fall season I was hooked. I hope that other adults will not shy away from giving this children's classic a try. You will not be disappointed.

Now that the story is over I find myself still mulling over the conversation between the two leaves. I have great respect for Salten's ability to ev
In his forward John Galsworthy describes Bambi as "delicious" and that is as succinct and apt as any description gets. Few books have so immediately resonated like small bells within my heart as rapidly as did this small, perfectly crafted classic. This is not the movie though plot wise the two are not so far from each other. The tone and the message are both dark and profound; it is almost chastening in its severity. And all it is is the life of a deer. It is a gorgeous read and officially on m ...more
I didn't know that Bambi was a book before I happened to see it on a shelf at the library, so I decided that I just had to find out how the story went before Disney redid it. When I put it down, my first thought was "....Well, that was depressing." There was a lot of symbolism embedded in the entire story, which is interesting to think about while you read. Keep that in mind if you decide to read this one! Also, I personally would give it a 14A rating for its unsugarcoated depictions of hunting ...more
Lacey Louwagie
I never thought that a book about a deer in the woods could be such a page-turner.

One of my friends described the book as beautiful. Another told me it was "quite good." And I first came across it referenced in a YA book when I was in middle school, in which the narrator claimed it was much better than the Disney version.

I agree with all of the above.

I first quickly flipped through to make sure that the animals actually talked, since I have a hard time making it through books without any dialog
I loved this book even more than I loved Watership Down, and I loved Watership Down a lot. In fact, if anyone out there could tell me some more books that realistically portrays the thoughts of non-human animals, without personifying them in any way besides giving them verbal language, I'd appreciate the reading suggestion!

Bambi is a delightful book right from the start. I spend a lot of time with young children, and the way Bambi was so curious and innocent and annoying to his mother when he wa
John Yelverton
In my opinion, this book is good, but not nearly as good as the movie.
Maggie Campbell
"'He was very nice to me. And I like him so much. He's so wonderful and green..."

"'Can it be true,' said the first leaf, 'can it really be true, that others come to take our places when we're gone and after them still others, and more and more?'
'It is really true,' whispered the second leaf. 'We can't even begin to imagine it, it's beyond our powers.'
'It makes me very sad,' added the first lead.
They were silent for a while. Then the first leaf said quietly to herself, 'Why must we fall?'...
The s
Tiffany Hickox
I recently read the book Bambi by Felix Salten, and I highly recommend it as a spring read.

Bambi is not just the story of a fawn who looses his mother and must learn to make his way in the world. Instead, it is the author's take on what life in the forest must be like through the eyes of deer and other animals. There are the obnoxious and vocal birds, the chatty squirrells, the proud owls, and the gentle deer who all interact to create an imaginative community. Then there is He - the one who bri
My bedside reading table is mostly stocked up with non-fiction, but sometimes pieces of classic literature get fit in from time to time. Felix Salten’s short, bracingly realistic Bambi, A Life in the Woods is the latest. The copy I read might have been an abridged version of the 1928 original. One thing’s for certain, however – this isn’t the Disney version, not by a long shot. In describing the title deer’s maturity in a deceptively calm forest, Salten’s elegant, plain-spoken prose takes on a g ...more
Hace ya muchos años, era aún una niña y aquí nació mi amor por la lectura <3 No recuerdo mucho de la historia, pero nunca olvidé lo mucho que disfruté.

Lo leí y escuché el audio libro algunas 10 veces, cada uno. Es el único libro que he releido. Y de seguro, cuando tenga hijos, será lo primero que les lea :')
Martha Monroe
I only read this because it was part of the my book challenge list, otherwise I would have skipped it.

I mean, we all know the story of Bambi, I'm sure we've all seen the heartbreaking movie where they kill of his mom and he befriends a skunk and rabbit.

There's a lovely little note to the reader in the beginning that talks a little about the author and how the original story that Disney based the movie off of was first written in German, fun little factoid there. I'm also pretty sure that my libr
Beloved childhood book indeed! My paperback edition is a "Pocketbook" edition ("Kind to your pocket and your pocketbook") printed c. 1942. The page margins are less than 1/2 inch "in order to correspond with the government's war effort, this book has been made in strict conformity with WPB regulations regarding the use of certain materials. FOR VICTORY...Buy United States War Bonds and Stamps."
(Somehow this format makes its beloved-childhood-book-ness even more precious.)
A fascinating story tha
Karlyne Landrum
I read this book so many times as a child that I still remembered the first sentence: "He came into the world in the middle of the thicket...". I hadn't read it in many years, so it was a joy to find that I still love it. The prose is beautiful without being sentimental or smarmy, and the lessons it imparts are still as true now as they were in the 1920's (when it was written, not when I read it!).

Interesting side-note -- the Disney movie "The Shaggy Dog" was based on a book of Felix Salten's!
This book mixed a stark realism with just enough of an anthropomorphism to create emotionally resonant characters. Salten manages to not take that too far though. The animals, with their human-style speech and thoughts, still remain animals. The realities of nature still exist and that really makes the book something special to read. Something very different from typical children's fare.

It's harsher and more brutal and distinctly less cute than the subsequent Disney adaptation, but the overwhelm
The message of the book seems to be that animals have thoughts, feelings and their own families, and humans never honor them; instead they slaughter them. The story is compelling, and must have been a unique book for its time. Bambi was a cousin of Faline, and did not grow up to marry her and have twins, rather, Faline was a twin to Gobo. Gobo was foolish and trusted man, which brought him to his end, eventually. With luck and some wisdom, and advice from his father, Bambi survived.
Katy Noyes
My ignorance will show here. I only ever knew this as a Disney film and only recently discovered its origins in literature. And that really is a shame. This novel really isn't for the demographic the film is aimed at, but it's a book I would want my own child to read before childhood's end.

More overtly than the book, we learn about the changing and cruel seasons, the danger of man (He), innocence and maturity, relationships and death. Quite a broad spectrum for a 200 page children's story about
This is my first time reading this book. The Bambi I grew up with was the Disney version.

The book isn't bad at all; it is very well-written and has beautiful illustrations. However, I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. It seems to me that it is very much about growing up and seeing the world is not all sunshine and rainbows.

The reader sees life through Bambi's eyes. When he is young, the world is seen through his innocent eyes. When Bambi is older, and wiser, he sees that life isn't
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Lassie Come-Home
  • The Hundred and One Dalmatians (The Hundred and One Dalmatians, #1)
  • Čudnovate zgode šegrta Hlapića
  • Babe: The Gallant Pig
  • Lady and the Tramp (Disney: a Little Golden Book)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Little Golden Book)
  • The Rescuers (The Rescuers, #1)
  • Lad: A Dog
  • Peter Pan (A Little Golden Book)
  • National Velvet
  • Ježeva kućica
  • Sleeping Beauty (Disney Princess, 5)
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • My Friend Flicka (Flicka, #1)
  • The Lion King: A little Golden Book
  • Vlak u snijegu
  • Big Red
  • Sleeping Beauty: a Little Golden Book (Disney Princess)
There is more than one author with this Name.

Felix Salten was an Austrian writer. He was born Siegmund Salzmann in Budapest, Hungary. When he was three weeks old, his family moved to Vienna, Austria. Many Jews were immigrating into the city in the late 19th century because Vienna had finally granted full citizenship to Jews in 1867.

When his father went bankrupt, Felix had to quit school and begin
More about Felix Salten...

Other Books in the Series

Bambi (2 books)
  • Bambi's Children
Bambi's Children Fifteen Rabbits Perri The Memoirs of Josephine Mutzenbacher Renni the Rescuer

Share This Book

“...I'm just beginning to understand how kind you are.” 12 likes
“The young doe, Marena, said, "In this very hour many of us are going to die. Perhaps I shall be one of them.” 4 likes
More quotes…