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The Story of Ferdinand

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  89,175 ratings  ·  1,874 reviews
A true classic with a timeless message, The Story of Ferdinand has enchanted readers since it was first published in 1936. All the other bulls would run and jump and butt their heads together. But Ferdinand would rather sit and smell the flowers. And he does just that, until the day a bumblebee and some men from the Madrid bullfights give gentle Ferdinand a chance to be th ...more
Hardcover, 72 pages
Published January 1st 1936 by Viking
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  89,175 ratings  ·  1,874 reviews

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Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm not an impartial judge of this book.

I'm assuming all of you know the story. It's about a bull that doesn't want to bullfight like the other bulls. He just wants to sit and smell flowers in the field.

My mom used to read it to me when I was a kid. She used to call me her little Ferdinand, because all the other little boys wanted to run around and roughhouse. And I didn't. I just wanted to sit and read and think.

I'm not an impartial judge of this book. But I'm fond of it. And when a book's b
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Story of Ferdinand, Munro Leaf

The Story of Ferdinand (1936) is the best known work written by American author Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson.

The children's book tells the story of a bull who would rather smell flowers than fight in bullfights.

He sits in the middle of the bull ring failing to take heed of any of the provocations of the matador and others to fight.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: دوم ماه ژانویه سال 2006میلادی

عنوان: اما فردیناند این کار را نکرد؛ نویسنده: مونرو لیف ؛ مترجم: طا
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Love this peace loving Bull. Great story to introduce to my niece and nephew.

I think the first time I knew of this story was seeing the Disney Cartoon and the peaceful bull. But, the story is amazing all on its own. Munro created something wonderful here to reach through the ages. It's getting close to being 100 years old and still universal.

We think of bulls as aggressive and dangerous and the Matador culture was very hyper-masculine and about killing for sport. Ferdinand is a contrast to that
da AL
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic-literary
Lovely, lovely book. Sweet story -- plus bonus magical illustrations of romanticized Spain of yore to delight all.
Jon Nakapalau
I enjoyed this book on several levels: a wonderful book about being yourself for children - but also a subconscious commentary on fascist Spain - a bull with a big heart picked to be slaughtered at the Blood Wedding of Franco and fed to his guests - my interpretation.
Brian Yahn
Jan 06, 2016 rated it liked it
The mood and tone of this story are both spot on. And even though Ferdinand is easy to love, and even though the beginning is cute and entrancing, overall, the story is just pretty okay.

It's about a bull who doesn't want to fight like all the others, because he'd rather just relax and smell flowers. Can you blame him? No. But there's really not much more to the story than that.
Many of the kids books I've been revisiting are filled with specific, vivid memories of my childhood that are almost narratives unto themselves. Reading them transports me back to those (probably apocryphal) moments in my brain, leaving me full of a sort of joyful melancholy for things past and a hunger for more of those memories, a desire to relive all those locked up personal stories, so I grab another book I have always loved and devour it looking for more.

I didn't find those memories in The
Stephanie Anze
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"This is the story of Ferdinand - a little bull who would rather sit and smell flowers than fight in the bullring."


This book truly is a gem. While I had heard about this work before, this is the first time that I have read it and I absolutely love it. Originally published in 1936, this work has been translated into more than 60 languages and has rarely been out of print. As this title is well known, I want to talk about its background. Its a hefty one. While Munro Leaf is an American author bec
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It could be said this has been on my TBR list since childhood. I don't remember reading it then, and don't remember reading it to my daughter. Although I've known the story of the "little bull with a gentle heart who turned into a big bull with a gentle heart" for quite some time, I'd never picked up a copy until now.

Lovely little story, which shook the world one might say.

It was banned in Spain during the Spanish Civil War since it was seen as a "pacifist" book. (Oh, the horror!)

It was banned
Re-read solely because I'm getting fed up that a reading challenge is hanging about with a few incomplete categories - and everything I truly want to read in the 'banned books' category is either long, or very dense, and would take a while. Instead, I dispatched it in ten minutes by re-reading this.

Plus, I thought Ferdinand (1936) might be interesting, three months after reading Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises (1926). There wasn't quite as much comparison fodder as I thought there might be, as F
Jan 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: latino-american
I was always curious why my school library had multiple copies of "The Story of Ferdinand." Until now. Upon scanning some of the other reviews I feel left out because Ferdinand was not part of my collection growing up.

I was blown away by the simple story of a gentle bull named Ferdinand, content with his life in the Spanish countryside. When it is time to choose a strong and tough bull to fight in Madrid, Ferdinand does not care and would rather smell flowers under his favorite cork tree. Ferdi
Krista Stevens
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had read it before - but revisited it recently. What I loved most this time is the controversy that swirled around the book - I had no idea. Lots of readers like this for the non-violence, peace choosing theme, but that message doesn't seem accurate. I like that Ferdinand chooses to do what he loves - he doesn't judge,criticize nor disparage the other bulls who want to fight- he just wants to smell flowers. The stronger message for me is to find what makes you happy and do that regardless of w ...more
Jan 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is, without a doubt, my absolute FAVORITE book from childhood. I remember my mother reading this to me as a small child, and having to fight back the tears, the story touched me so deeply. I found significance in the extreme simplicity of the words and illustrations. I was impressed with Ferdinand's gentle, yet strong, nature. He stood firm against the strongest pressures and remained constant. I like to analyze this book on many levels. On a side note (and dork moment): my husband holds th ...more
I celebrated the Freedom to Read for the 2013 ALA Banned Book Week by reading this selection. Yes, it is a short children's picture book, but I was knee deep in other reads this year.

So why was this book banned you ask?

This book was originally published in 1936. Some saw the material as fascist, socialistic, pacifist or communistic. Munro Leaf, an American writer, had chosen to set this book in Spain. Well, history will tell us in 1936 the Spanish Civil War began a few months after publicati
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A classic children's story that even for a grown man like me means a lot, even though I`m not as strong as a bull, I believe that Ferdinand looks like me when I was a little boy :) ...more
Krista Regester
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Awe Ferdinand is such a cutie pie!
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baby-h-books
Very emotional--I cried the whole time and refused to even accept my pacifier. Why should I be pacified when poor Ferdinand, our peace-loving protagonist, is dragged to Madrid against his will to participate in a bullfight before a mob eager for bloodshed and violence??! Satisfying ending, though. I immediately settled down for a nap. -M
Where was this little gem when I was young? Hard not to cast my childhood as poorer in hindsight seeing how many great children's literature I missed back then. Well, better late than never! Nobody said "grown-up kids" can't read this book and enjoy it as well.. ...more
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
3 APR 2016 - Love, Love, Love this book. As a little girl, I carried this book everywhere. I did not know at that time that Ferdinand was all about seizing his day and enjoying it in the way most suitable to himself. Such a smart bull!

As I re-read a newly purchased copy yesterday, I thought of this lovely poem:

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May, by John William Waterhouse (Source: Wikipedia)

"To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time" is a poem written by English Cavalier poet Robert Herrick in the 17t
Ferdinand the Bull is not like the other young bulls. He doesn't like to run, jump and butt heads with the other calves. He likes to sit under his favorite tree and smell the flowers. His mother doesn't mind as long as he's happy.

One day men show up to choose the fiercest, scariest, strongest bull to fight in the big bullfight in Madrid, Spain. All of the other bulls ran, jumped and charged to show the men how fierce and strong they were. But it is Ferdinand who is chosen after being stung by a
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
My children really enjoyed this one. The pictures were clear and drawn well, all in black and white, and it made for a more easily understandable understanding of the story line. The story was cute, and since we got it from the library, it came in a packet with an actual stuffed Ferdinand which allowed me to use my "bull voice" and have him make comments about the story and added another dimension altogether to our book time that we hadn't considered up until now. The children all loved it. My o ...more
Zoe's Human
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist, lt
UPDATED: Perhaps the scenes I loved were NOT made up by me. I reread a 32 page edition. I just learned that this would be an abridged version and that a 68 page version exists, which is likely the one I read as a child. Time to go seek that out.

I reread this the other day because I remembered adoring it as a child. It's a lovely book that is definitely at the root of me being anti-bullfighting my entire life. Strangely, my favorite scenes appear to have been ones that I made up in my head as a c
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is so cute. Ferdinand....awwww..... ...more
Erin Sky
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my absolute favorite children's stories. ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Read this for Reading Partners. Not 5 stars because bullfighting makes me really, really sad, but this is a sweet story.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The story of Ferdinand, a very enjoyable story, by Munro Leaf tells the tale of a young bull named Ferdinand. Ferdinand grew up in a society’s where he was expected to take part in the Spanish bull fights in Madrid. Unlike all the other bulls, Ferdinand only wants to live in peace among the flowers and the open fields. As he grew, he became healthy and strong but with the same gentle heart as his young self. No matter what others say and expect from him, all he cares about is peace.
One of the mo
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book fascinated me when I was learning to read. I would read and reread it. I had a deep empathy for the bull, who found himself captive and with life in danger because of mistaken identification.

The story and pictures were interesting and left questions open to my young mind that caused me to gaze in with my eyes and imagination to try to see what was beyond the pages of the story and beyond what was shown in the illustrations.

I was raised in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. It was a nice mid-weste
Malina Skrobosinski
What beautiful illustrations!

I'm not sure why I never read this as a child, and to be honest I don't think I ever even knew of this book until I was an adult. In truth, it saddens me. This is such a wonderful story about being who YOU want to be. I could see so many children relating to this. Just because you're born into something doesn't mean you have to follow that path.

Be like Ferdinand, choose your own path in life!
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Magical. A classic for all children.
Adriana Scarpin
Once upon a time in Spain there was a little bull and his name was Ferdinand.
All the other little bulls he lived with would run and jump and butt their heads together, but not Ferdinand. He liked to sit just quietly and smell the flowers. He had a favorite spot out in the pasture under a cork tree. It was his favorite tree and he would sit in its shade all day and smell the flowers.
Sometimes his mother, who was a cow, would worry about him. She was afraid he would be lonesome all by himself. "Wh
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LOVE it! 1 3 Sep 22, 2017 06:26AM  
LDS Ladies Book Club: The Story of Ferdinand 5 13 Jul 31, 2016 01:47PM  

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Wilbur Monroe Leaf AKA Munro Leaf, author and illustrator of dozens of children’s books.

He is best remembered for his signature character, Ferdinand, the Spanish bull who preferred smelling flowers to fighting in a ring in Spain. Composed in less than an hour one Sunday afternoon in 1935, the book sparked controversy. With the Spanish Civil War raging, political critics charged that it was a satir

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