Andrew – The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

pixlr_20160913223822973Ferdinand is the one bull in the world worth knowing intimately. Ferdinand is a safe bull. A peaceloving creature. An individual. A poetic bovine.

I’m selecting this wonderful story because it’s really ideal for fathers to read to their children. Ferdinand is a boy who refuses to yield to peer pressure to be a fighter. Instead, he prefers to sit and dream and enjoy the beauty of his homeland’s meadows and cork groves. By the end of the book, we know Ferdinand is a little bull who is full of courage.

It’s great to see The Story of Ferdinand is still in print after more than 80 years. Written for children in one afternoon in 1935 in a world beleaguered by a drift to war, it raised the possibility that to choose not to fight might be an honourable and humane position. The Story of Ferdinand topped the charts in the USA in 1938, ousting even Gone with the Wind.

I have had this book as long as I can remember. It was one of the first I read and its message is still a huge, humane and beneficial influence on me. Beautifully illustrated in pen and ink, quick and easy to read, and with the added bonus of reminding us animals may indeed be wiser than we humans.

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