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Ferdinand tells the story of a gentle little bull whose mother completely accepts that he is not rough and tumble like the other little bulls. He grows up to be very large and intimidating, but underneath it all, he's still sweet and gentle. Through a series of unexpected events, he ends up being sent to the bull fights in Madrid under the name "Ferdinand the Fierce!" What happens then is not scary at all. Ferdinand remains true to himself and the ending is very sweet and happy.


I loved this book as a child. Of course, I made sure that both of my children read it and they both loved it. Although the overall feeling is very sweet, parts of it are funny. My son and I used to roll with laughter at the part with the bee (you'll just have to read it). My daughter and I used to laugh at this reference to Ferdinand's mother: "His mother, who was a cow,..." Maybe you have to see it in context.


The illustrations are lovely black and white drawings. Ferdinand and his mother are very expressive, as is the aforementioned bee. Even the people--secondary to the story--are drawn with different personalities and the scenes of Spain are very evocative.


I also have a version in Spanish. This being Texas and all, both children have studied Spanish. This book is an easy introduction to reading the language. I don't think it was originally written in Spanish, but obviously it is a book that lends itself to being translated into Spanish.

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  • 1 month later...

I know it's a little odd to reply to my own post when no one else has commented on it, but I saw a feel-good sports movie this weekend called "The Blind Side" (with Sandra Bullock, about American football) and excitingly enough, the book Ferdinand plays an important part in describing the main character's personality. I'm not sure if that movie will make it to the U.K. since it's about American football, but if it does and you go see it, be on the lookout for the book reference.

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