The Story of Ferdinand Book Poster Image

The Story of Ferdinand



Warmhearted, well-told classic will charm readers.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Introduces bullfighting, bullfighters' tools of their trade. Could spark a discussion of the pros and cons of bullfighting. 

Positive messages

Choose your own path, despite what others may say or think. Respect others for who they are, and don't try to make them something they're not. Not everyone cares about acting tough and fighting. You can walk away from a fight. Being peaceful is a good thing. 


Positive role models

Ferdinand is comfortable being someone not interested in fighting. He dismisses the fight for his favorite pastime: sniffing flowers displayed in the hairdos of the "lovely ladies." 

Violence & scariness

Illustrations show bulls fighting and a procession of bullfighters carrying the tools of their trade. The bullfighters brandish darts, long spears, and a sword to stick Ferdinand. 

Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Story of Ferdinand is a warmhearted, charming story of a bull who prefers smelling flowers to fighting. Munro Leaf's gentle, timeless tale, coupled with Robert Lawson's expressive pen-and-ink drawings showing Ferdinand's sweet personality, have made Ferdinand a true classic. 

Kids say

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What's the story?

Ferdinand is a bull who'd rather smell the flowers than fight. Despite the urgings of an enthusiastic group of banderilleros and picadors, and a hopelessly vain matador, Ferdinand chooses serenity over fierceness.

Is it any good?


This is a delightful story about a sweetly mannered bull who prefers peace to fighting, and the scent of flowers to the smell of victory. Munro Leaf's unforgettable words and Robert Lawson's simple pen-and-ink illustrations that show Ferdinand's soft-heartedness make this a true classic. The story shows readers that they must choose their own path, despite what others may say or think.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about bullfighting. What's its appeal? How does Ferdinand deal with the matador?

  • Why do you think The Story of Ferdinand is considered a classic? Why do you think kids have loved it for generations? 

  • Can you be a strong person even if you don't fight or act tough?

Book details

Author:Munro Leaf
Illustrator:Robert Lawson
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Penguin Group
Publication date:January 1, 1936
Number of pages:68

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Parent of a 4 and 6 year old Written byLaurie_Hapton13 October 29, 2010

This to to "Yo, I went poopin the the potty"

Umm yes, hi. My name is Laurie. I also happen to have a 6 year old son and 4 year old daughter...what I wanted to say was...well, i think you're a little to tough on them- They're just kids! They want to have fun, have the freedom to read and watch what they want. I'm not saying you should let them go crazy, but lighten up!!!
Adult Written bylibrarygal May 12, 2011

Age 5+

A classic story.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 4 and 6 year old Written byLaurie_Hapton_1_3 December 5, 2010

Let us put an end to this now...

Oh my goodness! This is kind of out of control!!! I'm sorry for saying that stuff about you!! We are arguing over a book for heaven's sake! I think we should end this now...


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