Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 270

Picture Book: The Story of Ferdinand

Author: Munro Leaf

Illustrator: Robert Lawson

Summary: Unlike a typical bull in Spain, Ferdinand is content to sit quietly in a field and smell the lovely flowers, whereas his peers prefer butting other bulls and hope to be picked for the bull fights in Madrid. When men come to choose the biggest, toughest bull for the bull fights, Ferdinand wanders away to his favorite tree to sit and smell flowers. When he sits down on a bumble bee and is stung, the men are delighted by Ferdinand’s behavior. He butts and snorts fiercely. The men take Ferdinand to Madrid. Because of his size and rumors, Ferdinand is feared by the bullfighters, but he goes to the middle of the ring, sits down, and smells the lovely flowers in the ladies’ hair. The violence-hungry bullfighters are all very angry, but not Ferdinand so they take him back home to his field of flowers where he is content.

Hanna’s Comments: Banned in many countries, this book has an interesting political history which you may want to check out on the internet and mention when you offer it to your audience. It was published just prior to the Spanish American War while WWII was raging.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Viking, 1936

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Yes

Formats other than Book: Video, Audio CD

PBT Category: Classic

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: authenticity, beauty, differences, the environment/nature, Europe, evil, gladness/happiness, goodness, individuality/uniqueness, joy, non-violence/peaceful resistance, pacifism/peace/peacemakers, passion, resisting evil, reverence, steadfastness, worship

Scripture Connections: Blessed are the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9); seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33); do not be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2)

Idea(s) for Application: When studying peacemaking or non-violence, consider reading this book to the children in your family of faith. It also has clear connections to the Romans 12 verse above. 

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