August 27, 2014

The Story of FERDINAND

“Books can make a difference in dispelling prejudice and building community: not with role models and recipes, not with noble messages about the human family, but with enthralling stories that make us imagine the lives of others. A good story lets you know people as individuals in all their particularity and conflict; and once you see someone as a person—flawed, complex, striving—you’ve reached beyond stereotype.”  ― Hazel Rochman
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf  and illustrated by Robert Lawson conveys the above-mentioned message beautifully.
Ferdinand , is a bull from  Spain. Unlike other bulls,he does not like to fight  or butt his head  or stick other bulls with his horns. He does not dream of being picked to fight at the  bullfights in Madrid. He prefers sitting quietly under the cork tree and enjoy the smell of flowers. His DIFFERENT behavior and preference worries his mother. However, she realises that Ferdinand enjoys his quiet moments and lets him sit there and be happy.After some years, due to an unexpected, highly dramatic event, Ferdinand  gets the reputation of being the fiercest bull in Spain and is selected to fight at a bullfight at Madrid.
What does Ferdinand do in the bullfight arena ? Do the Banderillos, Picadores and the Matador manage to make Ferdinand snort, butt and stick his horns?
Tonight, I'll read The Story of Ferdinand to him. I want Junior to feel secure, understand that it's Okay to be just yourself.
I'm also expecting a discussion on bullfighting, tonight. Junior, is bound to have many question about the sport and the blood bath involved. Personally, I find the tradition cruel and wish this abomination ends soon.
The Story of Ferdinand - Wikipedia gives an interesting insight into the story, its  political relevance, the subsequent film adaptations.
This picture book is suitable for Early readers age group - 5 to 7 years. 

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