This is the most outstanding book I have ever read to myself and to a class room. I am saying this because this book have really been loved and appreciated by the children in the school (Libraries in Schools program) LiS and MOP (Mobile Outreach Program). This book requires no translation and no explanation. A completely flawless and gripping book.
One of the reasons the book works immediately with the children is because the context of this story is already embedded in our society. Almost all the children have seen the bull fights either in their locality or have watched them on TV. There are instances where children have also experiences the horror and terror of bull fights where people have almost cost their life. Besides, bull fighting is in the local news lately, so it provided us a context to open this dialogue.
The character itself surprised the children. A bull is normally expected to be strong, fearless, and brave but when the children saw that this particular bull loves to smell flowers, they were astounded. This particular character has chosen to be gentle and not aggressive even though his nature is believed to be of a fighter and that is the beauty of this book.
Another character of the story who also became the subject matter of discussion was the mother who is a cow. Many children responded saying that ….”I wish our mother was as understanding as Ferdinand’s mother”…Our mother is so scary and shouts at us and almost forces us to do things” but not Ferdinand’s mother.
The illustration of this book are simple but heart-warming. By looking at the picture one can easily understand what is happening in the story. The book also has a humor especially the part where Ferdinand accidently sits on a bumble bee. There was a burst of laughter in the class.
The whole book is nicely depicted in the small video of 7 minutes. It a must watch video where it will bring the book alive even more dramatically. We followed every read –aloud of Ferdinand with this classic video and I must strongly urge all readers big and small to read Ferdinand. A book about peace and making choices that work for you!