Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!
Saturday, 27 January 2018
The Story of Ferdinand revisited
This week Chris explores a comparison between the 1936 picture book and the new release feature length movie 'Ferdinand'...
There are so many elements involved with comparing both
forms of the story - I will attempt to keep it simple yet provide opportunities
to explore some of these. This story is one that I have treasured since
before I can remember.
The Story of Ferdinand,
written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson, was published in 1936
and has been in print and popular with children and their teachers and parents
for over 80 years. Ferdinand is a bull who has no ambition to fight in the bullring in Madrid, he prefers to smell the flowers in the
meadows of his home.
At the time it was published it was very controversial as
the link given shows, due not only to its subject matter but also the setting
and the time. It became a runaway best seller, never having been out of
It was made into a cartoon in 1938 by Walt Disney, the story line
following the original very closely, with some characteristically humorous Disney
Ferdinand of the movie has many things in common with the original story, but the
events would not fill a feature length movie as it stands, so the story has
gained many characters, events and attitudes that are far from the original.
I went to see this movie with two friends, both experienced
teachers who had known and loved Ferdinand’s story from childhood, as had I,
and had all read it to many children over the years.
We were rather apprehensive about the movie experience, as
we had read the following review by Sharon Brody fromCognoscentibut we went anyway.
There were, as we expected, quite a few
shocks for us to weather but we three ultimately agreed on the fact
that though this was in many ways a different story it was a retelling that
fits in today’s world. We also enjoyed it very much. You might too!
Teacher Librarian (moving into Publications) and avid reader