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Kidlit’s Famous Bull


is reviewed today by Lindy Michaels of Bookstar on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City.

This timeless oldie, THE STORY OF FERDINAND, (written by Munro Leaf with drawings by Robert Lawson) recently celebrated 75 years since first being published (for goodness sake, that’s older than me!) and continues to be one great goodie. What with the likes of Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious and Dora The Explorer, some of the most wonderful and beloved classic children’s books have been all but forgotten and what a shame that is.

9780448456942lOf course, as all good stories begin, “Once upon a time in Spain, there lived a little bull and his name was Ferdinand.” Oh, yes, all the other little bulls did what, well, little bulls do. They ran and jumped and butted their heads together. But, no, not Ferdinand. All he wanted to do was to sit quietly in his favorite spot in the pasture and smell the flowers. His mother worried her little bull was lonely, but Ferdinand was happy being alone and breathing in the sweet, sweet scents. And that is how he spent his days.

But he didn’t stay little for long and, in fact, grew to be the biggest and strongest bull of them all. Because of this, when men came to pick out a bull for the greatest matador in Madrid to fight, of course, they looked at Ferdinand. Harmless, quiet Ferdinand? Then, just as he was sitting down to smell the flowers, the poor bull was stung by a bee, which made him go crazy. Hey! Bee stings can hurt even such a giant of a bull. Ferdinand began to snort and butt and paw the ground and the men knew they had found their prize.

The great day came, the flags were flying, the bands were playing and the matador couldn’t wait to get into the ring with this great and ferocious bull.  If truth be told, when he saw the size of Ferdinand and heard how ‘crazy’ he was, he was also quite nervous. Of course, we
know Ferdinand wasn’t fierce, at all, that is, as long as another bee didn’t sting his rump!

Once in the bull ring, Ferdinand walked into the middle of the great arena and… sat down and breathed in all the wonderful scents from all the flowers in the women’s hair who sat in the stands.  And he was so happy. The matador, who wanted to show off to the people how brave he was, was not so happy. Yes, it was back to the pasture for Ferdinand.

Now, anyone who has read my children’s reviews, knows how much I love a story with a good moral. So now, mommies and daddies, take your tots outside for a nice, long walk and please… stop and smell the roses!

lindymichaelspicThe very versatile Lindy Michaels aims to inspire young minds through children’s literature. Lindy owned L.A.’s first children’s bookshop, OF BOOKS AND SUCH (1972-1987) where she did storytelling, taught drama to children, had art and poetry contests and the like. According to Lindy, “It was truly a ‘land of enchantment.” She also spent years lecturing on realism in children’s literature at colleges in the state. For close to five years Lindy has worked for Studio City Barnes and Noble (BookStar) in the children’s section and does storytelling every Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

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