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The Story of Ferdinand

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, Illustrated by Robert Lawson

A true classic with a timeless message, The Story of Ferdinand has enchanted readers since it was first published in 1936.

Ferdinand is a little bull who much prefers sitting quietly under a cork tree and smelling the flowers to jumping around and butting heads with other bulls. As he grows big and strong, Ferdinand's temperament remains mellow – until the day he meets with the wrong end of a bee.

The one day Ferdinand isn't sitting quietly under the cork tree (due to a frightful sting), is the same day that five men come to choose the "biggest, fastest, roughest bull" for the bullfights in Madrid. Ferdinand's day in the arena gives readers an education in the historical tradition of bullfighting, and a lesson in staying true to oneself.

Jumpstart's Read for the Record asked Americans to support early education opportunities for all children by reading the official campaign book, The Story of Ferdinand, together on September 20, 2007 to break the record for the largest shared reading experience ever, which was set by 150,000 people on August 24, 2006, during the inaugural year of Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign. You can read this book online or in hard copy.
More Information on Read for the Record.

Make a Hat
Many of the people in this story wear very interesting hats. Your students will enjoy creating and/or decorating hats for themselves. Below, you'll find links to hat templates or you can encourage your artists to design a new hat on their own.

Learn Spanish Words
Use these flashcards to help your students learn the Spanish words for some of the vocabulary from El Cuento de Ferdinando (The Story of Ferdinand in Spanish). Encourage students to color the images on the flashcards.

Count the Animals
In The Story of Ferdinand there are many images of animals. Create a class graph (similar to the one below) with the names and tallies of the animals you find in the story.

Animal Number of Images
Bull or Cow 50
Butterfly 9
Turtle 1
Bee 3
Buzzard  
Bird  
   
   

A Flag About Me
Children create a flag that celebrates the uniquely wonderful things about themselves.

Popsicle Stick Puppets
Your class will enjoy recreating The Story of Ferdinand as a puppet show after they have drawn and mounted characters or objects from the story on popsicle sticks.

Ferdinand's Happiness Pasture
Have students draw pictures of what makes them happy on the flower template. Then glue the flowers to a pasture picture you create on butcher paper.

Be True to Yourself Book
Children will enjoy creating a book about themselves that includes pictures of what they like to do, their friends, and family.

Map of Spain
Use this map of Europe to talk about Spain's location, climate, neighbors, and more.

Other Languages
Your students may speak a language other than English at home or with relatives or friends. Encourage them to share some vocabulary and bring in items from home that are written in a language other than English.

Explore Spanish Culture

  • Host a Spanish cooking class. A great dish to try is paella, one of Spain's most famous dishes. Or how about gazpacho or Spanish rice? If possible, invite students' parents and/or other classes in your school to join the fiesta!
  • Introduce students to Spanish music. Flamenco music and dance are an exciting way to expose your students to Spanish culture. There are numerous websites that have Spanish songs and music for your classto enjoy.
  • El Greco, Goya, Picasso, Miró, Dali – these are just a few of the many, exceptional, Spanish artists to introduce to your students. Have them try to imitate the artist's style and create a masterpiece of their own.

Enjoy other books by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson .

Munro Leaf Bibliography

  • Leaf, Munro, "Grammar Can Be Fun." New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1934.
  • Mun (Munro Leaf) "Lo, the Poor Indian." New York: Leaf, Mahoney, Seidel & Stokes, 1934.
  • Leaf, Munro, "The Boy Who Would Not Go to School: Robert Francis Weatherbee." New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1935.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Manners Can Be Fun." New York, Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1936.
  • Leaf, Munro, Robert Lawson (Illustrator). "The Story of Ferdinand." New York: Viking Press, 1936.
  • Leaf, Munro, Ludwig Bemelmans (Illustrator) "Noodle." New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1937.
  • Leaf, Munro, Robert Lawson (Illustrator). "Wee Gillis." New York, Viking Press, 1938.
  • Leaf, Munro, Dick Rose (Illustrator) "Listen Little Girl, Before You Come to New York." New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1938.
  • Leaf, Munro, Disney Illustrators. "Walt Disney's Ferdinand the Bull." New York: Dell Publishing, 1938.
  • Leaf, Munro, "The Watchbirds." New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1938.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Safety Can Be Fun." New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1938.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Fair Play." New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1939.
  • Leaf, Munro, "More Watchbirds: A Picture Book of Behavior." New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1940.
  • Leaf, Munro, "John Henry Davis." New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1940.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Fly Away, Watchbird: A Picture Book of Behavior." New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1941.
  • Leaf, Munro, Robert Lawson (Illustrator). "Aesop's Fables." New York: Heritage Press, 1941.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Munro Leaf's Fun Book." New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1941.
  • Leaf, Munro, Robert Lawson. "The Story of Simpson and Sampson." New York: Viking Press, 1941.
  • Leaf, Munro, "A War-Time Handbook for Young Americans." Philadelphia: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1942.
  • Leaf, Munro, "My Book to Help America." Racine, WI: Whitman Publishing Co., 1942.
  • Leaf, Munro, Theodor Seuss Geisel (Illustrator). "This is Ann, She's Dying to Meet You." US Government War Department, Washington, 1943.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Health Can be Fun." New York: J.B. Lippincott, 1943.
  • Leaf, Munro, "3 and 30 Watchbirds: A Picture Book of Behavior." Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1944.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Let's Do Better." J.B. Lippincott Co., 1945.
  • Calvert, John (Munro Leaf), Garrett Price (Illustrator). "Gwendolyn the Goose." Random House, 1946.
  • Leaf, Munro, "How to Behave and Why." Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1946.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Flock of Watchbirds." New York: J.B. Lippincott, 1946.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Who is the Man Against the Marshall Plan." Committee for the Marshall Plan, 1947.
  • Leaf, Munro, Frances Tipton Hunte (Illustrator). "Boo, Who Used to Be Scared of the Dark." New York: Random House, 1948.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Sam and the Superdroop." New York: Viking Press, 1948.
  • Menninger, William C. (M.D.); Leaf, Munro. "You and Psychiatry." New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Arithmetic Can Be Fun." Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1949.
  • Leaf, Munro, "History Can Be Fun." Philadelphia: Lippincott Co., 1950.
  • Leaf, Munro, "The Danger of Hiding Our Heads." Committee on the Present Danger, 1951.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Geography Can Be Fun!" Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1951.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Reading Can Be Fun." Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1953.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Lucky You." J.B. Lippincott, 1955.
  • Leaf, Munro, "How to Behave and Why." J.B. Lippincott, 1955.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Three Promises to You." Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1957.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Science Can Be Fun." Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1958.
  • Leaf, Munro, "The Wishing Pool." New York: J.B. Lippincott, 1960.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Being an American Can Be Fun." Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1964.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Turnabout." Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1967.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Gordon the Goat." New York: Scholastic Book, 1968.
  • Leaf, Munro, "I Hate You." Boston: Sterling Institute Press, 1968.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Who Cares? I Do." New York: J.B. Lippincott, 1971.
  • Leaf, Munro, "Four and Twenty Watchbirds." Hamden, Connecticut: Linnet Books, 1990.

Robert Lawson Bibliography

  • Mason, Arthur, Robert Lawson (Illustrator). "From the Horn of the Moon." New York: Doubleday, 1931.
  • Haines, William Wister, Robert Lawson (Illustrator). "Slim." Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1934.
  • Coatsworth, Elizabeth, Robert Lawson (Illustrator). "The Golden Horseshoe." New York: Macmillan and Sons, 1935.
  • Leaf, Munro, Robert Lawson (Illustrator). "The Story of Ferdinand." New York: Viking Press, 1936.
  • Fish, Helen Dean, Robert Lawson (Illustrator). "Four and Twenty Blackbirds." New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1937.
  • Bowie, Walter Russell, Robert Lawson (Illustrator). "The Story of Jesus for Young People." New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1937.
  • Leaf, Munro, Robert Lawson (Illustrator). "Wee Gillis." New York: Viking Press, 1938.
  • Atwater, Richard & Florence, Lawson, Robert (Illustrator). "Mr. Popper's Penguins." Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1938.
  • Lawson, Robert. "Ben and Me: An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin By His Good Mouse Amos." Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1939.
  • Bunyan, John, Robert Lawson (Illustrator), "Pilgrim's Progress." New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1939.
  • Lawson, Robert. "Watchwords of Liberty." Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1939.
  • Lawson, Robert. "They Were Strong and Good." New York: Viking Press, 1940.
  • Lawson, Robert (Illustrator). "Just For Fun: A Collection of Stories and Verses." New York: Rand McNally, 1940.
  • Lawson, Robert. "I Discover Columbus: A True Chronicle of the Great Admiral & His Finding of the New World." Boston: Little Brown, 1941.
  • Forester, C. S., Robert Lawson (Illustrator). "Poo-poo and the Dragons." Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1941.
  • Leaf, Munro, Robert Lawson (Illustrator). "Aesop's Fables." New York: Heritage Press, 1941.
  • Teal, Val, Robert Lawson (Illustrator), "The Little Woman Who Wanted Noise." New York: Rand McNally, 1943.
  • Lawson, Robert. "Rabbit Hill." New York: Viking Press, 1944.
  • Lawson, Robert. "Country Colic." Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1944.
  • Lawson, Robert. "Mr. Wilmer." Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1945.
  • Lawson, Robert. "Mr. Twigg's Mistake." Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1947.
  • Lawson, Robert. "At That Time." New York: Viking Press, 1947.
  • Lawson, Robert. "Robbut: A Tale of Tails." New York: Viking Press, 1948.
  • Lawson, Robert. "Dick Whittington & His Cat." New York, Limited Editions Club, 1949.
  • Lawson, Robert. "The Fabulous Flight." Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1951.
  • Lawson, Robert. "Smeller Martin." New York: The Viking Press, 1950.
  • Lawson, Robert. "McWhinney's Jaunt." Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1951.
  • Lawson, Robert. "Mr. Revere And I." Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1953.
  • Lawson, Robert. "The Tough Winter." New York: Viking Press, 1954.
  • Lawson, Robert. "Captain Kidd's Cat." Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1956.
  • Lawson, Robert. "The Great Wheel." New York: Viking Press, 1957.

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