The Story of Ferdinand written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson was one of my most favorite books as a child. Since I just discovered it is still in print, I have ordered it so I can continue cherishing it.
I am not surprised it is still in print as it is the most timeless story. I remember many happy hours dreamily go by as I looked at the book. I am surprised to learn all the hidden significance behind the book. From Wikipedia:
"The book was released nine months before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, and was seen by many supporters of Francisco Franco as a pacifist book. It was banned in many countries, including in Spain. In Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler ordered the book burned, while Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, granted it privileged status as the only non-communist children's book allowed in Poland. India's leader Mahatma Gandhi called it his favorite book."
It is a simple story of a bull that didn’t want to fight, as he preferred sitting under a tree smelling flowers.
The deeper meaning is the story of Ferdinand, the bull who followed his heart and proved that just because you're a bull you don't have to act like one. It is thought the book crosses gender lines in that it offers a character to which both boys and girls can relate.
I am going to return to my memories of an enchanting bull in the Spanish countryside smelling flowers. It conjures up such a calm, happy and lazy feeling.