If you’re a fan of Fall Out Boy, you might know that their album title “From Under the Cork Tree” was inspired by the book, The Story of Ferdinand. I knew this and I’d been wanting to check the book out for some time. I’m pretty sure I’d read this book a few times as a child, but it was nice to reread it as an adult to see just how wonderful it is.
The Story of Ferdinand is about a young bull named Ferdinand who isn’t like his peers. The other bulls would rather run and jump and bump their heads together, “but not Ferdinand.” Ferdinand would much rather sit quietly under his favorite cork tree (an actual tree that grows corks on it; *giggles*) by himself.
But when sweet, pacifist Ferdinand is chosen by accident for the bull fighting in Madrid, what will happen?
I think this book is highly relatable for any children (or adults) who are a little bit different and unlike their peers. Ferdinand’s mother is super understanding. She sees that he wasn’t alone when sitting under the cork tree but actually happy and content, so she lets him do what makes him happy. I loved that. That’s how mothers should be: you should encourage your children to do exactly what makes them happy (I’m glad I had a mother and father like this).
This book is very sweet. I love its message: it is okay to be you. Do what you love doing even if it’s not what people expect of you. Be happy. If you don’t want to do something, don’t.
Highly recommended. It takes no time at all to read and it’s a great message for kids.
The Story of Ferdinand
Written by Munro Leaf; illustrated by Robert Lawson
Published by Viking; January 1936
72 pages (hardcover)