A confession: For years when I taught Spanish I would read El cuento de Ferdinando aloud to my students. For some reason I always thought the original was written by a Spanish author and only recently discovered that Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson are not the translators but the original American authors of this famous children’s book.


The book was translated to Spanish by  Pura Belpré of the Pura Belpré Award. I really don’t know how I missed this one…must have been too busy to telling everyone to sit “criss-cross applesauce” and waiting for someone to come back from the bathroom! The Spanish version is still my favorite, having read those first famous words so many times: “Érase una vez un toro que se llamaba Ferdinando que vivía en España…”


Disney came out with a movie based on the book. Did you see it? The original Disney mini-film is very cute. The themes of the story resonate with me and are great for kids – stay true to yourself, don’t judge a book by its cover.

As far as the subject of bullfighting goes, while I respect the historical significance of this tradition, I am not a supporter of bullfighting in our modern times. I stand with Catalonia and over half of Spaniards on this one! You can read my post about bullfighting here.


Have you read Ferdinando? Any other classic tales that are ingrained in your memory from childhood or now as an adult? ¡Que viva el toro!


Published by Alison Trujillo


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