Author: Munro Leaf
Illustrated by: Robert Lawson
Age Range: Littles (0-7)
It wasn’t more than a month ago when the HappyMom and I were out on a date discussing the great mysteries of life and we stumbled upon the truth that… I am Ferdinand.
With those simple words, “You’re Ferdinand.” My wife pulled the curtain back on a lifetime of hidden identity. If you read our review of “I am a Bunny” and how I said that I believe children’s books have a larger impact on our lives than we know, you already know what I’m saying here.
But it seems that as I visit these books again and again with my own children I am discovering just how true that is.
Stop to Smell the Roses
You see, Ferdinand isn’t like the other bulls. Instead of running and playing and butting heads, he would rather just sit under his favorite tree and smell the flowers.
“That’s just like you,” my wife told me, and she’s right. “Plus you’re always wearing those red shoes now and that red hoodie, just like the red book cover. You’re Ferdinand.”
Our cover is a little more orange than red now, but it’s because our copy is a bit worn. The cover is red as you can see below, and the similarities don’t end there.
I’m pretty sure the cover of a book I read as a kid isn’t directing my clothing purchases, but I do think the lessons it contains did have an effect on me then and now.
Like Ferdinand, I’ve always felt a little different than the typical bull (guy), but the more HappyDads I meet, the more I don’t think that its that I or they that are different than the typical guy. But rather, we’re ALL different than the stereotypical guy.
Like Ferdinand, we have things that we think are more important than what our culture thinks guys should be interested in and that’s honestly why I created HappyDad in the first place.
Connecting Through Play
I believe those things that we as HappyDads think are important are important for a reason.
We’ve been given this natural curiosity to explore and discover certain things that tickle our fancies so to speak, and it’s so we can lead our children on adventures that involve those things.
For me, it’s helping dads connect with their kids through play and adventure so that they can build better relationships.
For some other HappyDads its filmmaking, business, marketing, story telling, traveling, cooking, building, and more.
We’ve settled far too quickly for a mundane existence in an effort to provide our families with a false security, when we should have been leading them on an adventure that would cultivate curiosity, create courage and show them that there is more to life than what we’ve been led to believe.
Play to me, is following that call to adventure.
It’s sitting beneath our favorite tree like Ferdinand and smelling the flowers when everyone else is running around under the spell of busyness and missing the truly important things in life.
Find Your Own Favorite Tree
So pick up a copy of Ferdinand, teach your kids that there is more to life than following the crowd, and start seeking out what it means to find your own favorite tree and smell the flowers.
I dare you.
HappyDad Rating: 5 Silly Faces
James (5 year old boy)
Oh my turn. Hoo ahh! It’s a bull. Uh, huh a bull in a story. Sit on a bee. Got up and that’s it.
Invincible. That’s it, uh huh. It’s a bumble bee. That’s it. Nothing.
Ava (6 Year Old Girl)
It reminds me of flowers, roses, and flowers that smell good. It’s a cute story for kids. It’s funny at the end. And that’s it.
Shaw (9 Year Old Boy)
It’s a fun book, that’s it. Just kidding. It’s funny what happens to him and it made me laugh.
Bella (12 Year Old Girl)
It’s very cute and funny, but it’s best for little kids.
Bring Ferdinand to Story Time and Support HappyDad
You can get this book now at Amazon here: Ferdinand and support HappyDad in the process. Thanks you!