This is an enchanting and timeless tale, and is everything a children's book should be. The message is not simply one of peace and commitment to an ideal, but also one of basic karma, existentialist philosophy of choice and responsibility, and the need for all to follow the Golden Rule.
The Story of Ferdinand lets children know it is okay to stay true to their characters, and will encourage them to think their way out of situations, rather than muscle their way out. Ferdinand's peaceful and contented nature is something all human beings should all aspire to.
Having been stung by many bees in my youth, mainly while traipsing barefoot through clover and accidentally stepping on them, I have great sympathy for our hero and the situation he finds himself in. The realization that even small events and actions can have a tremendous impact on our lives, and everything else that surrounds us in this world, is beautifully presented in this story. How Ferdinand chooses to deal with his plight at being taken away to fight is, of course, the heart and significance of this tale. His choice of poetic action is a perfect lesson in morality and provides the lasting appeal for this book.
I recommend this classic for all ages and peoples, especially in our troubled times. It has a wonderful philosophy of life message; and even if readers choose not to apply the lesson to real life, the charming tale of Ferdinand is worth reading simply for its power to delight and entertain.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles