"And for all I know he is sitting there still, under his favorite cork tree, smelling the flowers just quietly": First Edition of "the greatest juvenile classic since Winnie the Pooh"; Lengthily Inscribed by Munro Leaf with a drawing
The Story of Ferdinand.
Leaf, Munro. Illustrated By Robert Lawson.$18,500.00
Item Number: 97468
New York: The Viking Press, 1936.
First edition of Munro Leaf’s beloved children’s classic. Octavo, original half tan cloth, illustrated endpapers. Illustrated by Robert Lawson. Presentation copy, lengthily inscribed by the author with an added drawing, “To Ted Slocum with all the best from Ferdinand and Munro Leaf.” Also in Leaf’s hand is the logo of the Smoke Tree Ranch, dated March 7, 1940, as well as the notation in his hand, “This is one of 5000 of the first of the little bull – they grow more and more like the snows of yesteryear. M. L.” The recipient, Ted Slocum and his wife Isabel built the first house in Smoke Tree Ranch, a historic enclave of homes and guest cottages in the desert of Palm Springs, California. Facilities at the ranch included a dining hall with an all-inclusive meal plan, a swimming pool, stables and more, attracting wealthy industrialists and corporate heads such as Walt Disney as residents. Walt Disney’s company adapted The Story of Ferdinand into an animated short film, winning a 1938 Academy Award. Near fine in a very good price-clipped dust jacket with the $1 present on the rear flap. One of the most sought after children’s books of the twentieth century, particularly scarce and desirable with such provenance, with the author citing the scarcity of the first printing.
"This is perhaps one of the finest 20th-century examples of the inspired wedding of a text and illustrations to make a childrens book that as a whole is even greater than the sum of its parts-which are in themselves very fine indeed. The simple, delightful Leaf story about a Spanish bull who prefers the fragrance of flowers to the roar of the bull-ring is lovingly illustrated by Robert Lawson. The overworked word classic is well deserved here. Children have adored The Story of Ferdinand ever since the book was published" (Early Childrens Books and Their Illustrations). Translated into over 60 languages, Munro Leaf's classic became a number one bestseller in 1938 and has never gone out of print since. Despite its beloved place in children's literature, the book was banned in many countries including Spain and Nazi Germany who denounced it as a pacifist work and 'democratic propaganda.' Following the 1945 defeat of Germany during the Second World War, 30,000 copies were published to be given to the children of Germany in an effort to encourage peace. The book was adapted by Walt Disney into the classic short animated film Ferdinand the Bull in 1938, and more recently into the feature-length computer animated film, Ferdinand, produced by 20th Century Fox Animation.