"THE OVERWORKED WORD 'CLASSIC' IS WELL DESERVED HERE": FIRST EDITION OF THE STORY OF FERDINAND, IN ORIGINAL DUST JACKET
LEAF, Munro. The Story of Ferdinand. Illustrated by Robert Lawson. New York: Viking, 1936. Square octavo, original half tan cloth, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $8500.
First edition of one of the most popular and enduring children's books ever written, in original dust jacket.
"Leaf struck a vein of purest gold, producing an indisputable classic of children's literature" (Kirkpatrick, 461). "This is perhaps one of the finest 20th-century examples of the inspired wedding of a text and illustrations to make a children's 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 Children's Books and Their Illustrations, 251). Seen as "an international emblem of pacifism… Ferdinand created a global controversy overnight. The Story of Ferdinand was denigrated and banned in civil war-torn Spain, scorned and burned as propaganda by Hitler, and labeled in America as promoting fascism, anarchism, and communism" (Silvey, 396). "Possibly the most famous example of the picture book as political text" (Norton, 1060), Ferdinand ultimately became the number one bestseller in 1938. It has been translated into more than 60 languages and has never gone out of print. Carpenter & Pritchard, 305. See Cotsen 6295.
Book exceptionally fine, with bright covers and clean interior. Some small chips and creases to edges of bright and lovely original dust jacket, very good.