Friday, July 22, 2011

15/365 The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Okay, I did not actually pull a "Squirrel Nutkin to the rescue" here.  I did read another book today, but I wanted to talk about this one.  So there.

Now boys and girls, today we're going to talk about the best picture book on earth.

Actually, we might not talk at all.  We might just look at these perfect pictures and weep.
Like I said, The Story of Ferdinand is the best picture book on earth.  Ever.  To infinity.  I will listen kindly to people who argue for Horton Hears a Who (even though they won't read it aloud to their kid because it takes too long), and I will just smile and pat them on the head.  Because those people are wrong.

This book is perfect.  The pictures are stunning and gorgeous and hilarious.  The story isn't episodic like a lot of picture books seem to be these days - it has a beginning, middle, and end.  For improving types, it has a message. It was written right before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil war, which I think it interesting.  It is short.  Kids can sit through it, adults can stomach it.  It is well-written, in a sparse kind of way.  The words and pictures are fitted together - and I do mean physically put together on the page - in a way that feels magical.  Look at that "O" in the top picture.  It's a bit tilted!  And it isn't a book that specifically messes with the words, the way others do.  It's just that one time.  The balance between empty expanses of white, and dense, detailed ink is just... just wonderful.

Boy, I'm getting sappy.

CONCLUSION: Well, it's probably pretty obvious, what I'm going to say.  YOU SHOULD READ FERDINAND.  If only because you, my dear imaginary reader, haven't seen some of the best pictures.  And because it is the best picture book on earth.

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