This year, Read Across America, a national event sponsored by the National Education Association, honors the 75th anniversary of "The Story of Ferdinand."
"The book came out in 1936, just before the Spanish Civil War, said Rakisha Kearns-White, senior young adult specialist at the Brooklyn Public Library. "It was considered subversive because it encouraged pacifism," she added.
The story has been translated into 60 languages and has never been out of print.
Asked why the book has such universal appeal, Kearns-White said, "It teaches individuality in the face of peer pressure."
So, to honor Ferdinand, here are Kerns-White's picks for children's and young adult books:
1. "The Story of Ferdinand," by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson
The beloved tale tells the story of Ferdinand, a bull who would rather smell the flowers than fight. For children (and adults).
2. "Spain," by Rae Simons
This book, for children in grades 3 through 6, presents the history, culture economy and government of Ferdinand's home country.
3. "Countries of the World: Spain," by Neil Champion
This book, for students in grades 7 through 12, gives students a good picture of the geography, culture and history of Spain, as well as its place in the European Union.
4. "For Whom the Bell Tolls," by Ernest Hemingway.
Appropriate for students grades 7 through 12 (and beyond!), the classic tells the story of a young American volunteering as an anti-fascist guerilla soldier during the Spanish civil War.
5. "The Jamie and Angus Stories," by Anne Fine and illustrated by Penny Dale
This award-winning beginning chapter book, for grades 2 through 4, tells the story about a little boy, his toy bull and the adventures they share.