The book was banned in Spain and Germany. Hitler demanded the burning of the Ferdinand as “degenerate propaganda”. It remained banned in Spain until Franco’s death in 1975. Stalin granted it privileged status as the only non-communist children’s book allowed in Poland. President Roosevelt requested a copy for the White House. When Germany fell, 30,000 copies of the book were distributed throughout the country as a peace-keeping mission.
Within a year of its publication it would outsell Gone with the Wind to become the number one best seller in the United States. The year after, Life Magazine called it “the greatest juvenile classic since Winnie-the-Pooh”. The Story of Ferdinand has never been out of print.
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