Bambi

By Felix Salten, Richard Cowdrey (illustrator),

Book cover of Bambi: A Life in the Woods

Book description

Immerse yourself in a young deer's world in this resplendent, collectible edition of the richly imagined and vividly illustrated masterpiece that inspired the beloved Disney film.

Bambi lives in a thicket in the forest. From his kind and caring mother, to all the friends he makes among the forest's inhabitants,…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Bambi as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I remember the first time someone told me to read this book, and I replied, “Bambi? Really? No thank you.” I, of course, had only known the Disney-ized version of the story. I assumed it was a book for toddlers, with cute little bunny rabbits and birds singing in the trees. I was very wrong. It is a profound coming-of-age story dealing with family, love, parents, adulthood, loss, intolerance, death, betrayal, and the horrors which humans can inflict on both the environment and each other. It was banned and burned in Germany in 1936 as it was seen as a…

If you know the Disney film rather than Felix Salten’s novel, you may be surprised by this, the original story – the film is far better-known. It encourages us to empathise with animals and to see humans from their point of view – and most humans don’t come out of it well, shooting and maiming wild animals for sport, spreading terror throughout the forest in which Bambi, the deer, is born.  After the loss of his mother and another tragic episode in which his cousin, Gobi, is betrayed, Bambi learns to survive, but also to fear humankind. This is…

From Linda's list on animals and us.

I’ve never seen the Disney movie, so I can’t compare, but the book isn’t your typical children’s fare. Although I wrote The Back of the Beyond before reading Bambi, there is a similarity, in that Bambi also depicts animals as they really are: predatory, sometimes merciless, often confused by the acts of humans. The hunting scenes, seen from the forest animals’ perspective, aren’t easy to read. Nonetheless, there is great beauty as we follow Bambi from the moment of his birth through his journey to adulthood. I came away with a greater appreciation for nature. The brief chapter depicting…

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