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Munro Leaf Books In Order

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Publication Order of How to Books

How to Speak Politely and Why (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Manners Can Be Fun (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Brushing Your Teeth Can Be Fun (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
Reading Can Be Fun (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Geography Can Be Fun (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Metric Can Be Fun! (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Being An American Can Be Fun (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
How to Behave and Why (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
How to Be: Six Simple Rules for Being the Best Kid You Can Be (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Children's Books

Robert Francis Weatherbee (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Story of Ferdinand (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Noodle (With: Ludwig Bemelmans) (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wee Gillis (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fair Play (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Story of Simpson and Sampson (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
Boo, Who Used To Be Scared Of The Dark (1948)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sam and the Super (1948)Description / Buy at Amazon
Safety Can Be Fun (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Boy Who would Not go to School (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Who Cares? I Do (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gordon the Goat (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Four-And-Twenty Watchbirds (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Flock of Watchbirds (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sam and the Superdroop (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Ludwig Bemelmans Children's Books

with Ludwig Bemelmans
Hansi (By: Ludwig Bemelmans) (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Golden Basket (By: Ludwig Bemelmans) (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Noodle (With: Ludwig Bemelmans) (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Castle Number Nine (By: Ludwig Bemelmans) (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fifi (By: Ludwig Bemelmans) (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rosebud (By: Ludwig Bemelmans) (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Tale of Two Glimps (By: Ludwig Bemelmans) (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sunshine (By: Ludwig Bemelmans,Barbara Bemelmans) (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Happy Place (By: Ludwig Bemelmans) (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Parsley (By: Ludwig Bemelmans) (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Marina (By: Ludwig Bemelmans) (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Quito Express (By: Ludwig Bemelmans) (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon

Munro Leaf
Munro Leaf was born in Hamilton, Maryland on December 4, 1905, with the name Munroe Wilbur Leaf, to Charles W Leaf and Emma India Leaf. Leaf had an elder sister named Elizabeth. By the year 1910, his family had lived in Washington, DC, where his dad had established his career at the Government Printing Office as a machinist.

He graduated in the year 1927 from the University of Maryland where he played lacrosse and was class treasurer. In 1931 got a master’s degree in English literature from Harvard University.

In the year 1929, Munro taught secondary school English at the Belmont Hill School and went on to work as an editor with Frederick A. Stokes Company, a publisher.

Leaf realized early on in his writing career that if someone found some truths that were worth telling they should be told to the young in words they can understand.

He was an author and illustrator of many kids books, and is best remembered for Ferdinand, the Spanish bull that preferred smelling the flowers over fighting in a ring in Spain. He wrote the story for an illustrator named Robert Lawson, who was Leaf’s friend.

The book created controversy after it was written in under an hour on a Sunday afternoon in the year 1935. This is with the Spanish Civil War raging on, political critics claimed that it was a satirical attack on aggression. It was banned in Spain as a result. In India, Ghandi said it was his favorite, while in Germany, the book was burned. Still to this day, Ferdinand charms kids all over the world, the story has been translated into more than sixty languages and has never once been out of print since its original publication.

During the thirties and forties, he wrote one-page, off-the-cuff, jocular condensations of Romeo and Juliet, Robinson Crusoe, and Ivanhoe for a feature called “Streamlined Samples of the World’s Best Stories”. It was a feature that ran in The American Magazine.

During the second world war, Lear worked for the Army Department. After the war had ended, he volunteered his skills to the State Department, as he insisted he was quite anxious to work with the Office of Public Affairs. Leaf was willing to do so both in an unofficial capacity and without any compensation on matters of international policy. This resulted in a cartoon book on the Marshall Plan.

Also during the second world war, both Leaf and Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) came up with the pamphlet called “This is Ann”. It is about a mosquito that spreads malaria to men that failed to take the necessary precautions. The pamphlet was published by the US Government War Department.

Leaf’s University of Maryland lacrosse stick was donated to be used as the traveling trophy between Ann Arbor Skyline and Ann Arbor Pioneer high schools. It is to be possessed by the winner of each matchup of the two schools in between matches.

Leaf had introduced his sons, Dr. James ‘Gil’ Leaf and Andrew Leaf, to lacrosse. Gil played goalie on the Harvard team from the year 1961 until 1963. When his career in education took both him and his lacrosse stick off to Ann Arbor to be the head of school at Emerson, he started the area’s first middle school lacrosse program during the eighties. This is before he became the coach at the University of Michigan and Pioneer High School.

Besides writing about Ferdinand, he also wrote the “How to” series of books. He also wrote “Aesop’s Fables” and “Watchbirds”, a cartoon series that was a cartoon commentary on human behavior. After running as a regular feature in the Ladies’ Home Journal, it was collected into many books.

“The Story of Ferdinand” was adapted into a Disney movie that won an Academy Award in the year 1938. In the year 2017, another animated adaptation, called “Ferdinand”, was released. It featured the voice work of John Cena, Anthony Anderson, and Kate McKinnon, among others.

He died December 21, 1976 in Garrett Park, Maryland when he was 71 years old.

“Wee Gillis” was cited as a Caldecott Honor Book for the year 1939. In the year 1995, he was inducted into the University of Maryland Alumni Hall of Fame.

Over the years, some of his books have come back into print, allowing kids of a newer generation to fall in love with more of Leaf’s stories.

“The Story of Ferdinand” is the first stand alone book, which was released in the year 1936. All the other bulls would butt their heads against one another and run and jump. Ferdinand would much rather sit down and smell all the flowers. He does just that, until the very day a bumblebee and some guys from the Madrid bullfights give this gentle bull a chance to be the most ferocious star of the corrida. Not to mention the most unexpected comic hero.

“Wee Gillis” is a stand alone book, which was released in the year 1938. Wee Gillis lives in Scotland. He is an orphan, spending half of the year with his mom’s people in the Lowlands, and the other half sees him in the Highlands with his dad’s kin. Each side of Gillis’ family is eager to have him settle down and adopt their own ways.

In the Lowlands, he gets taught how to herd cattle, taught how to call each of them to him. Even during the heaviest of evening fogs. While in the rocky Highlands, he hunts stags from one outcrop to another, holding his breath so he does not make a sound.

Wee Gillis makes for a quick study, and he quickly picks up what his elders are able to teach him. Yet he is still unprepared when the day arrives for him to choose, once and for all, if it will be the Highlands or Lowlands that he will call his home.

“Boo, Who Used to Be Scared of the Dark” is a stand alone book, which was released in the year 1948. A kitty teaches a little boy that is afraid of snakes, lightning, bugs, and the dark how to be brave.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Munro Leaf

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