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Bambi: A Life in the Woods by Felix Salten

Bambi: A Life in the Woods (original 1928; edition 1988)

by Felix Salten

Series: Bambi (1)

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961None8,985 (4)23
Title:Bambi: A Life in the Woods
Authors:Felix Salten
Info:Aladdin (1988), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, children's

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Bambi by Felix Salten (1928)

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English (24)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (27)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
A true classic! I will forever remember Chapter 8 as one of the best chapters ever written. The perfect story for all ages. I'll never look at deer the same way again. ( )
  TiffanyHickox | Mar 12, 2014 |
I know what you're thinking...Bambi, seriously? Yes, I've been on a kick of reading children's classics that are also Disney movies, in order to see how Disney ruined them or improved them.

First off, Bambi is a strange book. You could group it with other animals-with-human-characteristics books, such as Watership Down and The Rats of NIMH. But, unlike those books, which have a great-escape type plot, Bambi doesn't have much of a plot, it's simply the life of a deer, being born and growing old.

Disney made the film version very cutesy, however, Bambi as a book is very serious. There's no skunk named Flower, no Thumper (although there is a rabbit with a minor role), and no running around being "twitterpated". There's no comedy or laugh out loud cute moments. The film builds up to the potential-childhood-scarring-scence were Bambi's mother dies, making it the great tragedy of the cartoon. However, in Bambi the book, there is much more death.

Seeing as Bambi is probably not on a lot of people's "must read", I'll go ahead and ruin it for ya...animals with minor roles die (squirrel, rabbit, fox), Bambi's mother, Bambi's cousin, Bambi's father, and even one of the hunters dies in the forest. It's unclear if the hunter tripped and hit his head or killed himself with a gun or what since it's from Bambi's point-of-view, anyhow he's bleeding and dead.

One could argue that Bambi's doe, Faline, is dead at the end of the book, because there's a fawn running around looking for her mother that looks just like Faline. However, I just read that Felix Salten wrote a sequel with Faline as one of the characters, so I guess she's not dead. Although, if you didn't know that, you could interpret that way.

Anyhow, after reading the book, I really wish there was a film version that did the book justice. I think the essence of Bambi's story would fit in well with Hayao Miyazaki films such as Pom Poko and Princess Mononoke.

Overall, Salten did a good job in teaching the reader about a deer's life, but it's an odd book. ( )
  vonze | Feb 6, 2014 |
School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-Many children know this story from the Disney film, but the book's lyrical, sometimes old-fashioned prose with its occasionally harshly realistic view of nature makes it most suitable for older children. Here is a well-crafted adaptation of the original story that is aimed at younger readers. It still recounts the story of Bambi and his life in the forest, but by carefully selecting words and phrases (many of them Salten's own), Schulman has told a much more compact version of the tale, but one that still retains the spirit and essence of the original. The major difference is that many of the descriptive passages have been eliminated, so readers get less of a feel for Bambi's surroundings and a bit less of the poetic tone. However, all of the main events are included, even the deaths of Bambi's mother and others, and the story's theme of humanity as the biggest danger facing the forest dwellers remains intact. This is not a "sanitized" retelling of the story, just a shorter one. The rather somber mood is well complemented by oil paintings that lend an extra element of emotion. The hard realities of life in the wild are still evident, and some of the events may be disturbing to younger, more sensitive children. Others, though, will certainly welcome this nicely presented, accessible version of a beloved tale.
Arwen Marshall, New York Public Library
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
  Vanessamom25 | Jan 17, 2014 |
The differences between this book and Disney's animated version are many. As others have already mentioned, this is definitely a darker tale. I thought the beginning was slow, but by the first appearance of the fall season I was hooked. I hope that other adults will not shy away from giving this children's classic a try. You will not be disappointed.

Now that the story is over I find myself still mulling over the conversation between the two leaves. I have great respect for Salten's ability to evoke empathy for something as seemingly innocuous as a leaf. I'm also mentally munching on the face-off between the fox and the hound. That scene was incredible. ( )
  diovival | Oct 14, 2013 |
I know I was much touched by this great animal story ( )
  Schmerguls | Sep 14, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Salten, Felixprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chambers, WhittakerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cooney, BarbaraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galsworthy, JohnForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodenow, GirardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
He came into the world in the middle of the thicket, in one of those little, hidden forest glades which seem to be entirely open, but are really screened in on all sides. There was very little room in it, scarcely enough for him and his mother.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please don't combine this original work by Felix Salten with the adaptation by Walt Disney.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067166607X, Paperback)

Bambi comes into the world in a forest glade, loved by his mother, protected by a thicket. He grows up frolicking in the meadow, befriending butterflies and screech owls, and learning about the dark fear of all the woodland creatures: man. Over time, Bambi seeks out the wisdom of the prince of deer, a magnificent old stag who walks alone through the paths of the forest. Bambi is torn between his desire to be with his beloved mate, Faline, and his yearning for the knowledge and solitude the prince represents. He is also conflicted about his friend Gobo, who has returned to the forest after a winter living among humans. Gobo behaves unnaturally by strolling through the woods by day when other deer are sleeping, showing no fear of his natural mortal enemy.

This 1926 classic has been stretched and squeezed into many forms over the years, but the Felix Salten original should not be missed. With the richer, more highly wrought language of his time, Salten crafts a story layered in meaning, weighty with its message. The sometimes cruel, often joyful cycle of life continues, in spite of those who try to defy nature's law. (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:38 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Summary: Describes the life of a deer in the forest as he grows into a beautiful stag.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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