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Bambi: A Life in the Woods

Bambi: A Life in the Woods

4.9 12
by Felix Salten, Richard Cowdrey (Illustrator)

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The Prince of the Forest

Bambi's life in the woods begins happily. There are forest animals to play with -- Friend Hare, the chattery squirrel, the noisy screech owl, and Bambi's twin cousins, frail Gobo and beautiful Faline.

But winter comes, and Bambi learns that the woods hold danger -- and things he doesn't


The Prince of the Forest

Bambi's life in the woods begins happily. There are forest animals to play with -- Friend Hare, the chattery squirrel, the noisy screech owl, and Bambi's twin cousins, frail Gobo and beautiful Faline.

But winter comes, and Bambi learns that the woods hold danger -- and things he doesn't understand. The first snowfall makes food hard to find. Bambi's father, a handsome stag, roams the forest, but leaves Bambi and his mother alone.

Then there is Man. He comes to the forest with weapons that can wound an animal. He does terrible things to Gobo, to Bambi's mother, and even to Bambi. But He can't keep Bambi from growing into a handsome stag himself, and becoming...the Prince of the Forest.

Editorial Reviews

John Chamberlain
[Salten] has the gift of a tender, lucid style. His observation is next door to marvelous, and he invests the fruits of this observation with pure poetry. His comprehension makes his deer, his screech-owls, his butterflies, grasshoppers and hares, far more exciting to read about than hundreds of human beings who crowd the pages of our novels. -- Books of the Century; New York Times review, July 1928
Publishers Weekly
In 1999, Schulman adapted Salten's 1923 novel, bringing the original tale of a young deer's coming of age to a generation more familiar with the Disney animated version. Here, the woodland story, considered by many critics to be the first "ecological" novel, springs to life via Dolan's fine reading. Young listeners will be eager to follow along on Bambi's first frolics in the meadow, where he encounters a magpie, grasshoppers, butterflies and dandelions. By then, listeners will be hooked enough to stay with this recording as Bambi takes in stride the important, if somber, life lessons imparted by his mother, all the while trying to understand why "life is so difficult and dangerous." And when hunters encroach, taking his mother from him, Bambi knows he has to follow the advice of the stag known as the Great Prince: "Listen, smell and see for yourself; live by yourself; find out for yourself." Dolan's comfortable storytelling style conveys all the wonder, awe and self-discovery of the material and does not over-sentimentalize the deeper emotional current that comes with encountering death. A wide range of listeners will find much to appreciate in this more serious (compared to Disney's interpretation) look at a beloved children's character. Ages 6-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
New York Times Book Review
With its mystical, exultant evocation of nature, and its unwavering depiction of savage human nature, "Bambi" truly is a story for all ages. Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher's Luminous paintings capture, by turns, the radiance of Bambi's forest world, its beauty, terror and stillness, as the seasons pass and Bambi grows into princely maturity.
—Elizabeth Spires
Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
For readers more familiar with the Disney version of the tale of a fawn growing up in the forest, this beautifully illustrated edition will be a surprise. While the story does not lose any of its charm, the tone is more somber, reflecting less on the grief in the circle of life and more on the acceptance that death is part of life. Bambi’s playmates are other fawns, primarily his cousins, and his role models are the stags that do not associate with the does and fawns after the mating season. Bambi seeks out the advice of the old stag after his mother is killed by the hunter and from him learns how to avoid the hunter and how to be self-sufficient. The story encompasses most of Bambi’s life although the passage of years is not measured by events as much as it is by seasons so readers feel as though they are part of the forest and events are less important than the day-to-day life of the animals that live there. This will be too slow for many readers and is recommended for middle school and older. Reviewer: Ellen Welty; Ages 10 to 14.

Product Details

Publication date:
Bambi's Classic Animal Tales Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt


That evening when Bambi and his mother were playing tag in the meadow, his mother saw her friend the hare and introduced him to Bambi.

"Good evening, young man," said Hare politely.

Bambi thought the hare's long spoonlike ears, which at times stood bolt upright and at others fell back limply as though they had suddenly grown weak, were funny. Bambi had to laugh.

The hare laughed quickly too, but then his eyes grew more thoughtful. To Bambi's surprise he suddenly sat straight up on his hind legs and said to Bambi's mother, "What a charming young prince. I sincerely congratulate you. Yes, indeed, he'll make a splendid prince in time." And with that, the hare excused himself -- "I have all kinds of things to do tonight" -- and hopped off, ears back, so they touched his shoulders.

Copyright 1928 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Copyright renewed 1956 by Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Storybook adaptation copyright © 1999 by Janet Schulman

Meet the Author

Glynis johns is a Tony® Award-winning actress and has appeared in numerous films, including Mary Poppins.

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Bambi: A Life in the Woods 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book. If you think that you know this story because you have seen Disney's movie, think again! This is one of the most beautifully written books ever written. Every child should either read this book or have it read to him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bambi: A Life in the Woods was a beautiful, but harsh story. When I was younger, I used to watch Bambi as Walt Disney's childish character who became king of the forest and lived happily ever after. But as time progressed, I realized there was a novel behind the tale. I wanted to read the book, and so I went to the Buffalo Public Library. I was facinated with the whole thing. I was horrified at times, as in when Man came and began killing everyhting in sight. But you must read this magestic tale carefully at times, it can get complicated. I have read many good books in my time, but I say Bambi: A Life in the Woods was one of the best yet. I rate it all five stars!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The original 'Bambi' by Felix Salten, is a story one ought to read carefully. Sure, you are free to observe the visually evocative surface of nature in the wild - what the author chose as his setting. However, to grasp the true depth of what he is saying - the words thought, & spoken, through his characters - reveals aspects of humanity one ought to think about. Among his most memorable scenes, try reading the scene toward the story's end, where the Old Stag speaks to Bambi about Him (the hunter with his hat fallen on the snow) who has just been shot. Or read the nasty conversation between the Hunter's dogs & the wounded fox. I feel, also, that Disney, although no doubt well-intended, failed to justify accurately what Felix Salten felt when writing this novel. The movie is good, however the story is better!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book Bambi a life in the woods!!! It was better than the movie!!!:)
Queen_Bloomfield More than 1 year ago
I chose this book because I had already watched the movie so I thought hey this might be easy  for my book report because I watched the movie and I am reading the book. I really liked the book it was cute. The only thing that was wrong with the book was it was sad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book when i was in 4th grade it had a different cover though. It was amazing I loved it! It told a beautiful story it told more than the movie. I'm hoping to buy this nook version because I don't own it. Highly recomended book!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Even though this book had some sad parts, I really enjoyed it. At the beginning, it's all about the happy, calm life of a little deer in the woods. Towards the middle, it begins to get mysterious with more apperances of the Great Stag, and the end is wonderful (I don't want to give it away). Screw the Disney movie, this book is much better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is sad because his mother dieed but is a great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A white grey spotted bunny came in. "I am so sorry..." she said. Hopped off.