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The Crowstarver


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A touching novel about the relationship between man and beast from a true master of storytelling

About the Author

Dick King-Smith served in the Grenadier Guards during the Second World War, and afterwards spent twenty years as a farmer in Gloucestershire, the county of his birth. Many of his stories are inspired by his farming experiences. Later he taught at a village primary school. His first book, The Fox Busters, was published in 1978. He wrote a great number of children's books, including The Sheep-Pig (winner of the Guardian Award and filmed as Babe), Harry's Mad, Noah's Brother, The Queen's Nose, Martin's Mice, Ace, The Cuckoo Child and Harriet's Hare (winner of the Children's Book Award in 1995). At the British Book Awards in 1991 he was voted Children's Author of the Year. In 2009 he was made an OBE for services to children's literature. Dick King-Smith died in 2011 at the age of eighty-eight. Discover more about Dick King-Smith at-

Dick King-Smith is best known as the creator of Babe a.k.a. The Sheep Pig and a farmyard full of unforgettable animal characters. A Gloucestershire farmer for twenty years, he was perfectly placed to create the magical animal stories which enchant children and adults alike.
Born-Bitton, Gloucestershire, March 27th 1922
Jobs-Wartime Soldier, Farmer, Travelling Salesman, Shoe FactoryOperative, Teacher, TV Presenter, Author
Lives-Near Keynsham, between Bristol and Bath
First Book-The Fox Busters, 1978

Dick's first book was The Fox Busters, published in 1978. One of the most prolific authors, he has now written over a hundred books. These have sold over five million copies in the UK alone and been translated into twelve languages. The movie Babe, based on The Sheep Pig, and the TV adaption of The Queen's Nose have spread this author's fame even further. Interestingly, while Babe inspired many cinema-goers to become vegetarians, Dick remains an unashamed omnivore. His most famous books are "farmyard fantasies" but he does write about humans too - check out George Speaks or Tumbleweed. Two qualities which mark out Dick King-Smith's writing are his delicious sense of humour and his belief in the ultimate triumph of the underdog. In 2001 Dick's autobiography, Chewing the Cud, was published to great acclaim.

"I do not blench at nature red in tooth and claw... And much as I love The Wind in the Willows and the works of Beatrix Potter, I never dress my animals in clothes... They behave as animals should behave, with the exception that they open their mouths and speak the Queen's English."
"The books spring up like mushrooms now. Perhaps I should see a doctor about it."

"Years ago I saw an IQ breakdown of farm livestock. The stupidest were ducks, next hens, then sheep and... rather surprisingly next horses and then cows. I wouldn't agree with that, actually, I'd put a horse above any cow, but I'd agree pigs easily come top."
"Pigs are my favourite farmyard animal."
"Our leading author of farmyard stories."
The Telegraph
"Skilfully avoiding sentimentality, King-Smith remains consistently affectionate and reasonable towards his four and two-legged characters."
The Scotsman
"His animal stories never descend to fluffiness."
Independent on Sunday
"Dick King-Smith never fails to entertain."
Child Education
"A writer with every kind of surprise in his bag."
Sunday Telegraph
"He is a great storyteller."
Yorkshire Post
"His very name guarantees quality."
"The tone is light-hearted, modest and nostalgic; the overall picture is of someone thoroughly at ease with life, someone who (even after more than a hundred children's books) remains slightly bemused by his success."
Books for Keeps on Chewing the Cud

The Guardian Fiction Award 1984 for The Sheep Pig
Children's Author of The Year 1992
The Children's Book Award 1995 for Harriet The Hare


"Unflinching realism . . . A darkly atmospheric thriller" * Guardian *
"A finely crafted book . . . Revelling in description and imagery . . . Dick King-Smith is an exceptional writer" * Books for Keeps *
"A powerful and heartwarming story" * TES *
"This book demonstrates everything everything that is good avout writing for children. It is a book of love and wonder thoroughly recommended to adults and young people alike" * Carousel *

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