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- dickkingsmith.com
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. THE BASICS Born- Bitton, Gloucestershire, March 27th 1922 Jobs- Wartime Soldier, Farmer, Travelling Salesman, Shoe Factory&#
King-Smith (Babe: The Gallant Pig) shapes a taut, tidy tale of a down-and-out farmer whose luck changes dramatically after his goose lays a golden egg. As the novel opens, the author paints a drolly dim portrait of life at Woebegone Farm, where it always rained at harvest time, and Farmer John Skint's "cows often got foul-in-the-foot,... and his chickens were always being eaten by foxes." Alas, the impoverished fellow is forced to sell all his animals except for a goose and a gander called Sorrow and Misery-and he fears the family will have to eat them or starve. Yet, the two soon hatch a golden gosling, and life becomes jolly indeed (the farmer names it Joy). Stroking the feathered newborn, the farmer and his wife swell with happiness and their worries disappear. In quick succession, the family's luck turns: Skint wins the lottery and places a big bet on "John's Joy," a long-shot contender that places first in a horse race. After a famous naturalist learns of Joy's existence, he shares with the farmer an ancient Roman legend that offers a clue to the golden gosling's pending fate. The novel's breezy premise, Kronheimer's simple and appealing halftone illustrations, the text's relatively large typeface and brief chapters make this perhaps best suited to those just embarking on chapter books, but reluctant readers will also take a fancy to it. And all will be tickled by the uplifting conclusion that caps this engaging story. Ages 8-12. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.