Down on the Farm with Babe and Dick King-Smith

"I want to be a sheep-pig," he said.
"Ha ha!" bleated a big lamb standing next to Ma. "Ha ha ha-a-a-a-a!"
"Be quiet!" said Ma sharply, swinging her head to give the lamb a thumping butt in the side. "That ain't nothing to laugh at."

Pigs may herd sheep and perhaps even fly, but Dick King-Smith won't get on an airplane. He'd much rather travel by sea. The author of Babe, The Gallant Pig does have a dog named Fly after his favorite character in Babe. He says his Fly, a German Shepherd, is "beautiful, affectionate, intelligent, and as mad as a March hare."

He and his wife live in a centuries-old cottage in the English countryside. They have many pets, and the author believes his years of work as a farmer and teaching elementary school have given him a lot of understanding of children and farm animals. Learn more about how he writes his amazing stories by reading this online interview.

Beyond Babe

Want more books like Babe? Meet Babe's great-grandson, Ace, as in Ace: The Very Important Pig. Ace doesn't like herding sheep, but he does understand every word Farmer Tubbs says. Don't miss Daggie Dogfoot, the pig hero of Pigs Might Fly. He's the runt of the litter and will try anything-- including learning to fly, to escape the dastardly pigman.

Let Dick King-Smith introduce you to lots of friendly and unusual animals. There's a cat who keeps a pet mouse (Martin's Mice), an ostrich raised as a goose (The Cuckoo Child) and a kidnapped talking parrot (Harry's Mad). All are great books to read out loud together at bedtime or just anytime you want a silly story.

Quick Facts about Dick King-Smith:

  • He was born on March 27, 1922, in Bitton, Gloucestershire, England
  • He worked as a farmer for twenty years.
  • His first book was entitled The Fox Busters.
  • Babe was first entitled The Sheep Pig
  • He lives only three miles from his childhood home.
  • He calls his stories Farmyard Fantasy.

You can learn more about this author's life through our library's databases: Biography in Context and Literature Resource Center.