Sunday, January 09, 2011

R.I.P. Dick King-Smith

Dick King-Smith has been a favourite in these parts for a long time now. At one point, my older kid was totally nuts about his many stories about pigs and assorted farmyard animals and so we actively hunted out every book of his we could in our local library and also in those of the neighbouring boroughs.

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The Sophie Stories, a set of six books spread over four years, is usually our top birthday gift option for any girl turning five, six or seven. Sophie is full of spunk and is instantly relate-able. She loves animals and is 'very determined' about things, especially the fact that she will become a lady farmer when she grows up. She has twin older brothers, annoying yet loving. Beware though - for a while after the books have been read, your little girl might, like mine had, insist that she is 'very determined' about things!

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The Sheep-Pig is probably his most widely recognised work. Babe, the movie based on the book was a hit. We watched a superb play adaptation of the book in Regents Park one summer and even my then two-year old thoroughly enjoyed it - as obvious from her sitting through all of the two hours.

The book is about a piglet called Babe who is won by Farmer Hogget at a local fair and who is adopted by Fly, the farm sheep-dog. Babe is a caring creature and believes that being nice is a better idea than getting things done by bullying and aggression. He soon becomes an expert ‘sheep-pig’. After a series of adventures which will keep the reader hooked to the book, Babe ends up in sheep-dog trials where the winning animal is the one who will most effectively herd a flock of sheep around various obstacles and tasks. What happens next is the rest of this heart-warming story.

R.I.P. Mr.King-Smith. You will be missed.


starry eyed said...

Oh dear. I was just flipping thru his Hodgeheg at Landmark today. RIP Dick King-Smith. :(

On another note, I've been ROTFLing at Eva Ibbotson's books...felt bad to read she's passed away last year. God....the laughs are much needed!

Choxbox said...

Hodgeheg - oh yeah. It is amazing how simple and easy his storylines are and yet how profound they are, every time. I guess thats because he really understood the animals - he was a farmer for twenty years before he became an author.

And Eva Ibbotson is the flavour of the season here. Journey to the River-Sea and some more I cannot recollect the names of, were read some time back. Monster Mission (also called Island of the Aunts) has been the favourite the past week. I have been asked to get more. Any you’d recommend?

utbtkids said...

His Water horse was also made in to a movie right?!

sandhya said...

A well loved writer here too. Our favourites of course are the Sophie books and Lady Lollipop. Martin's mice is one more. May he RIP.

Choxbox said...

utbt: Google Baba tells me around five of his books have been adapted into movies, so yeah I guess so. have you watched Water Horse?

S: Lady Lollipop is cute indeed!

Meera Sriram said...

Its great that you did this post now Chox! Thanks.

d said...

dick king smith is a HUGE favourite with us, we have many of the sophie series, babe, hodgeheg, and many more, and we don't have as much trouble with 'being determined' as we have with 'being determined to be a lady farmer, with all those animals and more and wanting to start NOW'!
my favourite is 'fat lawrence' he is SO cute, and i could'nt get it ANYwhere so ordered it on flipkart, which by the way, i LOVE.

for all those with 7 year olds (or thereabouts) who read dick king smith because they love animals or doing animal things like being a farmer, please read akimbo by alexander mc call smith, there are 5 books in the series (that i know of) and they are all very nice.


ranjani.sathish said...

Sooraj has loved Dick King Smith's books. We have read - Aristotle, Dinosaur tRouble and something else too. Chox, this is a nice fitting tribute to the great author, here on ST.

Choxbox said...

Meera: My pleasure. Do check out his work and let me know what you and the little readers in your parts think.

d: LOL!
Thanks for the reco, do leave more of these sort of comments. And yes, McCall Smith is quite popular with the ST-lets (our kids that is!), Akimbo as well as another series one of which has been reviewed earlier on ST here:

R: Thanks!

utbtkids said...

Just read Sophie's Snail with the girls. They loved it. Thanks for the recommendation.

sandhya said...

Just read 'Lady Daisy.' Lovely.

Meera Sriram said...

Chox, update: R's latest love, big hit:)

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