Sheep-pig is one of Dick King-Smith's most famous tales. It shot to further
fame when the film adaptation – Babe - was released in 1995.
'Why can't I learn to be a
Babe, the little orphaned piglet, is won at a fair by Farmer Hogget, he is
adopted by Fly, the kind-hearted sheep-dog. Babe is determined to learn
everything he can from Fly. He knows he can't be a sheep-dog. But maybe, just
maybe, he might be a sheep-pig.
King-Smith served in the Grenadier Guards during the Second World War, and
afterwards spent twenty years as a farmer in Gloucestershire, the country of
his birth. Many of his stories are inspired by his farming experiences. 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). 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.
Babe is a
sensitive soul, deeply loyal to those who are kind to him. So when he is taken
in by Farmer Hogget's sheepdog, Fly, it's only natural that he would want to
follow in his foster mum's paw-steps.
Babe's considerable handicaps as a sheepdog - namely, that he's a pig - he
manages to overcome all with his earnestly polite and soft-spoken ways, proving
once again that might doesn't always make right. After saving the sheep from
rustlers and wild dogs, Babe convinces Hogget that his idea of becoming a
sheep-pig "b'aint so stupid" as it might look. But neither Hogget nor
Babe, nor anyone else, could have predicted what follows.
utterly charming as Charlotte's Web, this book is bound to pluck even the
tightest heartstrings. Masterful characterization brings every personality to
vibrant life, while Mary Rayner's lively line illustrations only elucidate
images Dick King-Smith has already planted in the reader's mind. Herd the whole
farmyard together: readers of all ages, ambitions, and antecedents will love
believe this story is 30 years old!!!
begins in the house of Mrs Hogget and Farmer Hogget hearing the sounds of the
fair deep from the Valley. It is There that Farmer Hogget first encounters
dropping off some produce he hears a squealing noise and discovers it is coming
from Babe. A small creature making so much noise all for a competition to guess
its weight. The Vicar persuades Farmer Hoggart to have a go and guess his weight
and the moment he picks Babe up there is a connection, He goes quiet. Later in
the day Farmer Hoggart is told he has ‘won’ Babe. He returns and places him in
the barn not sure what to do with him other than his wife thinking he’ll make a
great meal for Christmas.
where the story begins. Alone and afraid, Babe’s first encounter with another
animal is with Fly and her pups. The pups are told ‘pigs are stupid because
people only eat stupid animals like, sheep and pigs’. This is because Fly has
never encountered a pig and didn’t want to appear ignorant to her
children. Our first lesson of judging a
book by its cover.
It is not
until she speaks to Babe and realises he scared and lonely from being separated
from his Mum and takes him under her wing that she builds a relationship and following
the loss of her pups to other farms, that she discovers how intelligent the
little pig is and what he can achieve.
goes with the encounter with the sheep. When Fly is showing Babe how to bring
them back, she believes they are stupid when in fact they just get a bit
confused at the orders being shouted and would much prefer it they were all as polite
as babe and treat them ‘ a bit decent’, then they would do as they were asked.
A bit of common courtesy goes a long way.
story Babe has to show courage, strength and loyalty to his foster mum, the
farmer and bravery against all odds. It’s about how one little animal/person
can have such an immense impact on everyone’s lives. He changed the animal’s/people’s
views about others and proved to everyone that anything is possible no matter
who you are or what you look like.
the second choice for LBCPuffins, a well known story, made famous by the film
Babe released in 1995. To be honest I didn’t know the film was based on a book
until it was pointed out at the last meeting. I have always loved the film
especially when the mice pop up and did think that they would in the book, but
of course they don’t.
children’s books; they take out all the unnecessary fillers and just create a
beautiful story that can be told again and again. This one exceeded that with
masterful characterization which brought every personality to life in such a
way you forgot they were animals.
King-Smith wrote this story after becoming inspired by his farming experience
and what an amazing idea to portray a lovely message. The group believed that
he was trying to say that the story was about not being prejudice about other
people because of their appearances, as in the sheep dog accepting Babe as one
of her own, and to always be polite to others. It also was a very positive
story and that when people believe in you like the farmer did in ‘pig’ aka Babe,
it shows how confidence can grow, when believing in yourself.
mentioned in other reviews, we went back to the subject of film adaptations
from books, and couldn’t quite decide which was better. There were slight
differences, which I’ll leave for you to spot, but the lovely thing about this
book is the illustrations. Illustrations can be a huge positive for a book
sometimes and can break the story up. These were created by Ann Kronheimer and
one of my favourites was the diagram of the sheep dog trials or ‘pig’ chasing
the animals and barking.
again I love the idea of this book club – adult reading kids books. I think
reading is an amazing gift and once in a while we need to take a break from our
busy lives and read children’s books as sometimes the stories can still have an
impact - though not necessarily be as intense as an adult's book, This such a
heart warming story that can make you look at the world in a different way.
recommend it to everyone; I think it's one that will stay with me for a while.
To find other members of the club, search on twitter for #LBCPuffins