RHCB | More Sites
More Sites
Kids
Teens
Teachers
Librarians
Magic Tree House
Junie B. Jones
Seussville
Random House
Return Home

Dick King-Smith

“[I] am a very happy man doing what is in effect my hobby for a living, i.e. writing stories for children.”—Dick King-Smith

Dick King-Smith grew up in Gloucestershire, England. He lives with his wife in a small 17th-century cottage, three and a quarter miles from the house in which he was born.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


I was born in 1922 and was brought up in the countryside, surrounded by pet animals of one sort or another. I was first attracted to the girl I was later to marry through my admiration of her skill (in contrast to my own haphazard husbandry) as a breeder of parakeets. I was thirteen at the time, and she was twelve. It hasn’t worked out too badly, as we have been married for nearly sixty years, three children and ten grandchildren to the good.

I was educated at a preparatory school and then at Marlborough College, a boarding school for boys, where I was good at sports (but not very good) and showed reasonable intelligence (though not very great).

If I had an ambition, it was to be a farmer. But then along came the Second World War, and so I took the king’s shilling—that is to say, I enlisted as a soldier. I served as a platoon commander in the Grenadier Guards, beginning my active service at Salerno with the Allied invasion of Italy in September 1943 and ending it eleven months later when a German paratrooper threw a British hand grenade at me in the middle of an Italian forest and filled me full of holes.

My career in farming began in 1947, and though I think I was a decent stockman, my business acumen was extremely low. It was difficult to farm at a loss in those days, but I managed to lose money without fall every year from 1947 to 1967, when the bank manager called a halt.

Six months of selling aluminum-asbestos firefighting suits, boots, and helmets (I didn’t sell many) were followed by three and a half years as a time-and-motion man in a shoe factory (I never really understood the mathematics). Then I trained as a teacher and took a degree from Bristol University at the age of fifty-three, reading English and philosophy. I did well in philosophy even though I hadn’t the faintest idea what it was all about, and still haven’t.

Next came seven years as a teacher in a small village elementary school. I began with eight-year-olds, but it soon became plain that my always shaky grasp of the principles of arithmetic was not adequate for people of that advanced age, so I ended my teaching career with children of five and six.

By this time I had written my first four stories, and now—with time of my own—books began to spring up like mushrooms. In addition, I landed several little jobs as a presenter on children’s television, where I met a whole lot of delightful people and animals and much enjoyed performing in front of the camera.

I’m still turning out books hand over fist—now nearing a hundred in print in the United States, England, and Europe—mostly about animals: farmyard fantasy, I suppose you could call it, often about pigs, my special favorites. I enjoy writing for children so much, and meeting them, and knowing (because they tell me) that they get enjoyment from what I do.

I’m happy, and so are my wife and my children and my grandchildren and the bank manager. I’m a lucky man.


PRAISE


BABE
The Gallant Pig

—An ALA Notable Book
—A Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book
—A Horn Book Fanfare Honor Book
—An IRA/CBC Children’s Choice
—An NCTE Teachers’ Choice

“An animal fantasy which will inevitably be compared to Charlotte's Web. . . . Combines a robust pleasure in the smell and feel of rural surroundings with a humorous affection for all living creatures . . . a splendid book.”—Starred, The Horn Book Magazine


FUNNY FRANK

“Thoroughly engaging . . . chipper dialogue, generous helpings of humor and a lickety-split plot add up to an amusing chapter book.”—Publishers Weekly

“Amusing . . . a fine choice for early chapter-book readers.”—School Library Journal


Author Bookshelf

Ace: The Very Important Pig

By: Dick King-Smith

Meet Ace, Babe's great-grandson, who also gets a new cover from Knopf Paperbacks this season. "
A Horn Book Fanfare Honor Book
An IRA/CBC Children's Choice
A School Library Journal Best...


A Mouse Called Wolf

By: Dick King-Smith

Wolfgang Amadeus Mouse ("Wolf," for short) has a big name for such a little mouse. But the name fits. His favorite pastime is listening to Mrs. Honeybee, the lady of the house, play the piano. If only...

Babe: The Gallant Pig

By: Dick King-Smith

Fresh from his foray into Hollywood stardom, Babe gets a new cover for the Knopf Paperbacks line.

An ALA Notable Book

A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book

A Horn Book Fanfare Honor Book

...








Chewing the Cud

By: Dick King-Smith

A candid and very funny memoir from beloved children’s book author Dick King-Smith.
Before he was a children’s book author, Dick King-Smith was a soldier, a farmer, a salesman, a factory worker, and...

Funny Frank

By: Dick King-Smith

Being a duck isn’t all it’s quacked up to be.

But don’t try telling that to Frank—he’s a chicken with a dream. All he thinks about are webbed feet, waterproof feathers, and the cool water...

Harriet's Hare

By: Dick King-Smith

In this "warm fuzzy tale full of poignance, humor, and magic" (School Library Journal), eight-year-old Harriet Butler isastonished to meet a space alien who's vacationing in her dad's wheat field!  "Children...


Harry's Mad

By: Dick King-Smith

"Harry's parents and friends think he's crazy because he acts out the rich fantasies of his 10-year-old imagination. And when his eccentric American uncle dies and leaves Harry a parrot named Madison...

Martin's Mice

By: Dick King-Smith

"Martin, a kitten, is branded a `wimp' by his siblings for his friendly interest in mice.  He loves caring for them and can't understand their desire for freedom.  Only when he...

Smasher

By: Dick King-Smith

Dick King-Smith brings his signature wit and charm to the Stepping Stone line with a lovable new puppy who's sure to capture readers' hearts. Smasher is always getting into trouble, whether it's chasing...


The Catlady

By: Dick King-Smith

Muriel is known as the Catlady, because she lives alone with just her many cats for company. When a new kitten is born, it soon becomes clear that it’s no ordinary cat. Vicky is a kitten with a very regal character,...

The Golden Goose

By: Dick King-Smith

Farmer Skint and his family have fallen on hard times at Woebegone Farm until their goose lays a golden egg. With the birth of Joy the Golden Goose, the fortune of the Skint family begins to change. But what will happen when...

The Guard Dog

By: Dick King-Smith

There are six puppies in the pet shop; five posh pedigreed ones, and a scruffy little mongrel with a grand ambition — to be a guard dog. The other pups laugh at him. How can such a small dog possibly...


The Invisible Dog

By: Dick King-Smith

Illustrated in black-and-white. When her parents can't afford a new pet, seven-year-old Janie invents one. Her new pretend dog is Henry, an invisible Great Dane who eats invisible food bought with invisible...

The Stray

By: Dick King-Smith

Now in Knopf Paperback, from the author of Babe: The Gallant Pig, comes the touching story of a "stray" old woman's amusing antics and the large, loving family that adopts her.

The Water Horse

By: Dick King-Smith
illustrated by: David Parkins

Now in paperback! From the award-winning author of Babe: The Gallant Pig comes the story of how the Loch Ness monster finds his home, thanks to the human family that raises him.


Three Terrible Trins

By: Dick King-Smith

Within the walls and under the floorboards of Orchard Farmhouse live three mischievous mouse brothers (a.k.a. the trins) who create constant commotion. "With his customary panache, King-Smith grabs...

Titus Rules!

By: Dick King-Smith

WHO'S MORE IMPORTANT than the Queen? Whom does she serve? Her royal corgis, of course! But life isn’t just royal thrones and unlimited biscuits for young Titus, Her Majesty’s favorite pup. There are burglars to catch, fires...

Pigs Might Fly

By: Dick King-Smith