Happy Birthday, Dick King-Smith!
Today is the day we celebrate the birth of prolific children's author, Dick King-Smith. A man who probably never met an animal he didn't like, Mr. King-Smith was wonderful at writing imaginative stories about animals that most likely will be well-loved for years to come, and will be counted among other favorite animal classics like The Jungle Book and The Wind in the Willows.
His most popular book is probably The Sheep Pig (published in America as Babe: The Gallant Pig), which was also made into a live action movie simply known as Babe. This story about a pig is arguably as important to children's literature as is E.B. White's classic story, Charlotte's Web, which also, coincidentally, features a pig who is saved from the dinner table and finds an unusual secret to success.
Another book, The Water Horse, was also made into a live action movie known as The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep. Expanding on the legend of the Loch Ness Monster, and weaving it into the lives of two children in Scotland during World War II (although in the book, it is set in time closer to 1930), this is a charming tale of growing up and is full of humor and suspense.
Find out more about this interesting man (including a biographical sketch and a list of all of the many books he wrote) at the U.K. Puffin Books website.