Dick King-Smith: Author of Babe and The Water Horse

by sheilamarie

Animals populate the children's stories written by Dick King-Smith. Some of Dick King-Smith's books have been made into popular movies.

Dick King-Smith's books are among some of my favorite children's books.

Their animal characters are endearing and their liveliness and plot lines capture the imagination and keep the young reader engaged.

And I'll let you in on a little secret: I love reading them, too!

Children's Author Dick King-Smith

For Beginning and Middle Grade Readers

Whenever I see a book on the shelf by Dick King-Smith, I know I am going to love it! He has a style that exudes warmth and humor and the joys of the rural life. His animal stories can often seem to mimic human foibles and endearments. His stories include humans and fanciful animals together, interacting and surprising each other with humorous situations. 

If you have a reluctant reader in your house, or even an avid reader who loves an animal tale, there will be a story here that will delight. I was introduced to a couple of these stories by a young girl and will be forever grateful for the joy they have given me. Thanks, Olivia!

A Mouse Called Wolf

by Dick King-Smith

Wolfgang Amadeus Mouse was born with a remarkable ability: He can sing! But Wolf doesn't know about his special talent until he tries singing to the accompaniment of Mrs. Honeybee, the elderly lady who plays the piano right near his family's mouse hole. When Mrs. Honeybee falls and has no one else to help, Wolf is able to use his new skill to save her.

A Mouse Called Wolf

by Dick King-Smith
A Mouse Called Wolf
$6.99  $6.25

The Water Horse

by Dick King-Smith

Scottish brother and sister, Angus and Kirstie, find a mysterious egg washed ashore after a storm. When the egg hatches in their bathtub, they discover a loveable sea monster who grows and grows until the children have no choice but to return him to Loch Ness, which is near their home.

Magical and wonderful, children will love this story of the not-so-scary-after-all Loch Ness Monster.

A movie was released based on this book.

Water Horse

by Dick King-Smith
The Water Horse
$7.99  $1.16

A Cat with Mice for Pets

A Book by Dick King Smith

Martin is an unusual cat who adores mice -- not to eat, but as pets! He cares for them carefully, feeding them and tending to their needs. When Martin's mice escape, he is crushed. Later, when he himself is adopted by an owner and taken to live in a cramped apartment, he begins to understand how his pet mice must have felt. By the time he returns to the farm, he has learned something about possessiveness and love and the need of all living things for freedom.

Martin's Mice

by Dick King-Smith
Martin's Mice
$6.99  $5.64

An Imaginary Dog . . . Or Is He?

by Dick King-Smith

Janie is almost eight years old when she discovers the collar and leash of the family's Great Dane, who died when she was only two years old and whom she doesn't even remember. Janie's parents have decided they cannot afford to buy another Great Dane, never mind feed one, and so Janie creates an imaginary dog that she cares for, feeding him imaginary food. When her neighbor encourages her, things start to happen.

Fate, magic, all sorts of events just seem to conspire to make Janie's dream of owning a dog come true.

The Invisible Dog

by Dick King-Smith
The Invisible Dog
$5.69  $50.0

A Pig Who Herds Sheep

by Dick King-Smith

Young Babe bonds with his foster mother, Fly, a border collie sheep dog, and so naturally wants to learn how to herd sheep, too. Babe endears himself to the barnyard animals, especially to the sheep who appreciate Babe's polite ways, preferring his methods to the more aggressive methods of the "wolf." The sheep want to perform for Babe, who asks them courteously what he'd like them to do.  

Farmer Hogget is amazed at Babe's talent for herding sheep and takes Babe to the sheep dog trial championships where, after the initial ridicule of the judges and other farmers, Babe wows them all.

Babe was made into a successful film.

Babe: The Gallant Pig

by Dick King-Smith
Babe: The Gallant Pig
$6.99  $1.15

Three Terrible Trins: Brother Mice United Against the Cats

by Dick King-Smith

This hilarious mouse romp will get young readers laughing as they follow these three rambunctious mouse brothers as they try to rid the farm of cats. 

In one rousing episode, bad-natured Farmer Budge's artificial eye becomes the ball for the mice's soccer games.

A story filled with humor, warmth, and the lesson of how to overcome the differences that can separate those who live together.

Three Terrible Trins

by Dick King-Smith
Three Terrible Trins
$6.99  $5.63

Harriet and Wiz, the Alien Hare

by Dick King-Smith

When Harriet is exploring the crop circle in her father's field, she comes across a hare who doesn't seem to be afraid of her. Not only is he not afraid, but he talks to her, introducing himself to her as Wiz, from another planet.

Harriet, a very lonely girl who hasn't any friends, becomes very attached to her hare friend. When he has to leave earth and return to his own planet, Harriet is very sad, but she learns something about friendship and about believing in herself and about letting go.

Harriet's Hare

by Dick King-Smith
Harriet's Hare (Trumpet Club Edition)
$5.99  $1.53

Lady Lollipop: Another Pig Tale

by Dick King-Smith

Princess Penelope is a spoiled and rude princess who is used to getting her own way. When she demands to have a pet pig, even though her royal parents are not particularly fond of pigs, she throws a fit and so, naturally, gets her own way. 

Luckily for the palace and the entire royal household, Princess Penelope chooses a homely pig named Lollipop who comes with a very wise trainer, Johnny Skinner. Princess Penelope is able to learn from Johnny Skinner some manners and a bit about friendship.

This book has twelve short chapters and delightful illustrations -- perfect early readers.

Lady Lollipop

by Dick King-Smith
Lady Lollipop
$8.99  $3.9

Charlie Muffin's Miracle Mouse

Can Charlie Breed Mice to Produce a Green Mouse?

This is the Dick King-Smith book I have read most recently. I love this man's writing style, and enjoyed this book, too. I had picked it up at a library book sale along with several other children's books, some of which I was sharing with a niece.

Because I have written a couple of books with mouse characters, I often choose to read other mouse books to see how other authors write about these tiny creatures. I read another book, which I didn't like, just before this one, and felt as if I were breathing a breath of fresh air from the first page of Charlie Muffin's Miracle Mouse.

The Publisher's Weekly review on the Amazon page says Dick King-Smith readers will be disappointed in this book because of its ho-hum plot (not an exact quote), but I was not. Yes, the plot was kind of simple, but interesting nevertheless. And I tend to read books for the quality of writing and for the characters, as well as for the plot, and so I appreciated this book, which was so much more engaging than the book I had just finished, though that book had lots of plot twists.

One of the young reviewers on the same Amazon page said that this book was her favorite Dick King-Smith book. I wouldn't say it was my all -time favorite, but I would recommend it as a great read for a child who likes mice and for the themes of the encouragement friendship can be, believing in oneself, and being persistent.

Charlie Muffin's Miracle Mouse

Charlie Muffin's Miracle Mouse
$5.27  $24.95

Other Articles About Animals in Children's Literature

Stories, Poems, Nursery Rhymes, and Books for Children

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Cats make great characters in children's stories, nursery rhymes, poems, and books. Here are some you may enjoy.

Mouse Stories in Children's Books and Nursery Rhymes
How many children's books do you know with mice as characters?

Pigs in Stories, Nursery Rhymes, and Books
Pigs are endearing as characters in children's books. Come discover some of the great books that feature pigs.

Bears in Children's Stories, Nursery Rhymes, and Books
Who doesn't love characters such as, Winnie the Pooh, Paddington, and Corduroy? Find these and other bear characters in books on this page.

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Tomie de Paola is a beloved author who has written and illustrated several children's books on the theme of Christmas. Come explore what he has to offer.
Updated: 08/17/2012, sheilamarie
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Comments: Are you familiar with any of these books? Or do you have another Dick King-Smith book you'd like to mention? (He's quite prolific!)

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Tony Payne on 12/09/2011

I hadn't heard of him before, but I am definitely aware of some of his books having seen this page. I haven't read the books, but I loved Babe, and The Water Horse was a great movie too. Nicely done.

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