Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Studying the Master of Barnyard Fantasies

Like others on this blog, my recent reading list has consisted of titles thematically related to the story I’m currently writing—in my case, a chapter book involving barnyard animals. And so for inspiration I naturally turned to the books of Dick King-Smith, dubbed the “Master of Barnyard Fantasies.”

King-Smith is most famous as the author of Babe: the Gallant Pig, but with over a hundred titles to his credit, he wrote many other great books. Some of my personal favorites, all of which I have reread this spring, include The Fox Busters, Pigs Might Fly, Martin’s Mice, and Three Terrible Trins. I also discovered a book I had not read before, Clever Duck, which is now on my list of favorites.

When you delve into a King-Smith book you are assured of a funny, thoughtful, and entertaining read. My only qualm is that he sometimes sacrifices character development in favor of plotting—but his plotting is frequently so brilliant that there is still plenty to inspire me and also to study.

Do you have a favorite King-Smith book?


Christy said...

I've never read any of these books, but will have to check them out. Thanks, Mark.

Edie Hemingway said...

The only King-Smith book I've read is BABE: The Gallant Pig, and I remember enjoying it. I'll be looking for the others, too.

David LaRochelle said...

I've heard so many good things about Dick King-Smith's books, but I have yet to read any of them. Your post is good motivation to do so, Mark.

Lauren said...

A Mouse Called Wolf is the one Dick King-Smith book I have read and thoroughly enjoyed it. He has written many, many, many books! A very inspiring writer to have Mark!

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the recommendation, I 'll have to check those out.