BOOK REVIEWS

Puffin Modern Classics the Sheep-pig Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-12-15 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:0141333367
LANGUAGE:English

"Dick King-Smith used to teach at my primary school. After retiring he would often visit and read during assemblies, he loved to get feed back from the children about what they enjoyed about his writing and maybe what they did not quite enjoy as much. Therefore, I was delighted to revisit the author and his classic ‘Babe: The Gallant Pig’, which was made into a major motion picture.

As well as teaching, Dick-King Smith had a background in farming. Farming was his passion and inspired him to write mostly about animals and farmyards, which is the setting for ‘Babe’. The story starts with the farmer, Mr. Hogget, winning Babe at a fair by correctly guessing his weight. Originally, the intention of the farmer’s wife, Mrs. Hogget, is to fatten Babe up for juicy pork chops and sizzling bacon. However, Babe escapes and is adopted by the sheep dog, Fly. Babe looks highly upon Fly and begins to copy everything the sheep dog does. Surprisingly, Babe has a talent for sheepherding and before long he is herding the sheep better than any sheep dog ever could. Mr. Hogget spots Babe’s talent and enters him into the Grand Challenge Sheep Dog Trials.

I really enjoyed King-Smith’s use of imagination creating a unique, wonderful tale. I feel his background in farming and his clear passion for the subject strengthens this. I also feel King-Smith has a fantastic talent for creating wonderful characters that are expertly described, Mr. Hogget and Babe are stand outs for me.

I would recommend ‘Babe: The Gallant Pig’ for year 2 all the way through to upper key stage 2 as I feel there are many opportunities to use the book in the classroom, providing messages which are appropriate for the primary audience. Firstly, the way Babe addresses the sheep is a perfect example of how being polite and understanding can reap many rewards. It is not accepted that sheep are ‘stupid’; instead they should be treated as equals. Secondly, the story provides a great example of why we should not base ideas just on people’s appearances. Just because Babe is not a sheep dog does not mean he will not have a talent for herding sheep.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this imaginative and unique book, which I could imagine using as a read aloud book with a broad range of ages, especially appealing to those interested in farm/animal books.
" said.

"Originally posted at You Must Have Your Hands Full

My girls love listening to audiobooks in the car. I have a nice selection of children’s literature, thanks to some great Audible sales. After we listened to Pippi Longstocking, my girls chose The Sheep Pig, by Dick King-Smith. This book is also known as Babe: The Gallant Pig, and is the inspiration for Babe, the Academy Award nominated film.

The story begins when Farmer Hogget wins a piglet at a county fair. Mrs. Hogget is delighted, and thinks about the delicious ham they can eat at Christmas. In the barn, the despondent little pig cries because he is in an unfamiliar place, away from his family. Fly, the sheepdog, comforts him, and calls him Babe, after she learns that his mother called all of her piglets. When Fly’s puppies are sold, she grows closer to Babe, especially after she realizes the little pig has a natural capacity for learning. Babe wants nothing more than to learn to herd sheep. While Fly’s philosophy involves exerting dominance over the woolly beasts, Babe wonders if the sheep might do what he wants if he simply asks nicely. But what will the farmer do when he realizes that the pig might be the best sheepdog he ever had?

My girls have not seen Babe, so this was their first exposure to the clever little pig. This was a very sweet story, and they enjoyed it quite a bit. Babe demonstrates some wonderful qualities; he uses good manners to achieve his goals. Normally I wouldn’t mention a key plot point, but Babe quickly proves his loyalty to the farm by protecting the sheep, and it is decided that he should not be eaten. I want to mention this in case there were any concerns about the specter of death hanging over the pig for the entire story.

I also want to mention that the dog is referred to as the “collie bitch” multiple times. This is, of course, the technical term for a female dog. Apparently, going to school has not corrupted my children because they did not blink at the word “bitch”. But as soon as the dog said that sheep were “stupid”, my children were outraged and proclaimed that they couldn’t believe that the dog said the worst word in the world.

I would absolutely recommend The Sheep Pig/Babe: The Gallant Pig. This is a heartwarming story. The print edition is best suited for children in elementary school, but my kindergarten girls enjoyed listening to this story, so it would be a nice choice for reading out loud
" said.

" I love this book and how it's many messages about compassion, empathy, and trust and woven so nicely in. I also love the characters and how their varied personalities make you feel for them, laugh, and cry. Such a simple story but so worthwhile. " said.

" This was a lovely book, just as lovely as the movie except it kept using the word "bitch" in its animal meaning and that uh took me aback every time? But Babe is lovely and amazing and I love having the book and being able to read it after all these years of watching the movie. " said.

" Darling.Also, for what its worth, I believe the film version is one of the best book-t0-screen adaptations ever achieved. " said.

" My class had no interest in this book and neither did I to be honest. " said.

" Aww ang charming ng mga characters at ang fitting ng storyline para sa mga batang mambabasa. Too bad mas nauna kong nabasa ang Animal Farm kung saan nagkaroon ako ng malubhang pandidiri sa mga domenanteng baboy at sa mga characters namely "Mr. Jones" hehe! Pero nevertheless delightful read pa rin " said.

" I've grown up watching the movie Babe and recently wanted to read the book it was based off. It's very close to the movie, so it's a pretty good adaption. I loved reading this story. I've always liked the movie and now I like the book too. I've enjoyed all of Dick King-Smith's books that I've read so far. - - - Babe the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith is about a pig called Babe. Won at the fair by Farmer Hogget, Babe takes a liking to sheep herding. But who has ever heard of a sheep-pig? " said.

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