Dick King-Smith was living proof that it’s never too late to find your calling in life. He was a dairy farmer for twenty years before earning his degree at fifty-three and going on to teach six-, seven-, and eight-year-olds. His first book was published while he was in his fifties, and a book a year followed until he stopped teaching. Then, he says, “The books started to spring up like mushrooms.”
Dick King-Smith became the immensely popular author of picture books and chapter books. His book Babe: The Gallant Pig was made into one of the most popular children’s movies ever,. “My favorite farmyard animals are pigs,” said the author, whose distinctive voice—witty, affectionate, and direct—branded even his nonfiction with unmistakable warmth and intimacy. “I don’t care if they’re little pigs or big pigs, with long snouts or short snouts, with ears that stick up or ears that flop down. I don’t mind if they’re black or white, ginger or spotted. I just love pigs.”
MoreDick King-Smith’s love for porcine creatures found an outlet in the Lollipop series: Lady Lollipop, his tenth book for Candlewick Press, and its sequel, Clever Lollipop. “Each time I sit down to write an animal story, I say to myself, ‘What sort of animal?’ and I answer, ‘Pig!’ Then I say, ‘No, no, you’ve just done a pig story.’ So I have to wait. And I have waited. And then came along Lady Lollipop!” When fans of the best-selling Lady Lollipop clamored for more, the author happily obliged with Clever Lollipop. Of this title, Dick King-Smith noted, “When I sat down to write a sequel to Lady Lolliop, all the characters were still there, but I felt that they needed a bit more magic—and so Collie Cob the Conjurer came along.”
Dick King-Smith passed away in January 2011.