Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book review written for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now moving in a different direction, though the columns that I write are still book-centric. Instead of writing reviews, I'm offering you columns on topics that have been inspired by wonderful books that I have read. I tell you about the books in question, and describe how they have have impacted me. This may sound peculiar to some of you, but the books that I tend to choose are ones that resonate with me on some level. Therefore, when I read the last page and close the covers, I am not quite the same person that I was when first I started reading the book. The shift in my perspective might be miniscule, but it is still there. The books I am looking are both about adult and children's titles. Some of the children's titles will appeal to adults, while others will not. Some of the adult titles will appeal to younger readers, particularly those who are eager to expand their horizons.

Monday, January 10, 2011

In Memoriam - Dick King-Smith

The Gallant Pig [BABE GALLANT PIG M/TV]Ronald Gordon King-Smith OBE (27 March 1922 – 4 January 2011), better known by his pen name Dick King-Smith, was a prolific English children's author, best known for writing The Sheep-Pig, retitled in the United States as Babe the Gallant Pig, on which the movie Babe was based. He was awarded an Honorary Master of Education degree by the University of the West of England in 1999 and appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours.

King-Smith was a soldier in World War II and a farmer for 20 years before he became a teacher and author. King-Smith's first book was The Fox Busters, published in 1978. He was one of Britain's most prolific authors and wrote over a hundred books, which have been translated into twelve languages. In later life he lived in Queen Charlton, a small farming village near Bristol, contributing to the maintenance and conservation of the local area as the vice-president of the Avon Wildlife Trust. He married his first wife, Myrle, in 1943. They had 3 children and 14 grandchildren. Myrle died in 2000, and King-Smith subsequently married Zona Bedding, a family friend.

He had many pets including rats, mice, ornamental pheasants, dachshunds, geese and guinea fowl, and bred guinea pigs and English rabbits.

He presented a feature on animals on TV-AM's children's programme Rub a Dub Dub.

King-Smith died on 4 January 2011 at the age of 88. You can find out more about Dick King-Smith and his books by visiting the the Dick King-Smith page on the Puffin Books website. 

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