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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Reading and Watching

Not sure why, but I've had the hardest time settling into a book lately. Summer maybe? Well, Goldilocks has finally hit upon a book that is 'just right.' I picked up Dick King-Smith's memoir, Chewing the Cud, at the library the other day along with several of his delightful children's books for Levi. In this book, he recounts his life in England as soldier, farmer, teacher, and children's author, as well as sharing many delightful stories of animals and people he met throughout his years. For me, it is reminiscent of James Harriot's stories. (While I'm recommending books, do not miss James Harriot's Treasury for Children!)

Dick King-Smith's most well-known children's book, Babe: The Gallant Pig, is one of my favorites. The author says this about the book and the subsequent movie version (which is another favorite):
It was soon plain to us that the adaptation from the book had been wonderfully well done.

There were differences, of course...but the director had stuck pretty faithfully to the central theme of my original story: the tale of an orphaned piglet who is adopted by a farmer and by his sheep-dog. This little pig, by virtue of his intelligence and determination, by his courage, and especially through his realization that politeness pays, comes eventually to win the Grand Challenge Sheep-dog Trials. One particular thing about the film that delighted me was that as soon as I set eyes on the actor who played Farmer Hogget, I saw to my amazement that he was the spitting image of the imaginary figure I'd had in my head when I wrote the book all those years before.

I've seen Babe six times now and every time I've laughed and I've cried....If you were to ask me to choose a favorite from among the dozens and dozens of books I've produced, I would probably say I think it may be the best.

And he goes on to tell the story of how the idea for Babe was first born. And it is true... do not miss this movie, if only for the superb acting of James Cromwell as Farmer Hogget.

Dick King-Smith's books grace our shelves and our library bag over and over again. They are witty and imaginative and innocent.
The Water Horse was also made into a beautiful family movie by Walden Media, the production company behind the Narnia movies, Amazing Grace, Nim's Island, and I Am David.

(Just to veer off course a little, did you know that filming began last month in Australia for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader?)

Happy reading and watching!

4 comments:

Sandy Toes said...

Oh..I love the Water Horse...I cried.
sandy toe

p.s. we also loved Nim's Island

My son finished reading 2 Narnia books so we watched "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe"...he was so engaged~

grandma and grandpa said...

You amaze me by how much reading you get done, Heidi. I am going to have to try harder to read some of your recommendations. Grandma

The Prudent Homemaker said...

I was wondering what migh be happening with the next Narnia movie. Thanks for the update!

Kiley said...

"That'll do pig. That'll do." -Farmer Hoggett.

I LOVE BABE!!! I first saw the movie while in college and once I had some extra change in my pockets after graduating, it was a must buy. Now my boys love it as much as me and it's our standard "don't know what to watch on movie night" movie.