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The Guard Dog


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A hilarious book about a delightful puppy from the ever-popular Dick King-Smith.

About the Author

Dick King-Smith served in the Grenadier Guards during the Second World War, and afterwards spent twenty years as a farmer in Gloucestershire, the county of his birth. Many of his stories are inspired by his farming experiences. Later he taught at a village primary school. His first book, The Fox Busters, was published in 1978. He wrote a great number of children?s books, including The Sheep-Pig (winner of the Guardian Award and filmed as Babe), Harry?s Mad, Noah?s Brother, The Queen?s Nose, Martin?s Mice, Ace, The Cuckoo Child and Harriet?s Hare (winner of the Children?s Book Award in 1995). At the British Book Awards in 1991 he was voted Children?s Author of the Year. In 2009 he was made an OBE for services to children?s literature. Dick King-Smith died in 2011 at the age of eighty-eight. Discover more about Dick King-Smith at- dickkingsmith.comDick King-Smith is best known as the creator of Babe a.k.a. The Sheep Pig and a farmyard full of unforgettable animal characters. A Gloucestershire farmer for twenty years, he was perfectly placed to create the magical animal stories which enchant children and adults alike.THE BASICSBorn- Bitton, Gloucestershire, March 27th 1922Jobs- Wartime Soldier, Farmer, Travelling Salesman, Shoe Factory Operative, Teacher, TV Presenter, AuthorLives- Near Keynsham, between Bristol and BathFirst Book- The Fox Busters, 1978THE BOOKSDick's first book was The Fox Busters, published in 1978. One of the most prolific authors, he has now written over a hundred books. These have sold over five million copies in the UK alone and been translated into twelve languages. The movie Babe, based on The Sheep Pig, and the TV adaption of The Queen's Nose have spread this author's fame even further. Interestingly, while Babe inspired many cinema-goers to become vegetarians, Dick remains an unashamed omnivore. His most famous books are "farmyard fantasies" but he does write about humans too - check out George Speaks or Tumbleweed. Two qualities which mark out Dick King-Smith's writing are his delicious sense of humour and his belief in the ultimate triumph of the underdog. In 2001 Dick's autobiography, Chewing the Cud, was published to great acclaim.WHAT HE SAYS..."I do not blench at nature red in tooth and claw... And much as I love The Wind in the Willows and the works of Beatrix Potter, I never dress my animals in clothes... They behave as animals should behave, with the exception that they open their mouths and speak the Queen's English.""The books spring up like mushrooms now. Perhaps I should see a doctor about it.""Years ago I saw an IQ breakdown of farm livestock. The stupidest were ducks, next hens, then sheep and... rather surprisingly next horses and then cows. I wouldn't agree with that, actually, I'd put a horse above any cow, but I'd agree pigs easily come top.""Pigs are my favourite farmyard animal."WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT HIM..."Our leading author of farmyard stories."The Telegraph"Skilfully avoiding sentimentality, King-Smith remains consistently affectionate and reasonable towards his four and two-legged characters."The Scotsman"His animal stories never descend to fluffiness."Independent on Sunday"Dick King-Smith never fails to entertain."Child Education"A writer with every kind of surprise in his bag."Sunday Telegraph"He is a great storyteller."Yorkshire Post"His very name guarantees quality." Guardian"The tone is light-hearted, modest and nostalgic; the overall picture is of someone thoroughly at ease with life, someone who (even after more than a hundred children's books) remains slightly bemused by his success."Books for Keeps on Chewing the CudAWARDSThe Guardian Fiction Award 1984 for The Sheep PigChildren's Author of The Year 1992The Children's Book Award 1995 for Harriet The Hare


"A charming, funny tale" Daily Mail "A tale full of mishaps and coincidences which will appeal to a wide range of independent readers. The line drawings extend the humorous text beautifully" The School Librarian "It's a gorgeous story and not only has a terrific message, but the message is so coated with delicious sugar that any child would enjoy it. I must say I cried at the end because I was so moved ... He is a terrific writer and I thought the drawings were absolutely marvellous" -- Jilly Cooper "A hilarious new book for young readers by the ever-popular Dick King-Smith" Books for Children "Dick King-Smith creates a complete world of humans and animals, and their complex relationships. There is humour and sadness. There is plenty of action. Jocelyn Wild's scribbly line drawings add to the general feeling of pace within the book. An entrancing and captivating read for younger children. The prolific author has done it again... Written a winner!" Junior Bookshelf

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