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Chewing the Cud: An Extraordinary Life Remembered by the Author of Babe: The Gallant Pig

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3.48  ·  Rating details ·  44 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
A candid and very funny memoir from beloved children’s book author Dick King-Smith.
Before he was a children’s book author, Dick King-Smith was a soldier, a farmer, a salesman, a factory worker, and a teacher. But he was always a devoted family man who loved the countryside he lived in and the animals he kept. In this insightful memoir, Dick King-Smith recounts the joys and
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Hardcover, 208 pages
Published February 19th 2009 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published September 6th 2001)
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Ruth
Oct 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I randomly found this book when I was hurriedly looking for a quick, fiction read at the library before a car trip. Well, this isn't fiction but it was a quick read.:-) It's the autobiography of Dick King-Smith who wrote the book that became the movie Babe, as well as many other children's books featuring animals. I kind of feel like I "knew" him before he was famous simply because The Sheep Pig was one of the last books I read by him as a kid...prior to that, however, I read every book by him t ...more
Cynthia Egbert
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Of all of the books that Mr. King-Smith has written, this autobiography is very much my favourite. What a delightful man. Not perfect, but aware and honest. He made me feel nostalgic for a life that I have never known. A few quips and quotes:

"Hindsight makes Clever Dicks of us all."

"As for intelligence, when next you get a chance, look closely into a pig's eye. The expression in the eye of a dog is trusting, of a cat supercilious, of a cow ruminative, of a sheep vacuous. But the look in the eye
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Jessica
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A weird combination of war, romance, and farm stories written in a style appropriate for children but containing quite a bit of subject matter that would not be appropriate for, or would be upsetting to, children.

While there are a few actual biographical details about King-Smith's life as a child, courtship and marriage, and he mentions the name of his kids, but really it's pretty much a detailing of how every animal he ever met died. Plus a few bawdy mating tales and a drunken cocktail party f
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Holly
Feb 20, 2008 rated it liked it
A fun autobiography. I enjoy getting glimpses of other peoples lives. It was brief and focused on his life on the farm with the animals and how he became a successful writer. I enjoyed his sense of humor and his honesty with his failings and how eventually it all worked out for him. I want to read some of his books to the kids.
Laura
Jul 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Wonderful book that paints a picture of rural England by one of my favorite authors. His stories about living on a farm as a "not so profitable" farmer are refreshing and show a reverence to those who can make a living in agriculture. It's a nice step away from some more recent accounts of farm life by people determined to have their Starbucks while driving a John Deere.
Emily
Nov 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Very fun for animal-lovers, readers, writers, and fans of the classic book/movie, Babe. The stories Dick King-Smith shares were reminiscent to me of James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small books--truly enjoyable.
Lizzy
Jan 30, 2013 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book more than I did, but it was strangely dull and many of the stories King-Smith recounted weren't particularly interesting. From bits and pieces, he sounds like he had an interesting life, but these stories poorly represent it.
Megan Q.
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very entertaining.
Joojoo
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book because I will never forget it! Also at any moment in the book I felt like I couldn't put it down; well done Dick King-Smith!! I also would recommend this book to others!!
Stuart
Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Alas, regardless of their doom, the little victims play'

'Post mortem - constipation due to eating earth'

'...surly, shambling, soap-shy man'
Jean
Autobiography of Dick King-Smith. Bit depressing.
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Dick King-Smith was born and raised in Gloucestershire, England, surrounded by pet animals. After twenty years as a farmer, he turned to teaching and then to writing children's books.

Dick writes mostly about animals: farmyard fantasy, as he likes to call it, often about pigs, his special favorites. He enjoys writing for children, meeting the children who read his books, and knowing that they get
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