Babe: The Gallant Pig

Book review by
Mary LeCompte, Common Sense Media
Babe: The Gallant Pig Book Poster Image
Lively, universal story of unlikely friendships.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows the workings of a farm, and barnyard animals. Also shows that some animals are raised for slaughter. Some British vocabulary, like "daft."

Positive Messages

Believe in yourself. You can get things done through teamwork. Unlikely freindships are possible, even between a farmer and the pig he's raising.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The farmer is kind to his animals and has a warm friendship with Babe. Babe is polite, charming, and brave. 

Violence & Scariness

Some suspense as Babe strives to escape the slaughterhouse.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dick King-Smith's Babe: The Gallant Pig is the story of a crusty old farmer and his sweet friendship with his barnyard pal, a pig named Babe. Its highly appealing storyline is engaging, emotionally provocative, and at times suspenseful. Melissa Manwill's illustrations are simple line sketches, but they supplement the story well.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7-year-old Written byeswanson April 9, 2008

Great early chapter book

You and your kids are likely to be familiar with the movie so read the book too. The movie is VERY faithful to the original so even young kids'll be able... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old April 9, 2008

What's the story?

In BABE: THE GALLANT PIG, Babe is not your ordinary pig: He's polite and intelligent -- and one talented sheepherder! This delightful tale relates how one remarkable animal, with a little help from his friends, escapes the slaughterhouse to master an unusual skill and earn a secure place in hearts of readers.


Is it any good?

This charming animal fantasy has suspense, kid appeal, plenty of emotion, and charismatic animal characters. With all these elements, Babe: The Gallant Pig has earned the right to be compared favorably with the benchmark pig classic, Charlotte's Web. Babe is the underdog -- er, underpig -- who, through sheer sincerity and genuineness, defies the odds in this heartwarming, farmyard equivalent of a rags-to-riches tale. It's an action-packed, universal story of unlikely friendships and even unlikelier triumphs, of forgiveness, determination, and the power that results from believing in yourself. Even the most disrespectful characters are ultimately reformed by Babe's positive example, providing a subtle yet effective lesson in virtuous behavior that won't be lost on readers of any age.

Part of the book's immense charm comes from the portions of dialogue that reflect rural British speech. In addition to deciphering the richly authentic dialect, some young readers will need assistance defining terms such as "daft" and cultural references such as dialing 999 when an emergency occurs. But don't let this be a deterrent; the UK influence serves to enrich the cultural, behavioral, and language lessons this remarkable book provides.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the qualities that make Babe so endearing in Babe: The Gallant Pig. What traits help Babe win over the other animals and find success?

  • How does the relationship between the farmer and Babe grow and change?

  • Did you see the movie Babe? How does it compare with the book? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animal stories

Themes & Topics

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