Babe the Gallant Pig



A lively, universal story of unlikely friendships.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness

Some suspense; Babe escapes the slaughterhouse.

Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the highly appealing story line is engaging, emotionally provocative, and at times suspenseful. Illustrations are simple line sketches, but they supplement the story well.

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What's the story?

Babe is not your ordinary pig: he's mannerly 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?


As animal fantasies go, BABE THE GALLANT PIG has earned the right to be compared favorably with the benchmark pig classic Charlotte's Web. It has all the necessary characteristics: suspense, kid appeal, plenty of emotion, and charismatic animal characters. 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 oneself. 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 will only serve to enrich the cultural, behavioral, and language lessons this remarkable book provides.

Families can talk about...

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

Book details

Author:Dick King-Smith
Illustrator:Mary Rayner
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:January 1, 1985
Number of pages:118
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 12

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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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 to follow along even tho the vocabulary may be over their heads. If you're good at voices and accents, you'll love this book - lots of opportunity to stretch your talent.
Kid, 8 years old April 9, 2008


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