When we started the Gilmore Girl Reading Challenge, I was excited to see several children's books on the list. I love children's books and happily find myself on the children's shelf looking for my next read. The list includes "Babe The Gallant Pig" by Dick King-Smith, a children's book about a pig that I realized I had never read. This seemed a bit surprising since a certain pig and spider's fictional friendship is by far one of my most favorite books. I wondered if this book could live up to my favorite pig and am pleased to share that it did.
Babe is the story of a young pig who is befriended by a sheep-herding dog named Fly on Farmer Hogget's farm. Babe follows Fly around and begins to learn the ways of a young sheep-herding puppy. Babe loves trying to help herd the sheep. While Fly has taught Babe to be aggressive towards the sheep to herd them, Babe befriends a sheep who teaches him how much further kindness goes, and he learns to successfully herd using kindness instead of aggression. The Farmer is intrigued by the pig's skills herding and enters him in a herding competition. Will Babe be able to herd sheep he doesn't know? Will his approach of kindness in herding work or will the farmer realize that pigs are not meant to be sheepdogs? Be sure to read this awesome book to see what happens when a pig tries to be the best sheepdog.
I loved this story for many reasons. This is a wonderful story of family. Fly, the sheepdog, accepts this motherless young pig into her family with her puppies and takes on the role of mother to Babe. I love this message that families come in all shapes and sizes, and this one happens to be a family made up of sheepdogs and a young pig.
This book shows young readers that you can do anything you set your mind to. Why can't a pig be the best sheepdog ever? It doesn't matter that he isn't a dog. Do your best, and don't give up. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't pursue your dream. That is exactly the message I want my children to find in a book.
The last message in this book that impacted me the most as a reader is don't make judgements about others. Get to know them, find out who they are, and you might make friends. Fly, the sheepdog, did not like the sheep. She often said they were stupid and that one must be mean to them to get them to do what you want. Babe heard this message several times. Instead of believing these things about the sheep, he got to know them. He realized that Fly's prejudice against the sheep was wrong and that kindness would go much further than being mean. It took a young pig to teach an old dog a lesson ... be kind to everyone you meet. Fly struggled with accepting this until she needed the sheep to help her. She then realized she needed to speak to them, and realized that Babe was right. They weren't stupid, and being kind to them got her more answers than being mean or aggressive would.
This book is one I will definitely give to my children to read and hopefully reread.
We would love for you to join us on this challenge. To see the complete list of books, please visit The Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge. If you would like to participate, please email