One of the nation’s most beloved children’s writers, Dick King-Smith was the master of the animal story for younger readers. King-Smith’s background was in farming, an environment that he would utilise frequently in his children’s stories, although his lack of business expertise led to the closure of two of his farms and resulted in him training to become a primary school teacher. His first children’s book, The Fox Busters, was published in 1978 whilst King-Smith was teaching at Farmborough Primary School. 1983 saw not only his departure from the teaching profession but the publication of his most successful and enduring work, The Sheep Pig, which was adapted for the screen as Babe. Despite coming to writing later in life, King-Smith proved astonishingly prolific, with subsequent titles including The Hodgeheg, The Water Horse and the highly popular Sophie series.