Freddy the Pig
The first twenty years of momhood meant evenings with a read-aloud book and a roomful of captivated kids. Years later, as we reminisce, there are just a handful of series that we continue to rave about, and Freddy the Pig is right at the top.
Written by Walter Brooks, who grew up in the farm country of central New York, the Freddy the Pig series made its debut in 1927. This resourceful talking pig, who coincidentally also lives on a central New York State farm, gets into a number of scrapes with similarly remarkable animals; Jinx, a cynical black cat; a literally and figuratively henpecked rooster named Charles; Alice and Emma, spinster-sister ducks; and Mrs. Wiggins, a good-natured cow with a bit more commonsense than the honest, but sometimes lazy, Freddy.
Unlike the shockingly crass series that are all too readily available to children at every turn, Freddy the Pig books embrace wholesome humor and family values typical of the culture and mores of rural United States from 1927 to 1958. Although the farm setting gives it a certain timelessness, the stories do reflect the social conditions at the time of writing; the books published during WWII have scrap drives and victory gardens.
If your children have outgrown the adventures of Pooh, but you shudder to expose them to reality-reading, consider the gentle humor and wholesome (but not browbeating) moral lessons in these books. Through mystery, adventure, philosophy, wit, courage, and duty, the Freddy the Pig books teach families the value of persistence, friendship, loyalty, and the acceptance of the weaknesses of others. Highly recommended as a read-aloud for anyone over the age of five, or for readers nine to twelve years old.
Praise for Freddy
The American version of great English classics, such as the Pooh books or The Wind in the Willows."
-The New York Times Book Review
"...funny beautifully written gems...my very favorite books when I was in elementary school."
- Nicholas Kristof - The New York Times
"Freddy is simply one of the greatest characters in children's literature!"
- School Library Journal