6 Jan 2011

Best-selling children's author dies

12:32 pm on 6 January 2011

Best-selling children's author Dick King-Smith died in his sleep on Tuesday at his home near Bath.

His 1983 book The Sheep-Pig inspired the film Babe: Pig in the City.

The BBC reports King-Smith, 88, had been in poor health in recent years.

The writer, who often featured animals in his works, was one of Britain's most prolific, penning more than 100 books since 1978.

The Invisible Dog, Harriet the Hare and The Witch of Blackberry Bottom were among his other titles.

Born and raised in Gloucestershire, Mr King-Smith fought in Italy with the Grenadier Guards in World War II.

After returning to England, he was a farmer for 20 years before turning his hand to writing.

His first book, The Fox Busters, was published in 1978. He went on to sell more than 15 million copies of his works worldwide, winning numerous awards.

Babe, which was filmed in Australia by George Miller in 1995 with James Cromwell and Magda Szubanski, told of a pig who learns to herd sheep.

Another of his books, The Queen's Nose, was adapted into a BBC TV series that ran for seven series from 1995 - 2003.

His 1990 story The Water Horse was also turned into a 2007 feature film in New Zealand, starring Emily Watson and David Morrissey.

King-Smith was made an OBE in December 2009.