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Freddy the Detective (The Freddy Books) Paperback – November 11, 2010
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"Oh, I am the King of Detectives, / And when I am out on the trail / All the animal criminals tremble, / And the criminal animals quail..." boasts Freddy, the poetry-prone, Sherlock Holmes-obsessed pig who stars in Walter R. Brooks's beloved series. From 1927 to 1958, Brooks wrote 26 Freddy books--including Freddy Goes to Florida--all focused on the well-rounded pig, who has been described by various fans as ingenious, intelligent, loyal, and resourceful. Since Brooks's books fell out of print, librarians across the country have scrounged up copies wherever possible, even resorting to photocopying the books and binding them with hockey-stick tape! To the delight of thousands, the fabulous Freddy books have been reprinted by Overlook Press!
The intrigue of Freddy the Detective begins on the Bean Farm (Freddy's upstate New York abode), when a toy train is discovered missing from young Everett Bean's room. Freddy jumps at the chance to prove his sleuth skills: "I'll find that train, you bet! There are a lot of mysteries on a farm like this and I'll solve 'em all!" he proclaims. The pig can't gracefully outfox the rats (and they sing derisive songs about him), but eventually he does solve cases from "The Mystery of Egbert" (about a bunny who'd wandered off from his family) to "The Case of Prinny's Dinner" (about a white woolly dog's missing food). The shenanigans all sound innocent enough, but Brooks is hilariously tongue-in-cheek; his insightful descriptions of animal characters are always compassionate; and his subtle appeal to a child's instinct for justice is no less than masterful. As Adam Hochschild of the New York Times Book Review writes, "The moral center of my childhood universe, the place where good and evil, friendship and treachery, honesty and humbug were defined most clearly, was not church, not school, and not the Boy Scouts. It was the Bean Farm." Welcome back, Freddy! (Ages 9 to 12, but great for reading aloud to younger children.) --Karin Snelson
From Publishers Weekly
Available for the first time in paperback, Freddy the Pig stars in two adventures. In the first, fresh from reading about Sherlock Holmes, Freddy is drafted to solve several disappearances on Bean farm. In the second, the porcine hero and his friends escape the drafty barn for a vacation in sunny Florida. Ages 9-12. (July)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
That same boy, now much older, has recently discovered that, far from disappearing from the shelves, Freddy the Pig still is available and is still being read. Curious to see if the magic was still there, this reviewer once again took it home. I am pleased to report that Freddy remains one of Americas greatest heroes.
"Freddy the Detective" is one of the early books in a series that stretches from 1928 to include 25 volumes of delight for both children and the adults they are bringing up. Freddy is not your ordinary barnyard animal. Not only do all the animal's on Mr. Bean's farm talk and help with the chores. Certain of them have taken the trouble to learn to read and write. Freddy's latest conquest is "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" and he has decided to become the world foremost porcine investigator.
Freddy, his best friend Jinx the cat, and the sensible Mrs. Wiggins the cow confront many difficult challenges. These include the case of Everett Bean's stolen toy trains, the case of the missing rabbit, the countless plots of Simon the rat and his dishonest clan, and the case of the robbers in the hermit's cabin. And, in a grand finale, Freddy defends Jinx himself from charges of murder. Throughout all of this, our indomitable pig keeps up his plucky attitude. There is as much action in this story as there is in most efforts at more recent fiction. And a lot more fun as well.
Brooks' farm world is a microcosm of real world about us, but one were the animals are often wiser than the people. With the exception of the dastardly Simon the animals treat each other well even when they disagree. Many of them parody our own silliness, like the pompous rooster judge, but they all are likeable. I also appreciate the positive attitude that permeates Brooks writing. "Freddy the Detective" is still good reading 70 years after it was written. And the farm setting gives it a certain timelessness. It combines humor and strong values in an entertaining package, and has convinced more than one young reader that the world of books is a very fine place.