- Age Range: 8 - 11 years
- Grade Level: 4 and up
- Series: Freddy the Pig
- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: The Overlook Press; 1 edition (February 16, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590207416
- ISBN-13: 978-1590207413
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Freddy Goes to Florida (Freddy the Pig) Paperback – February 16, 2012
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"Freddy's readers have called him a porcine prince...Walter R. Brook's gentle genius shines even brighter." — Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
"Freddy is blessed with courage, wit, agility and a Sherlock Holmes- like capacity for detective work." — Newsday
"The American version of the great English classics such as the Pooh books or The Wind in the Willows." — The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Walter R. Brooks was born in Rome, New York on January 9, 1886, and died in Roxbury, New York on August 17, 1958. Brooks attended the University of Rochester and, after graduation, worked for the American Red Cross and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. He became associate editor of Outlook in 1928 and subsequently was a staff writer for several magazines, including The New Yorker. The short stories he began writing at this time were published in The Saturday Evening Post, Atlantic Monthly, and Esquire. Brooks's short story "Ed Takes the Pledge" was the basis for the 1950s television series Mr. Ed, but his most lasting achievement is the Freddy the Pig series, which began in 1928 with To and Again (Freddy Goes to Florida). He subsequently wrote twenty-five more delightful books starring "that charming ingenious pig" (The New York Times), all of which are now available from The Overlook Press.
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When reading to very young children, expect to have to explain a lot of vocabulary -- not a bad thing at all. Many years ago, I read these to my son and recorded them on cassette tapes. He played them over many, many times, especially when traveling. He developed a love of books that led him to read 54 Hardy Boys volumes while only a third-grader.
This book originally had the innocuous title, "To and Again." Like Howard R. Garris (Uncle Wiggly), Brooks didn't settle on his central character in his first books.
One good way to get into these is via Kindle. A Kindle app on larger phone or tablet is a great option. Kindle is currently the ONLY way to get all of the series. There is a website dedicated to Friends of Freddy that is worth looking up.
BTW, the New York Times speculated that Orwell drew his inspiration for "Animal Farm" from the Freddy series.
My grandson, son, daughter, and I have all enjoyed the Freddy books. I can't recommend them highly enough.
Another good choice is the Oz series, which consists of 15 volumes, beginning with the Wizard of Oz. Those books are for similar ages, but probably no younger than 7. Of course, when the kids are old enough, nothing beats Harry Potter.
Charles the Rooster was depressed. He was tired of waking up before sunrise to greet the sun, and he hated the cold winter the would be coming all too soon. Then a passing barn swallow explained to Charles about migrating and the excited rooster went to work convincing the rest of the animals to go south for the winter. That wasn't hard, Mr. Bean was a good farmer, but he didn't have the money to keep the barn all warm and cozy. In no time at all everyone (Freddy the Pig, Jinx the Cat, Mrs. Wiggins the cow, Hank the horse, dogs, ducks, mice and even a pair of spiders) are headed down the road to Florida.
They go from one picaresque adventure to another. They get a bit lost, survive kidnapping, and fall in a few rivers. The get to meet the President and find gold. Best of all they reach Florida and spend some wonderful time being lazy and basking in the sun. There they have the biggest adventure of all. Wandering in the Big Cypress Swamp the animals are surrounded by alligators and Charles must pull a trick on the Grandfather of All the Alligators to escape the swamp and begin their trip home. On the way, of course, even more exciting things befall them.
"Freddy Goes to Florida" was written before Freddy really became the star of the series, although he plays a big part here, especially for his inventive mind and wonderful songwriting ability. He is proof that even the chubbiest of pigs is a fine friend and good company. But the reader, young, or old, will find much to enjoy in each of the characters. Even the hen-pecked Charles is worth the price of admission. And the Webbs too, spider-adventurers extraordinaire, will tick your nose too as they ride between Mrs. Wiggins horns.
The lessons of this book are simple, yet incredibly important. That friends are important, that sticking to your word is the right thing to do, and that you are never too small to play a part. That helping others helps one's self. And the perseverance reaches its goal. But the best lessons of all come from Freddy's wonderful songs. "Oh, a life of adventure is gay and free, and danger has its charm; and no pig of spirit will bound his life by the fence on his master's farm....[yet] however they wander, both pigs and men are always glad to get home again."