Farmer Skint has no luck on his farm until one day his goose lays a golden egg, which hatches out into a golden gosling. From that moment on, Farmer Skint is a lucky man. As the bird gets older, her golden feathers turn to ordinary white, but the first egg she lays is a golden one.
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Dick King-Smith served in the Grenadier Guards during the Second World War, and afterwards spent twenty years as a farmer in Gloucestershire, the county of his birth. Many of his stories are inspired by his farming experiences. Later he taught at a village primary school. His first book, The Fox Busters, was published in 1978. He wrote a great number of children's books, including The Sheep-Pig (winner of the Guardian Award and filmed as Babe), Harry's Mad, Noah's Brother, The Hodgeheg, Martin's Mice, Ace, The Cuckoo Child and Harriet's Hare (winner of the Children's Book Award in 1995). At the British Book Awards in 1991 he was voted Children's Author of the Year. In 2009 he was made OBE for services to children's literature. Dick King-Smith died in 2011 at the age of eighty-eight.From Booklist:
Gr. 2-5. Farmer Skint, the hapless proprietor of Woebegone Farm, can't seem to do anything right. He buys high and sells low, his cows get foul-in-the-foot, and foxes are always consuming his chickens. Then his goose hatches a golden egg and life takes a decided upturn. He wins the lottery, a racetrack bet pays off on 50 to 1 odds, and a friendly neighbor decides to make a film documenting Skint's golden goose. King-Smith's fans will appreciate his signature rural setting, full of genial livestock and good-natured incompetents, and those familiar with his autobiography, Chewing the Cud (2002), may even recognize some of King-Smith in Skint. His novel shares some elements with the Aesop and Grimm stories of the same name, but King-Smith keeps things light, eliminating both the greed and moral lessons. This isn't a child-centered story, and a few incidents seem a bit mature for the intended audience (celebrating good fortune with champagne, for example), but this will still be popular with the first-chapter-book crowd. Kay Weisman
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