Thursday, August 7, 2008

Freddy Goes to Florida by Walter R. Brooks

Freddy Goes to Florida by Walter R. Brooks is the delightful story of Farmer Bean's animals and their adventures as they migrate from rural New York to Florida for the winter.

It all begins when a barn swallow overhears Charles the Rooster and Hank the Horse discussing how cold the barn is every winter and how badly they wish it would be summer all year 'round. The swallow interrupts and tells how she and her fellow birds migrate to Florida and some even as far as South America every fall where it is warm and there is plenty of eat until their return in the spring. This puts the idea into Charles' head -- if birds can migrate, why can't farm animals?

Charles calls a meeting of all the farm animals and presents his idea. The meeting is a success and at first all the animals wish to go, but as wise old Jock the collie explains, they can't all go -- some will have to stay or else Farmer Bean will be in trouble. So straws are drawn and soon the winners are making their plans to leave, including Freddy the Pig, Mrs. Wiggins the Cow, and Jinx the Cat to name just a few of the motley band.

Along the way they encounter many curious sights and exciting adventures, including meeting the President of the United States, discovering hidden treasure, outwitting a swamp of hungry alligators, scaring away robbers, and so much more.

Published in 1927, Freddy Goes to Florida (originally titled To And Again) is the first of twenty-six books in a series about Freddy the Pig, although in this first book Freddy is more of a supporting character than a main star. I came upon the series while browsing my local library and was immediately captivated by the story idea. Extremely popular when it was published, Brooks' character Freddy was even been compared to A. A. Milne's Winne the Pooh, though it appears now Freddy never reached height of fame that Pooh did.

The book I read was 197 pages and a very fast and delightful read. I am definitely adding this book to my list of books I'd like to read to my daughter one day. In the meantime I hope to read some of the other books in this series. If the rest of the books can be judged based on this first book alone I know they will be worthwhile reads.

Freddy Goes to Florida is a great read aloud for children or even a simple story for the child at heart. I can't recommend this book enough to someone looking for a simple, but fun tale told from the farm animals perspective. It's rich with adventure and pure imagination.

3 comments:

Nicola said...

I haven't read this one but I did read the second one (something about the North Pole...maybe Freddy Goes to the North Pole) aloud to my son when he was little and we just laughed and laughed. It was hilarious.

Frederick Bean said...

Glad you enjoyed the book! There is a lively community of Freddy lovers, a group called the Friends of Freddy. We have bi-annual conventions (although off-year meets have become more frequent) and publish a group newsletter, filled with articles about Freddy and the convention talks (so those that weren’t there can catch a look). At the risk of seeming like spam, here’s a link to the FoF’s website: http://friendsoffreddy.com/. (Scroll down a bit past the advertisement to fidn the various articles and news). Hope we hear more from you!

Frederick Bean said...

Glad you enjoyed the book! There is a lively community of Freddy lovers, a group called the Friends of Freddy. We have bi-annual conventions (although off-year meets have become more frequent) and publish a group newsletter, filled with articles about Freddy and the convention talks (so those that weren’t there can catch a look). At the risk of seeming like spam, here’s a link to the FoF’s website: http://friendsoffreddy.com/. (Scroll down a bit past the advertisement to fidn the various articles and news). Hope we hear more from you!