Reviews of Published Freddy Books

Yes, dear Freddyites and other readers, these are genuine excerpts from ancient reviews of the Freddy books that were actually published. I was able to dig up this tantalizingly incomplete information using the rather limited resources of the podunk Centerboro Public Library. (I also note, for reasons unknown even to me, the original price of the book if I could determine it.) I hope you enjoy the reviews.

To and Again ($2.00)

"An amusing story, full of homely fun and adventure. This is a story all children will enjoy, full of just the sort of humor and adventures they appreciate." (NY Herald Tribune, June 12, 1927, p. 8)

"He puts quiet humor into his animal characters and their talk and he fills the tale with adventure and makes of it all a very lively book. Best-Maugard's amusing illustrations are quite in the modern fashion of art." (New York Times, June 26, 1927, p. 15)

"Has much spirit and originality. If at times the talk of the animals palls somewhat upon the adult reader it probably will not upon the younger ones for whom it has been written. This is the sort of story that sets out determinedly to be different and never misses an opportunity to be fanciful and funny. But it falls pretty far below the best when one compares it with Dr. Dolittle and his quaintly sincere drolleries, or with the natural fun and charm of The Wind in the Willows." (Saturday Review of Literature,November 5, 1927)

"Talking animals will never lose their fascination: and, although these do not use human speech and cannot be understood except by each other, they are very real and amusing. The black and white pictures are clever but reasonable." (Times [London] Literary Supplement, November 24, 1927)

More To and Again ($2.00)

"The popularity of To and Again will find readers for this second book, but it bears the unmistakable marks of a sequel. The illustrations lack something of the kindly humor which Adolfo Best-Maugard put into those for the first." (New York Times, September 14, 1930--p. 20)

Other reviews (unobtainable by me) may be found in...

  • Outlook, August 27, 1930--by Walter R. Brooks!
  • Outlook, December 10, 1930
  • Times [London] Literary Supplement, November 20, 1930

Freddy the Detective ($2.00)

"Young folks will find delightfully interesting the adventures of Freddy. There is plenty of sprightly conversation among the animals, as well as many laughs and chuckles. Freddy's detective methods are very amusing, even if not very successful, attempts to follow in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes." (Boston Transcript, July 2, 1932)

"This book will be great fun for all who have not outgrown the gift of fitting becoming personalities to our animal friends. This barnyard coterie has real character." (Books, August 21, 1932, p. 5)

"Children will be attracted by the title and younger children who like animal characters will be entertained by Freddy's amusing adventures. Otherwise, there is nothing to commend the book, which is less lively than To and Again. Slang of the comic strip type and bad grammar are frequently found in the conversational parts. Libraries can do without this title." (Library Journal, October 15, 1932)

"Perfunctory and made to order." (New York Times, November 13, 1932, p. 15)

The Story of Freginald ($2.00)

"The story has not a dull or solemn page in it and will be eagerly welcomed by Mr. Brooks's many young admirers. The excellent illustrations by Kurt Wiese have the same liveliness and good-humored fun as the text." (Boston Transcript:,December 12, 1936, p. 4)

"Though The Story of Freginald falls short of the finest type of humorous and fanciful tales, its lively action, aided by its clear type and amusing illustrations, will make it popular with the more matter-of-fact 9 and 10 year olds." (New York Times, December 13, 1936, p. 11)

Other Reviews:

  • Books, December 13, 1936, p. 11
  • Horn Book, January 1937
  • Springfield Republican, November 29, 1936, p. 7e

The Clockwork Twin

"It is of course sensible fooling. Having to provide the lonely Adoniram with a playmate, it was sensible to make him a clockwork boy with a bright young rooster sitting in a box in his breast to run the microphone. All that happens on his hilarious travels is reasonable, granting the premises. Before Freddy has found Adoniram's missing brother for him, a reader of any age capable of enjoying absurdity will have had plenty to chuckle over. The end leaves everybody chuckling." (Books, November 14, 1937, p. 11)

"Fascinating and merry reading. For good measure, there is even a hint of mystery. The droll drawings are by Kurt Wiese." (Springfield Republican, November 28, 1937)

"The child with a well-developed sense of humor will appreciate the nonsense in dialogue and situation. For children eight to ten." (Library Journal,  December 15, 1937)

"It is quite possible that a good many 9 and 10 year olds, especially those already acquainted with Mr. Bean's animals (since children dearly love a sequel), will enjoy the mechanical absurdities which provide the plot and action of this tale. At rare moments it is reminiscent of To and Again, but unfortunately it has for the most part a tendency to over-elaboration and a very obvious determination to be funny." (New York Times, January 16, 1938, p. 11)

Another review:

  • Horn Book, January 1938

Wiggins for President ($2.00)

"While this is the sixth book in the series, the spontaneous gaiety of the style is unabated, and the author's sly satire never becomes objectionably unchildlike. These stories have not been so popular as the Dolittle books which they clearly resemble, but libraries where they have a steady following will find this latest volume equal in quality to the others and definitely superior to The Clockwork Twin." (Library Journal, September 15, 1939)

"The author has never succeeded in recapturing the spontaneous fun of his first story, To and Again. Though stereotyped in situation and commonplace in style, Wiggins for President tells a lively story and one which many young readers, though perhaps the less imaginative ones, will enjoy. Kurt Wiese's drawings are amusing and expressive." (New York Times, October 8, 1939)

Another review:

  • Saturday Review of Literature, November 18, 1939

Freddy's Cousin Weedly ($2.00)

"It all makes the most delightful nonsense. The tea party, the incident at the movies, the play given by the animals, the lesson taught by the wise old owl, and the battle with the caterpillars are good incidents for reading aloud to eight and nine-year-olds. The Kurt Wiese illustrations are in the spirit of the text." (Library Journal, September 15, 1940)

"Comparisons are never fair, but all things considered I think I can safely call Mr. Brooks the Wodehouse of American juvenile fiction. Nobody else has just this ability to put over the incredible and make it seem the most natural thing in the world, the unpredictable dialogue and, what's more, the knack of keeping this up for book after book, practically all alike but preserving the illusion of difference...The play the animals write and act has the air of being lugged in, and I could well spare it, but the rest is up to sample." (Books, January 5, 1941, p. 6)

Freddy and the Ignormus ($2.00)

"The children who have eagerly followed the adventures of Farmer Bean's talking animals since the first story, To and Again, was published will hail with delight this new story of Freddy, the poetic pig...Kurt Wiese's humorous illustrations well portray the events in the solving of this rollicking animal mystery story." (Library Journal, September 1, 1941)

"The undeniable charm of this story, like the earlier Freddy books, is not in morals, but in crisp talk between the animals. This goes on in good American; a better language can't be found for give-and-take. I don't know that any one has called attention to a basic likeness in character between Freddy and Pooh; Freddy is not a pet, he is less wistful, but he has the same innocent vanity and boundless good will." (Books, October 26, 1941, p. 7)

Another Review:

  • Commonweal, November 21, 1941

Freddy and the Perilous Adventure ($2.00)

"This book, a sequel to other Freddy books, is a credit to the ability of its author, Walter R. Brooks. The antics of parachute jumping mice and the all too human foibles of the duck family, combined with cows, spiders, and circus animals make a delightful story." (Springfield Republican, November 8, 1942, p. 7e)

Other reviews:

  • Library Journal, January 1, 1943
  • Wisconsin Library Bulletin, November 1942

Freddy and the Bean Home News

Sorry--no information

Freddy and Mr. Camphor ($2.00)

"Sure-fire for children nine to twelve who ask for more stories like the Dr. Dolittles." (Library Journal, October 15, 1944)

Other reviews:

  • Christian Science Monitor,  November 13, 1944, p. 10
  • Kirkus, September 15, 1944

Freddy and the Popinjay ($2.00)

I can't supply you with any of the reviews, because I don't have them, but here are some sources for the enterprising researchers among you:

  • Kirkus, September 15, 1945
  • Library Journal, October 15, 1945

Freddy the Pied Piper ($2.00)

"If parents who have been forced to read the other twelve books aloud are a bit weary of Freddy's adventures, the children are certainly not. Before this one is cold they'll be wondering about the next book. The illustrations, as usual, are drolly appealing." (New York Times, October 13, 1946)

"Less interesting than others in this long series." (Library Journal, December 1, 1946)

Other reviews:

  • Kirkus, October 1, 1946
  • San Francisco Chronicle, November 10, 1946, p. 4

Freddy the Magician ($2.50--a major price increase!)

"Although few series of stories hold up to the high level of the first success, this fourteenth story of Freddy the Pig, and his colleagues on the Bean Farm, a complete and self-contained story, is as funny, as absorbing and as unobtrusively instructive as the very first one." (New York Times, January 18, 1948, p. 27)

Other reviews:

  • Kirkus, October 1, 1947
  • Library Journal, October 15, 1947
  • New Yorker, December 6, 1947
  • San Francisco Chronicle, November 30, 1947, p. 11

Freddy Goes Camping ($2.50)

"The usual good, clean fun, which young fans of the Freddy series will welcome." (Kirkus, October 1, 1948)

Other reviews:

  • Christian Science Monitor, December 14, 1948, p. 12
  • Library Journal, December 15, 1948
  • New York Times, November 7, 1948, p. 41

Freddy Goes to Florida ($2.50)

(Reissue under a different title and with different illustrations of Mr. Brooks's first story about Freddy the Pig,
originally published in 1927 with the title To and Again)

"Personally, I regard as a unique contribution to American children's books and one I have delighted to honor in lists made for children at home and abroad...As an admirer of Kurt Wiese's best work for children and animals, I warmly resent the substitution of drawings so similar to those he has made for later volumes as to give a commonplace accompaniment to the distinctive text which was Mr. Brooks's first book for children. The title page for Freddy Goes to Florida is a repetition of one used for an incident midway of the story." (Horn Book, March 1949)

"Long life to Freddy and his friends! This may start a new group, for after all those who read the original To and Again must have grown up by now." (Kirkus, February 1, 1949)

Other Reviews:

  • Library Journal, April 1, 1949
  • Saturday Review of Literature, November 12, 1949
  • Wisconsin Library Bulletin, April, 1949

Freddy Plays Football ($2.50)

"Fairly far fetched yarn, but the Freddy addicts are insatiable and uncritical." (Kirkus, September 15, 1949)

"One misses the spontaneity of some of Freddy's earlier escapades, but children will read the book with enjoyment." (Library Journal, October 15, 1949)

"What keeps this story from being the usual high school football jamboree is the fact that Freddy is a pig.  Even Kurt Wiese's fine drawings can't convince this reviewer that 12-year-old boys wouldn't rather have their football heroes on the human side. And if they don't, they should." (San Francisco Chronicle, November 13, 1949, p. 13)

Other Reviews:

  • Chicago Sun, November 5, 1949
  • Library Journal, November 1, 1949

Freddy the Cowboy ($2.50)

"How many Freddy books can your young ones take?  For this reviewer, the seventeenth was rather hard to face. Yet, she admits, Mr. Brooks's invention does not flag, and his racy, modern conversations still strike a note not paralleled in any other animal-nonsense stories." (New York Herald Tribune Book Review, November 12, 1950, p. 12)

Other Reviews:

  • Kirkus, October 15, 1950
  • Library Journal, February 1, 1951
  • New York Times, November 12, 1950, p. 24

Freddy Rides Again ($2.50)

"Mr. Wiese's pictures are still superb. Yes, Mr. Brooks has kept caught up with the favorite subjects of radio and TV, and many children of a new era twenty years after To and Again may prefer it to that most amusing minor masterpiece." (New York Herald Tribune Book Review, November 11, 1951, p. 5)

"New England flavor seasons this highly entertaining though soundly instructive tale of onerousness revamped, of strength in union, of the power of laughter." (New York Times, November 11, 1951, p. 26)

Other Reviews:

  • Kirkus, August 1, 1951
  • Library Journal, December 1, 1951

Freddy the Pilot ($3.00--another major increase!)

"Recommended for its general appeal for children of 9 - 11. Easily read by this group and fine for reading aloud." (Library Journal, December 1, 1952)

"As this mystery unfolds, Walter Brooks takes many good pokes at the 'comics.' " (New York Times, November 16, 1952, p. 36)

Other Reviews:

  • Kirkus, September 15, 1952
  • New York Herald Tribune Book Review, November 16, 1952, p. 10)

The Collected Poems of Freddy the Pig ($2.50)

"You don't need to know the series to be amused at these pages; nor to be reminded that the author is a pig, because of Mr. Wiese's ever present, merry aid. Some of it is a take-off of familiar poems or songs. Wait till you hear Freddy's version of 'On the Road to Mandalay.' Some of it is reminiscent of the individual stories." (New York Herald Tribune Book Review, November 15, 1953, p. 4)

Other Reviews:

  • Chicago Sunday Tribune, November 15, 1953
  • Kirkus, November 1, 1953
  • Library Journal, December 15, 1953
  • New York Times, November 15, 1953, p. 26

Freddy and the Space Ship ($3.00)

"Especially delicious are the illustrations. Mr. Wiese portrays porkers with more personality than many of the people we've met." (Chicago Sunday Tribune, November 15, 1953, p. 24)

"A first-rate plot combining melodrama and farce, and in general more sheer entertainment than you'll find in any more soberly scientific book for the young." (New York Herald Tribune Book Review, November 15, 1953,  p. 30)

"It's a funny story, considerably more down to earth than most accounts of travel in space." (New York Times, November 15, 1953, p. 26)

Other Reviews:

  • Kirkus, November 1, 1953
  • Library Journal, January 1, 1954

Freddy and the Men from Mars ($3.00)

"With the wit rolling off the pages, Mr. Brooks is still having fun spoofing people, situations, and other spoofers." (Kirkus, September 1, 1954)

"Although it seems that by now he should have run out of plots, Walter Brooks offers another book that will attract both librarians and the juvenile public who like this type of nonsensical adventure. Recommended for fourth-sixth graders." (Library Journal, February 15, 1955)

"Excitingly and amusingly, with the entry of real Martians, all is resolved." (New York Times, November 14, 1954)

Other Reviews:

  • New York Herald Tribune Book Review, December 12, 1954
  • Wisconsin Library Bulletin, March 1955

Freddy and the Baseball Team from Mars

Sorry--no information

Freddy and Simon the Dictator

Sorry--no information

Freddy and the Flying Saucer Plans ($3.00)

"Because of Freddy's large following, librarians will purchase this. Yet, Mr. Brooks's treatment of lawbreakers, jails, and spies, in this and his previous books might foster unfortunate attitudes in children. The usual clever illustrations will be enjoyed by third- and fourth-grader readers." (Library Journal, October 15, 1957)

"Walter Brooks's lightly satiric touches make this story as funny to grown-ups as to Freddy's legions of devoted young fans." (New York Times, November 17, 1957)

"One is treated to a good bit of Freddy's philosophy along with his amusing adventures. Kurt Wiese's drawings successfully capture the spirit of Freddy and his companions." (Saturday Review, November 16, 1957)

Other Reviews:

  • Christian Science Monitor, November 7, 1957, p. 15
  • Kirkus, June 1, 1957
  • San Francisco Chronicle, November 10, 1957, p. 4

Freddy and the Dragon

Sorry--no information.

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