Celebrated children's author DICK KING-SMITH has died after a long battle with ill health.
The writer passed away in his sleep at his home in Bath, England on Tuesday (04Jan11), his agent has confirmed. He was 88.
King-Smith was one of Britain's best-selling kids authors and often used his love of animals to inspire some of his better-known works, including 1983's The Sheep-Pig, which was turned into a big screen hit with the release of Babe in 1995.
Another novel, 1990's The Water Horse, became a movie in 2007 starring Harry Potter actress Emma Watson and David Morrissey.
He wrote more than 100 books in the last three decades, among them The Invisible Dog, Harriet the Hare and The Witch of Blackberry Bottom, and was handed an Order of the British Empire honour in 2009 for his contributions to the literary world.
He is survived by his second wife Zona and his three children, as well as 14 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.