Book #10. The Clockwork Twin, by Walter R. Brooks. Hardcover.
When I was growing up, the book series that I read most often included Encyclopedia Brown, The Great Brain, Paddington Bear … and Freddy the Pig. I read all of the ones that were in my school libraries, and from what I can piece together from Freddy’s home on the Internet, I probably read more than half of the 25 novels growing up.
But I had never read this one. Perhaps my school library did not have it, or perhaps that fact that Freddy’s name is not in the title threw me off. Brooks (or his publisher) may have realized that this could be an issue, as this is the last book published without Freddy’s name in the title.
In the aftermath of a massive flood, some of the marvelous talking animals from the Bean farm run across an orphaned boy named Adoniram. They take him back to the Bean farm, and after some adventures, the Beans adopt him. Mr. Bean’s uncle, a clockworker and tinkerer, creates an amazingly lifelike robotic playmate for him, giving us the title of this novel. The animals hear word that Adoniram may have a long-lost brother nearby, and the animals seek him out.
Brooks has a way of putting his characters in humorous situations, and putting humorous language in their mouths. Many of his ongoing animal characters are here, and a few new ones are introduced, as well. And we meet a few more adult humans, as well.
Freddy is a terrific character, an “everypig” who can fit into any adventures on or off the farm. He is a detective, a poet, and a leader. His charm, wit and decency make him an entertaining character. My daughter read and listened to a few of these books growing up, and I may have been involved in that, but this is the first Freddy book I have read “on my own” for well over 3 decades. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. For good or ill, they just don’t make them like this anymore.
Source: a Christmas gift, purchased from Half-Price Books.