Rereading: FREDDY THE PILOT by Walter R. Brooks

Cover art by Leslie Morrill

While I much prefer the interior art by Kurt Wiese, this new cover for the paperback edition is not bad.

If you were reading this series from the beginning, or at least early on, you gradually came to accept that Freddy the talking pig from the Bean Farm in upstate New York could master just about any skill, but in this book he breezes right by driving a car to piloting a small plane, somehow. One of the reasons is to help his friends at the Boomschmidt circus, who are being harassed by another plane dive bombing their big top shows and scaring the audience, forcing Boomschmidt to give their money back. Soon he’ll be broke, and Freddy and his friends want to prevent that. The dive bombing is the work of rich Mr. Condiment, who has a crush on the circus’s bareback rider Miss Rose, and is willing to shut down the circus in order to get her to marry him. The animals want to prevent that, too. Mr. Condiment is a comic book publisher from Philadelphia, and Brooks has plenty of digs at comics in this book, which I found amusing, and which was a popular trend in 1952, when it was written.

Other storylines involve Mr. Bean’s brother, Uncle Ben, who is trying to invent a new bombsight to sell to the Army, but it turns out to be a treasure detector instead. Sniffy the skunk and his family become fans of Robin Hood, and take up staff fighting and doing good deeds. Both Freddy and his detective partner, the cow Mrs. Wiggins, put on disguises to try to scare away Mr. Condiment, and there’s plenty of action in Condiment’s secret airstrip when Freddy and his agents take on Condiment’s men there.

Great fun, recommended.

Freddy the Pilot by Walter R Brooks

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