The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams

Dennis was differnt.
Why was he different, I hear you ask?
Well, a small clue might be in the title of this book…

I’m sure David Walliams doesn’t need any introduction, but in case you don’t recognise the name, he’s most well known for his partnership with Matt Lucas in Little Britain.

The actual book is a visual delight, both inside and out. It’s illustrated by Quentin Blake, famous for his illustrations in Roald Dahl’s books. An addition such as this cannot fail to add charm to a book, and it certainly works here.

The story is what you would expect, and I won’t go into the details. It is basically a simple children’s story, one I can imagine appealing to my nine year old daughter, and upwards. It explores, in a gentle way, the issue of being different to others, accepting yourself, and finding acceptance from others.. and for others. There is also just the right degree of humour, to make this appeal to most people.

This book will also appeal to adults.. not so much because there is some hidden depth to the book, but rather for it’s simplicity, it’s humour, and it’s delightful illustrations. It’s not an in depth commentary, but rather a simple story, with an important message.

I’m about to hand my copy over to my previously mentioned daughter.. she has already picked it up and said it looked good, but of course the test will be how it reads! For fans of David Walliams, or even Quentin Blake, this will make a nice addition to the bookshelves.

Added Nov 08 – As mentioned, I did in fact pass this on to my nine year old daughter. Her initial impressions were good, I believe she found the cover attractive, and immediately recognised that the drawings were the same as in her Roald Dahl books.

She then needed a little persuading to give it a try.. she’s not keen on longer books, and I think she was worried by the length. However, once she started reading it, she kept going.. even picking it up instead of turning on the TV!

She enjoyed the characters, found the story funny, and she also said that the illustrations were good, because they helped her picture what was happening. Importantly, she also understood the message of acceptance.

As I have said, she’s not that keen on longer books, so if this one held her, then it’s definitely a thumbs-up! 🙂

Published by HarperCollins Children Books
Oct 2008

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