Wednesday 30 December 2015

Review! (Woohoo!) - The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams

the boy in the dress book coverTitle: The Boy in the Dress.

Author: David Walliams .

Genre: Kids, Humour.

A few starting notes:

I saw the BBC adaptation of the Boy in the Dress last year, so took my chance to borrow the eBook from the Welsh libraries service.
This is suitable for ages 9 or 10 up, maybe a little younger, or a little older, depending on what kid is actually doing the reading.

Dennis is your normal 12-year-old boy living a normal, boring, life. Except, inside, Dennis is a bit different. But who's going to accept a 12-year-old boy in a dress?

Best bits:

I'm not entirely sure this could be more British unless the cover featured a bulldog drinking tea. This is just amazingly British - particularly in terms of humour - not surprising, I suppose, when it comes to David Walliams.
In the tradition of the legend of children's writing, Roald Dahl, Walliams doesn't speak down to kids and/or readers. He's along for the ride, down to taking a moment to look up details of football (soccer to the Yanks.)
The kids are going to love the gross bits - all the snot and the farting is like catnip to 10-year-olds. And Walliams manages to keep the balance and not go too far with the icky stuff.
Of course, mention must be made of the fantastic pencil-scratch-style illustrations of Quentin Blake, who was Roald Dahl's primary illustrator for many years.

Not so great bits:

There's very little to argue against with this book - although I can see how more conservative readers may be put off by the premise of a boy in a dress.
There's occasional use of the slightly-homophobic slang insult 'woofter,' which may insult some people.

I really did love this book; it was fun, entertaining, engaging, and genuinely good-hearted and well-written. I would recommend this to pretty much anyone.

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