Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams

Dennis is twelve. He lives with his dad and his older brother, John. He really misses his mom. Dennis loves soccer and he also loves Vogue magazine (which he keeps hidden under his mattress). He becomes friends with an older girl at school, Lisa, who shares his love of fashion. Lisa encourages Dennis to fulfill his desire to wear dresses... which of course brings enormous consequences.

Illustrations by the incomparable Quentin Blake bring Roald Dahl's timeless stories to mind. I also enjoyed Walliams' humorous asides, where he steps outside of third person narration and speaks directly to the audience. "Dennis did play football for his school and was his team's number one... shooter? Sorry, reader, I must look this up. Ah, striker. Yes, Dennis was his team's number one striker, scoring over a million goals in a year. Excuse me again, reader, I don't know much about football, maybe a million is too much. A thousand? A hundred? Two? Whatever, he scored the most goals."

The story is absolutely charming. It is not a story about sexuality, but rather a heartwarming celebration of difference. Highly recommended for Grade 5 up to adult.

No comments: