Bill's New Frock
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Bill's New Frock

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  348 ratings  ·  32 reviews
One morning, almost as if in a dream, Billy wakes up to find that he has turned into a girl! His mother casually dresses him in a pink dress and sends him off to school, where he realizes how differently girls are treated. A unique story that will serve as a springboard for discussions among young readers.
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Published August 1st 2002 by Egmont Books Ltd (first published January 1st 1989)
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Livash Ramduth
My third review is of Anne Fines story, Bills New Frock that was first published in 1989. The story utilises the idea of waking up having swapped gender. This is a really popular idea, as illustrated by numerous other media products which employ this type of storyline.
The story centres around boy named Bill Simpson, who wakes up one morning to find he is unknowingly morphed into a girl. Upon waking up and finding himself in this peculiar situation, Bill seeks his mum for help but all she offers...more
Sehrish
I remember reading this book when I was in year 6 I found this book so engaging I had to finish it within a few days. It is a novel about Bill who wakes up one morning to find that he is a girl. His mum makes him wear a pink frilly dress to school. Bill is so confused because he knows he is a boy not a girl so what an earth is going on. Bill finds is so strange being a girl and everything is so different. He spends his day being forced to keep his dress clean but eventually it gets ruined. when...more
Anna
I can remember reading this book as a young child and being throughly entertained by Anne Fine's marvellous writing style. She has a brilliantly witty narrative which completely engaged my young self.

The story centres around the protagonist, Bill, who wakes up to find he has woken up as the opposite gender. Shocked and confused, the antics he gets up to are entertaining and enthralling to read. One of Fine's best work and it really is a timeless book. Being forced to wear a pink frilly dress an...more
Katherina Mccarthy
Bill wakes up one morning to discover he is a girl… and no one bats an eyelid, not even the cat! His mother breezes into his room, puts a frilly pink frock on him and rushes off to work. Thus begins Bill’s adventure as a girl.

The book is a very clever approach to looking at gender and how boys and girls can often be treated in different ways, whether we realise it at the time or not. Every chapter reveals a new topic which highlights this further and the scenes are common place so children can r...more
Emy
One morning, Bill Simpson wakes up to find that he is a girl. His mother forces him to put on a pretty pink frock with fiddly shell buttons, and then he has to go to school. At school that day, he faces the reality that girls are treated very differently from boys whilst he struggles in vain to stop his dress getting dirty.

I'm reading this one for two reasons: firstly, I loved this story in my childhood, and secondly, I might be writing a conference paper on it, so I've been reading it with a ve...more
Gwion Russell
Bill’s New Frock is about a young boyish boy with a mischievous attitude. Bill, the young boy, wakes up one day as a girl and has to put on a frock. His stereotypical opinions on girls soon change and he begins to value them, including his sister.
I like this story as it deals with gender identity, a common social crisis within today’s younger generation. Fine portrays a young boy who in the eyes of his peers is a girl, however his personal identity does not match this. I think it allows a consci...more
Francesca Porter
This is about a child, Bill, who wakes up one morning and is given a dress to wear. Bill has always acted like a boy, worn boys clothes, played football, got muddy, read boys magazines, and is disgusted by the dress especially as Bill thinks he is a boy. Throughout the day Bill experiences what it is like to be a girl, and how differently he is treated.
I was read this story as a child, and I could never get my head round the simple fact: surely Bill (and his mother) knows if he is a boy or girl...more
Kerrie
This is a story of a boy called Bill, who surprisingly one day wakes up and finds out that he has turned into a girl. No one else seems shocked about this, so Bill is forced to continue his day at school as a girl. He finds it difficult as girls are treated differently at his school and becomes very frustrated and upset at how he is expected to behave in a certain way, as a girl. Towards the end of the story, the way boys treat girls is questioned and as readers we never really find out if his d...more
Isaac
Bill awakes to the shock of his life one morning; overnight he has become a girl! Too make matters worse he is forced to go to school wearing a pretty pink frock with fiddly shell buttons. As Bill’s day progresses he discovers that life as a pink frock wearing girl is very different. His friends treat him differently, his teachers treat him differently, and even his own family treat him differently! Soon he has had enough and simply wants things to go back to the way they were before. Will he ev...more
Huma Khan
Bill's New Frock is a book by Anne Fine and illustrated by Philippe Dupasquier for younger readers, first published in 1989. The story concerns a young boy, Bill Simpson, who wakes up one morning to find he is a girl... Forced off to school in a frilly pink dress, Bill discovers one of the worst days in his life is about to begin. Baffled by the way things are just different for girls, Bill falls headlong into trouble.

I have been reading Bill's new frock with my Year 4 children. They find the id...more
Saffron
Much to his alarm, one morning Bill wakes to discover he is a girl. Unperturbed by this, his mother puts him in a frilly pink frock and sends him off to school. Despite his consternation at this inexplicable turn of events, he is seemingly unable to do anything about it and strangely, everyone else accepts the change too. Bill isn’t quite sure what’s happening, but does his best to get on with his day as usual, but the dress changes everything. Wearing the dress gives Bill a new perspective and...more
Charlotte Peters
This is the story of a boy who wakes up one morning and everybody believes he is a girl. His mother forces him to wear a nice, new, pink frilly frock to school and Bill is mortified. The events of the school day begin to unfold and Bill begins to see how differently he gets treated when wearing a pink dress.

This is a great introduction to gender stereotyping, and a large number of discussions could be done with class; such as: Are boys stronger than girls? Do girls have neater handwriting? Are g...more
Sally Flint
A fabulous little book. Really easy to read, very short, but a super exploration of gender stereotypes. Young Bill wakes up as a girl and has to go to school in a frock. He is shocked and perturbed about how differently people treat him. It makes everyone question their own sexist behaviour in a light hearted way. The message is serious though. This is a brilliant book to use in lessons for about Year 4 age group.
Michael Watts
This was a great story and brings up lots of interesting opportunities for discussion.

The book is about a boy called Bill who wakes one day to find, to his horror, that he is actually a girl. Bill is constantly shocked and surprised by the different way he is now treated.

I enjoyed this book. It is written with a good sense of humour and many accurate observations that any child, boy or girl, is likely to find humorous and reflective of real life.

This would be appropriate for KS2 to read independ...more
Trin
Quite good children’s novel about a young boy who wakes up one morning to discover everyone thinks he is (and has always been) a girl. Cue lessons about how society is pretty rubbish to girls! As is often the case with these things, I wish it had gone further with its ideas (actually, I wish I could read the same story but with characters who are teenagers...or perhaps I should simply write it?), but it’s nevertheless nicely thoughtful, especially considering its target age group and date of pub...more
Faye
One day, Billy Simpson wakes up to find he is a girl! Even worse, his mum makes him wear a pretty pink frock with fiddly shell buttons. Billy is about to find out how different it is to be a girl...

This is a very funny and very enjoyable book which will make people smile whenever they read it, young or old. This is one of my favourite Anne Fine books and whenever I'm a bit down in the dumps, I can pick up Bills New Frock and it always makes me smile. This book is unforgettable and very funny,...more
Megan
Okay, I know what your all thinking... why is some teenager writing a review on a children's book?

But this book isn't just a 'some children's book.' Bill's New Frock was the first book I ever bought back years ago and I still display it proudly on my bookshelf.

I occasionally read back on the story now, just for kicks. It is only around 80 pages long and each time I take away something different from it. Anne Fine clearly demonstrates the differences between boys and girls in a clever, fun and en...more
Inez
I thought this book was amusing because when Bill woke up he found he was a girl! Bill discovers that everything is a lot different for girls in his school. My favourite bit was when Bill, near the end, pushed Mean Malcolm in the smelly bins! My favourite character was Bill because the way he thought about things was interesting. For example, at the running races he didn't do the plan that he was meant to do. The plan was to let Paul (the one who struggles at walking and running) win the running...more
Julie
This children's book looks at how gender can make a difference to your day. Bill wakes up as a girl and spends his day at school in a dress - how will his classmates and teachers treat him?

Will be using this with my class next half term.
Linda
Anne Fine is one clever, observant lady - wonder if she takes a Parenting in the Primary Years course....?

My son has just picked this up from me now I've finished - and I am hangin' out to get a glimpse of what he starts to think about! The stories are relevant to the 8 - 11 group who are still negotiating the playground and even scarier, negotiating the gender divide.

Peer pressures, ignorance, gender bias - it's all here and I'm more than a bit fascinated about how kids go with it. How much sin...more
Celine
This book is about Bill who founds out that he is a girl and his mother gave him a frock to wear. When he got to school, he has been Repunzle in a little story play, got chosen to be painted, got paint in frock and have a fight with Ronan! But he was glad that it is home time after all that horrified stuff. When he got back home, he went back to his room and found that he was a boy again! He was very happy and his mother promised him that she will never give him a frock for him to wear to school...more
Farhin
This book by Anne Fine is about a young boy who wakes up one morning as a girl! And for some odd reason everyone around him, including his cat are acting totally normal about it! Only Bill is aware of the change. Anne Fine explored two genders all in one, showing a little boy's point of view through the eyes of a girl. This story was a practical classic back when I was in Primary/Elementary school but I never did get around to reading the whole thing.
Resident Optimist
I really enjoyed this one, despite being baffled about how a boy could wake up as a girl (I was a child when I read this) It was a really entertaining read.

This book is about a boy called Bill who wakes up one day, as a girl. And for the most part, that's all I remember, I do however remember knowing that it was a really good read. I recommend this for primary school children.
Chrstian Lewendon
it think that this book is good and it is one of my all-time favourite book and it has been since the first time i read it. i think it is a good book because it is funny in places and it is very very imaginative. i think it has a bad story line though because it doesnt explain anything except for his day at school it isnt very descriptive.
Karina
I can't say how much I love this book. It perfectly describes the microagressions that go with being a girl that probably don't occur to most boys. This should be required reading for every child.
Ellinor
One morning Bill wakes up and he's a girl! He now is wearing a pink dress and everyone treats him in a different way.
Bill's New Frock deals with clichees in a very funny and thought-provoking way. In the end you really wonder if it's better to be a boy or a girl!
Bryan Goh
funny story. Depicts what happens when a guy wakes up one day in the body of a girl's. He was forced to wear a dress with a ribbon and many many more. Did he turn back? How did he feel? Read the book to find out more!
Maggie
A great stereotype busting read - really enjoyed. I have used with my students for ages but had never got around to reading the end !
Zerrin
It perfectly reflects the in equality between genders in society
Skyla Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books
I originally read this book when I was about 7. It has been one of those books that I just keep referring back to my entire life.

I don't know is Anne Fine intended me to come away from this book thinking that Bill was really a Female to Male transgender but I did.

I loved this book and I love Anne Fine.
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Although many readers find themselves giggling aloud as they read Anne Fine's writing, her books can be deceptively weighty. "A lot of my work, even for fairly young readers, raises quite serious social issues," she admits. "Growing up is a long and confusing business. I try to show that the battle through the chaos is worthwhile and can, at times, be seen as very funny." In 1994, audiences around...more
More about Anne Fine...
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