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The Boy in the Dress

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  7,325 ratings  ·  719 reviews
The sparkling debut children's novel from David Walliams, co-creator and co-star of the multi-award-winning Little Britain. Dennis was different. Why was he different, you ask? Well, a small clue might be in the title of this book! Charming, surprising and hilarious -- The Boy in the Dress is everything you would expect from the co-creator of Little Britain. David Walliams ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by HarperCollins Children's Books (first published 2008)
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Stef Rozitis Who specifically do you mean? There was a mixture of characters that did and did not judge him in the book. Most of the motivations were pretty…moreWho specifically do you mean? There was a mixture of characters that did and did not judge him in the book. Most of the motivations were pretty clearly shown up (various insecurities/jealousies)(less)

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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,325 ratings  ·  719 reviews

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Michael Finocchiaro
The first wonderful Walliams book is about a boy named Dennis who meets Lisa and lives out his fantasy of wearing a dress. This creates a few complications, but as in all of Walliams' work, open mindedness and love wins the day! A wonderful tale of tolerance in today's increasingly intolerant world. Fantastic for kids!!!
Petra CigareX
Dressing up to look like a girl and trying to pass in school is probably not a good idea. Teasing, bullying, major embarrassment are inevitable. What brings people together and motivates males especially is sport and (view spoiler) if they can see victory is within their grasp, well then, anything becomes possible. Including a whole team of boys in tutus.

The book is wonderful on every level, it's a real 5 star read and will move you to
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dennis lives in an ordinary town, in an ordinary house, on an ordinary street. But Dennis, as we will come to discover, is a not so ordinary boy.

Bravo Mr. Walliams. Never have I read a children's book about a boy who shows an interest in wearing girl's clothing. I think it shows a lot of gumption to talk about these issues and I am happy that they're now starting at a younger level.

I know a lot of reviews speak about Dennis being a cross dresser but I love how Mr. Walliams tackles what I think
Roberto Carrasco
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lovely short novel about being different (or is it about being a gay kid?). Anyway, you will love it. I read it in English because the spanish edition had a confusing and (in my opinion) homophobic title: "El Mago del Balón" (something like "The Magician of the Ball") clearly selling this book to a male audience and avoiding any reference to the main fact of the story: cross-dressing. I wonder how many Spanish boys who love soccer are now reading "El Mago del Balón" and thinking that cross-dress ...more
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrns
I read this with my class of 8 -9 year olds and they absolutely loved it. There were a few bits that I thought were a bit ‘rude’ for them so had to hastily edit on the hop. David Williams is like the new (ish) Roahl Dahl - he just completely ‘gets’ what children will find funny.
Liam Mernagh
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
‘The Boy in the Dress’ is a children’s book by David Walliams which details the adventures of twelve year old Dennis whose past times include cross-dressing and the reactions of his family and friends to this. When Dennis’ parents split up, he’s devastated and when forced to live with his father, the only comfort he finds is his mother’s left behind clothes. This sets off a series of comical transgender themes that allows the reader to light-heartedly enjoy his embarrassing explorations into the ...more
Matti Karjalainen
David Walliamsin "Poika ja mekko" (Tammi, 2015) kertoo 12-vuotiaasta englantilaispojasta Dennisistä, joka elää yhdessä rekkaa ajavan isänsä ja isoveljensä kanssa. Äiti on lähtenyt kävelemään, mikä on tehnyt perheen elämästä vähän ilotonta ja harmaata. Halaaminenkin on pannassa, mitä nyt futismatsien jälkeen voi toista rutistaa - tosin Dennisin joukkueen pelejä isä ei oikein koskaan ehdi katsomaan, vaikka poika on yksi parhaista pelaajista.

Dennisin maailma muuttuu kertaheitolla värikkäämmäksi, ku
On a trip to England, I saw this book prominently displayed along with Walliam's other books. I've never heard of that author before, but I was instantly hit with nostalgia, because when I was a young girl living in England, I LOVED Roald Dahl's books, and, at a first glance, Walliam's books reminded me of those (especially this book, having been illustrated by Quentin Blake).

I was also very intrigued by the premise... a book about cross-dressing for a middle-grade audience? I was very curious
Kate Lee
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
it was such a FUNNY book! i loved the character denis! and i also loved raaj! and the descriptions of lisa was BRILLIANT i could see her in my head ! i love this book and i think- i know that David Williams is AWESOME! Cant wait to read his other books :D
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That was one really good lesson!

Well done, Mr Walliams :)
Sandra Bašić
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Toplo, poučno i zabavno!
Clare O'Beara
I enjoyed this book which engages our sympathy for a lad whose mother has left home. His dad, a long distance truck driver in Britain, is gruff and tired and doesn't want any reminders of the two lads' mother in the house. The older boy is compliant but the younger just tries not to cry. He has one photo of his mum in a pretty dress, and this leads to him looking at Vogue magazine, an odd choice for a twelve year old as his friends would say. The football team considers him their star, along wit ...more
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Second in a Walliams trio I'm reading this year.

This one was worse than The Billionaire Boy. Badly written - "he said, mutely" Really? The characters in this book and those in Billionaire Boy are interchangeable. So is the plot to a certain extent. More or less the same father, shopkeeper, headmaster, teacher, boy, love interest, "ethnic" friend etc. There's a boring pattern emerging. Very basic and silly. For the first half of the book I almost had brain freeze, the writing was so dull.

As for
Dec 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 5th grade and up
The boring and lonely life of 12-year-old Dennis, who still mourns his mom's leaving and his dad's depression, is lightened only by soccer playing and (a more recent discovery) a love of women's fashion. His dad forbids his reading of Vogue magazine, but new friend Lisa pushes him to play dress-up, and that is how Dennis ends up at school as "Denise," Lisa's French exchange student, in high heels, makeup, and a sequin dress. That is, until a passing soccer ball can't be resisted and his cover is ...more
Chris Mills
I’ve read mixed reviews of David Walliams as an author so I thought I’d read one of his books and decide for myself. Although mildly sceptical before reading the book, mainly due to not really being a fan of Little Britain and his comedy television, I think (I’m not totally convinced yet) I quite liked The Boy in the Dress.

The story is about a twelve-year-old boy called Dennis, who lives with his father and his older brother. After his Mother leaves, Dennis develops a fascination with a dress t
Lucy Young
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The young boy Dennis who is the main character of the book comes from a single parent home (father is present) and he deeply misses his mother. Dennis is very talented at football which he plays with his best friend Darvesh, Dennis also enjoys watching “women’s” daytime TV, in particular Trisha and Loose Women. Throughout the book there are typical everyday experiences which happen to Dennis including detentions, trips to the shops and playing football.

Dennis then meets a young girl Lisa in det
Such a beautifully written, intelligent and compassionate book. Very tender and kind...a touching story.
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars
I was set to read this book as part of a challenge and wasn't expecting too much from it, but I have to say I was wrong! This was a very enjoyable book that I read in one session and it cleverly handled some sensitive issues in a way that would be very accessible to children. I say bravo on achieving this, and I do feel it is a book all children should read, so much scope for discussion from this in a classroom setting. There were two great lines in this book which will stay with me, 'D
Mari Pacheco
Um dos livros mais divertidos que li esse ano, super ultra mega fofo! Me faz pensar em todos os livros legais i divertidos que li quando era criança, pelo simples prazer de ler. Vários momentos "Ownn!" no livro, e quero deixar registrado pelo menos um deles:

"Todos temos uma pessoa que, quando está perto, faz nosso coração disparar. Mas, mesmo quando se é adulto, às vezes é difícil dizer o que se sente."

Boa recomendação de leitura para pós ressaca literária, para leitores de todas as idades!

Teya Agnese
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
I read this as a child and decided to re-read 'The boy in the dress' in my late teens and I still love this feel-good, witty yet important, message giving children's book. It allows children and adults to feel comfortable in whatever they like doing or how they look, even if that involves them looking a bit different from everyone else.
The first book I have read by Walliams (out loud to my kids), enjoyed by them and not too bad for an adult reader. His style is deliberately reminiscent of Roald Dahl, an effect enhanced by the book being illustrated by Quentin Blake. Not as good as Dahl of course, but still plenty of laughs. Some themes are quite grown up (parental separation and the loneliness this causes for the main character, as well as 'cross dressing') but they are done in a light enough style that my 7 and 9yo listeners ...more
Dec 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Dennis’s life is rather lonely. His mother left two years ago when he was ten, and his father drives long distances as a truck driver. He and his brother don’t get along very well. He enjoys soccer, and is the star of his school’s team, and discovers from looking at a Vogue magazine that he also enjoys women’s fashion. When a chance meeting with his crush (the older, popular, and aspiring fashion designer Lisa) results in a friendship, Lisa convinces him to try on some of her designs. As a fun a ...more
A.m. Layet
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The experts who review books at booksfc have a couple of rules. You need rules. They stop war, disaster and crumbs in the wrong places. But the experts don't like too many rules. So they have whittled them down to just these four fundamental rules.

Rule 1: All people have the right to release wind from their bottom in the place and at the time of their choosing.
Rule 2: Sharing is for girls.
Rule 3: Dresses are for girls.
Rule 4: Sharing dresses is for girls.

So, The Boy in the Dress was slightly pro
L.H. Johnson
When David Walliams first moved into writing children's literature I was, I'll admit, a frightful snob. I didn't really 'get' his television persona (and, as we all know, what we see on television is an exact truth), and so I stayed away from his books for a long time. I didn't really want to go there and frankly I had no inclination to.

And all that was a bit stupid of me, because it kept me away from some genuinely really good children's books. So if you're still harbouring similar sentiments -
Stef Rozitis
My last read for 2016 and thoroughly enjoyable. Quentin Blake was an excellent choice to illustrate this book because it shows how in some ways the silliness and humour of it echoes Roald Dahl (who Blake also illustrated for). The book was full of stereotypes which at times I found irritating, but on the whole these were reframed or undermined in ways that made me chuckle and kept me reading. The best friend, Darvesh is an excellent character and in every way deserves to be in such a positive bo ...more
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all children, and adults who love children's literature,
So I've wanted to read some of David Walliams' children's books ever since I saw them being compared to Roald Dahl. Plus David is hilarious, so what could go wrong? I picked this one to start with because it's about an important and relevant subject, it's the one that seemed most interesting to me. As well as Gangsta Granny, because the title is hysterical.

It's hard to really judge and rate a children's book when you're an adult, but I thoroughly enjoyed this and I would have loved it when I wa
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's very important to teach kids that different is okay, even great. The Boy in the Dress does just that. The reviews says that it is a charming, comic tale. It is that, but it's also about a boy's loneliness after his mother's departure, his sadness, his desire to get out of the ordinary life in his ordinary home in his ordinary town.

Quentin Blake's drawings and the very Dahlian flow of the story makes this a must-read, for both children and adults.
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was... Well, I thought the story was cute and relevant. I thought it should be read by a younger audience and it'd be good for them to read. I thought the art was incredible. But I can't really get into David's writing style. It just made me sit there, staring at the page for a long while before actually moving onto the next page and I was, for lack of a better word, bored while reading it- I honestly wished I had enjoyed this but I didn't-
Markku Kesti
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tämä on niin älyttömän hyvää settiä, että kustantaja jättää näiden suomentamisen varmasti kesken. Eihän tällaista kannata kääntää. Saa vielä faneja ja ihmiset tahtoo kenties jopa omaksi näitä. Parempi kun lopetatte kääntämisen nyt, niin ei tule kenellekään paha mieli ja kukaan ei ehdi vakavasti menettää sydäntään Walliamseille.
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David Walliams is an actor and writer best known for his work with Matt Lucas in the multi-award-winning sketch show Little Britain. His debut children's novel, The Boy in the Dress, was published in 2008 to unanimous critical acclaim and he has since developed a reputation as a natural successor to Roald Dahl.
“I think all those rules are boring. About what people can and can't wear. Surely everyone should be able to wear whatever they like?” 16 likes
“No more watching that show Small England or whatever it's called where those two idiots dress up as 'laydees'. It's a bad influence.” 9 likes
More quotes…