It’s rare that I see a book on a TV show and feel like reading it. I saw this book on BGT and searched for it. The blurb and the title both appealed to me, so it was an easy decision.
The Boy in the Dress, as the title indicates, puts the spotlight on a boy Dennis, and a dress. Why he is in the dress, I leave it to you, the reader, to find out. His fondness for dresses and women’s fashion is not well received by many, but he finds a friend who does understand. The book has many characters as part of the boy’s friends, family and teachers, each with different characters sketches.
Society tends to try and push its preconceptions on us, even if we don’t understand them. One should dress in a particular way, and any other ways are not acceptable, that some things are meant for only boys and some for only girls. Even if that something isn’t necessarily in that mould. Each individual might have a reason for being that way, a reason only they would understand and others need not.
The reaction to Dennis’ fondness for dresses is shown wonderfully, and realistically. I love the characters that Walliams has created too. The backstory to Dennis’ life helps create a little bit of empathy for him in the reader’s mind, and that helps the reader to understand I believe. Dennis’ character sketch is my favorite, because it shows there’s more to him than meets the eye of many of the other characters.
From first word to last, this book was engaging and I did not want to put it down. I couldn’t predict the ending, though I did try to guess. And each page, I was rooting for Dennis. And I loved the banter between Lisa and Dennis as well. I wasn’t fond of Dad’s character at the start but he convinced me at the end though. Quentin Blake’s illustrations are also wonderful as always.
I believe such books need to be read. And even reread. I hope that it finds its way into even more bookshelves and hearts than it already has.
Title: The Boy in the Dress
Author: David Walliams
Genre: Children’s Fiction/Humor
No. of Pages: 242
Publisher: Harper Collins
Rating: 10 out of 10