Now a Major Musical
David Walliams has revolutionised reading for children and become one of the most influential children's writers today. Since the publication of his ground-breaking first novel, The Boy in the Dress (2008), Walliams has seen unprecedented growth with global sales exceeding 40 million copies, and his books translated into 53 languages. Quentin Blake is simply today's most popular and best-lovedchildren's illustrator. His books are loved by children all over theworld. His titles include Mr Magnolia, Mrs Armitage and, ofcourse, the many stories of Roald Dahl. Quentin Blake grew upin Sidcup Kent and now lives in London (South Kensington)
Actor and Little Britain cocreator Walliams debuts with the charming, Billy Elliot-esque coming-of-age story of 12-year-old Dennis, who lives with his father and older brother in a dull British town whose "[t]iny differences... only really pointed out the sameness of everything." Still despondent two years after his mother walked out, Dennis is chastised for his interest in fashion, but continues to secretly read Vogue ("He could lose himself in the pages for hours. The glamour. The beauty. The perfection") and admire people's differences. When Dennis befriends Lisa, "the most beautiful girl in the school" (and his crush), they bond over their shared passion and begin to play dressup. The stakes are raised when Lisa challenges him to attend school for a day dressed as a female foreign exchange student. This is a prototypical tale about the joys and trials of nonconformity, told by a quirky and self-conscious narrator. Walliams has a talent for emotional honesty (be it in Dennis's sensitivity or his father's gruff remoteness), and Blake's distinctive illustrations capture the boy's thoughtful nature. Ages 9-up. (Dec.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Gr 6-8-The protagonist in this offbeat story is Dennis, a 12-year-old boy whose eclectic interests range from football (soccer) to fashion. He's mocked for his purchase of Vogue magazine but he just can't resist poring over the photo shoots, enamored with the color, cut, and style of women's dresses. Dennis meets up with Lisa, the school hottie, who is two years older and also a fashion aficionado. She plays dress up with Dennis and convinces him to come to school as "Denise," a French exchange student. Hilarity ensues as soccer-star Dennis, outfitted in an orange sequined sheath, complete with wig and makeup, attempts to pull off the ruse. This quirky comedy also has poignant moments between Dennis and his dad and brother. It's a quick read and Blake's stylistic line illustrations are the icing on the cake. All that being said, it's difficult to predict an audience for this book. Younger students may be turned off by the Briticisms, and it's a bit too juvenile for older readers.-Patricia N. McClune, Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster, PA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
'[Walliams' books] are brilliantly, beautifully and seemingly effortlessly written ... Mr Dahl finally has a worthy successor' Telegraph
'Walliams understands something crucial about children and stories' Metro
"A great comic tale... Walliams is a natural wit" - Evening Standard
"Well written, funny, touching" - Observer
"A passionate celebration of individuality" - Telegraph
"Believable characters and a story that's original and intriguing" ***** - Heat
"Charming, funny" - The Times
"Has a lovely, Dahlian fluency to it" - Time Out