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I specialise in teaching kids who have difficulty with their literacy skills. This book not only got a teenager to read but also induced a lot of laughter in lessons. The chapters are of perfect length to the reading level and the vocabulary is building throughout the book. I have ordered Gangster Granny as a follow up reader for my students. What a talented writer, funny stories and very accessible for a variety of ages. The students and I love the pictures in the book too! Buy it - read it - laugh with it - it's just great.
I had done twenty two years of teaching English in High Schools and FE colleges cross Yorkshire when I came to this book and to be blunt, had lost my Mojo when it comes to reading for fun. Seriously, reading was a chore up until I read this book and my joy for reading has returned once again, as well as my desire to write my own story, like this one, about a boy who loses his family and then reunites them all.
But to the boy in the dress and all that that is about.
I approached it like we all do. What was his first book? Was it any good? A fan of Dahl, especially when reading to my 7 and 6 year olds, who are now mid to late twenties and ancient like their Dad, is it worth my effort? Read some Amazon reviews, I thought. Some were positive. Others were concerned with fat jokes and the likes. I am 23 stone so thought stuff it, give it a go and buy this and the Buck House one.
I began this one first, for obvious reasons and had 80 pages done very quickly. It is a great and an easy read. The characters are equally good too, from Dennis who becomes Denise, to Hawtrey, who reminded me of me when at school, to the French teacher who wails and the Dad who puts the teacher in his place - memories of my Dad when a teacher who ran in the Olympics threatened my elder brother and Dad waded in etc - all of them are brilliant little characters. But for me, the one we call Raj, now that is a creation of genius. Where did Mr. Walliams get him from? Arkwright but in a Sikh? So funny, especially with the big reveal at the end with Mr. Hawtrey. That was unexpected, but had me laughing and coughing in glee. I am supposed to be recovering from this virus, but the laughing hurt.
I am not going to tell the story. I am sure you all know it by now, but safe to say that I have now begun reading the Buck House one and am loving reading all over again. For that, I thank Mr. Walliams and his ability to spin a yarn about a lonely young lad who misses his Mum, who is in love with the girl of his dreams and finds himself with her, if only in a way he could never expect.
Yes, I looked for the fat jokes, but Mac only reminded me of a lad I used to teach, who was foulsome and horrid, so Mac was a blessing in a disguise. Dad was me, in a nutshell. Mess with my kid and you get told what I think. Lisa made me remember several thirteen year olds who wanted to be nineteen too quickly and Dennis just reminded me of that kid in every school who you see and try to help, because they drop below the radar of brilliance and/or excellence.
The thing I loved though, was the way he ended this one. Two brothers, arms in arms, one protecting the other, in brotherly love as they walk into an uncertain future of pure French Joan D'Arc; now that is pure class.
Buy it. Read it. Devour it. I do hope there is a film of this somewhere, because the scene with the French teacher wailing in the corridor is one I have to see. So darn funny.
A great book that has me reading again. Who knows, I might even be back in the classroom in September because of this. Thank you, David Walliams. Truly appreciated.
I read the book before wrapping as a Christmas pressie and I actually, despite being 34, enjoyed it. All about a little boy who's Mum has left him and his brother. All he has is an old photo of her in a yellow dress. He likes to read Vogue magazine and knows he's a little different. He meets a girl in school who's an aspiring fashion desighner who takes him, Dennis, under her wing and teaches him it's okay to be different and himself. He discovers he likes wearing dresses and make up. He develops a crush on the girl. Goes on to detail how he feels when he's caught wearing the dress and how hos Dad and headmaster treats him because of it. All ends well when his school friends and father embrace him. A great book for any kid struggling with feeling different.
Great story which I thoroughly enjoyed but a few awkward conversations with my 9 year old daughter regarding why the dad would have a magazine with naked women in it and why the brothers might have stolen it. Wasn't ready for her to know about porn tbh
My 10 yr old son could read adequately but I could never find any books that really made him want to read for pleasure, which was the only way he was really going to progress. Friends at school were reading Harry Potter etc and he was still struggling through easy Roald Dahl books and reading was a chore. Then I bought some David Walliams books for Christmas and the whole thing has changed. He absolutely loves them. Since Christmas he has nearly read them all (he has 1 and a bit more to go) which is unheard of for him, he would normally pretty much take a year to read so many books! Now he reads in bed, on the bus and even just at odd moments at home - David Walliams is brilliant. His books are funny, absorbing and relevant to modern children without being too "right on". I can't recommend them highly enough. The words and lines are well spaced on the pages which makes it easier for children to read them and there is heightened satisfaction for children who struggle with reading as they get through the chapters and fairly thick books really quickly and feel pleased with themselves as well as simply enjoying the books. The drawings are fun too. My six year old, who is a better reader than my elder son for his age, is probably not quite up to the standard required to read these books. He has nevertheless taken to reading them and can only benefit from it. I would recommend these books for any children as everyone loves them, parents struggling to find books to engage reluctant readers should definitely get one to try. Thank goodness for authors like this!
Good Storybook. Funny Stories. But as a sino chinese I cannot understand why some stories appear some words that like a word but too long and only one alaphbet the word used, even some of these words cross over 1page. Is these words Anglos's special? Or Mister Williams's special? Or the type inputer not stay focus and the typer inputer's finger still click the same one alaphbet key on the keyboard?
Love this story - very reminiscent of Roald Dahl unsurprisingly, as he is DW's hero. I appreciate that justice and right prevail in the story. My children were brought up on Roald Dahl, and now so is my granddaughter, with the addition of some David Walliams among others. As she is only just seven years old; however, her parents are vetting his books as some are a little more complex/ grown up in their content. She loves this one and I did too.