Book The Eighty-Sixth

The Boy In The Dress by David Williams

This is fun. A kids book written by one half of the team behind Little Britain (you know the one: it’s that show that’s meant to be funny but actually isn’t) about a boy who, well, you read the title…

This is exactly the sort of thing that should have been on the shelves when I was a kid. The only people who have a problem with cross-dressing are undeniably the “bad” characters, and in the end, the day is saved by transvestism. Not a manifesto for wearing dresses, rather this has the simple moral of if-it-makes-you-happy-who-cares-what-other-people-think?

Of course, and maybe I’m being idealistic here, but I’m wondering how relevant this sort of thing is any more. Sure, it would have been a necessary piece of subversion in the eighties, or even nineties, but gender roles are evolving and my stepson doesn’t know the difference between a dress (which most of the women in my neighbourhood wear on Sundays) and an ie lavalava (which is common Sunday-best for many of the men on my street) so I don’t think he’d get the point of the story.

But, like I say, I’m probably having too much faith in humanity…


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