Cross-dressing kids’ novel up for award

A children’s book about a twelve-year-old boy who dresses in women’s clothes has been shortlisted for a literary prize.

David Walliams, a comic who is part of the controversial comedy Little Britain, is the author of The Boy in the Dress.

The story tells of Dennis who lives with his big brother John and their lorry driver father.

David Walliams commented on the book: “I had the idea: what would happen if a boy went to school dressed as a girl?”

He continued: “In a small way, it’s about sexual awakening. But it’s not a transvestite book. I don’t want labels on it.”

It has been described as having “genuine child appeal”.

The current children’s laureate Michael Rosen praised Walliams’ “fantastic imagination”.

Mr Rosen said: “The Boy in the Dress is a very funny book and we mustn’t forget that some authors have explored this subject before.

“Anne Fine wrote a book called Bill’s New Frock about a boy who wakes up as a girl and experiences life as a women and that was around 15 years ago.

“There will always be shocking and amazing books for children. David is a very clever man and someone who has a fantastic imagination.”

The Roald Dahl Funny Prize is designed to praise books which “simply make us laugh”.

The book is in the seven to 14-year-old category and faces competition from Anne Fine, the former children’s laureate.

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