Education plays a key role in the survival of adversity. I truly believe that I would not be the survivor I am today without it. I think one of the most important parts of this is the ability to read. The ability to read also provides you with the tools to write; as it expands your vocabulary and you gain knowledge. Keeping diaries and expressing my feelings has been a key part of my journey. Reading also helps your analytical skills, and helps you to focus and concentrate. Some things are just too difficult to talk about. Reading gives insights into how others live, it helps you to develop how you think and feel – and most importantly for me, that you are not alone.
Yesterday I told you about Save the Children’s Read on Get On Campaign, but today I am super excited to share with you the news that my FAVOURITE contemporary children’s author David Walliams is supporting the campaign. David took the time to go and read some of his books to children on one of the Born to Read programmes.
David Wailliams The Boy in the Dress
I wanted to share with you my thoughts on my favourite David Walliams book – The Boy in the Dress. This book truly reflects for me the difference a book can make on someone’s life. Myself and my husband read this book with our six year old son. I personally feel it covered some very important issues that I wanted my son to know about. The story is simply one of a young boy who feels different. He likes dresses and it appears that this is only acceptable for girls. But when encouraged by a girl he slowly pushes his fears to one side and allows himself to be who he wants to be. To do what he wants to do. That actually it turns out not so bad. That other people do accept him as he wants to be. It even goes as far as to show that he is not alone. Not only do other males like wearing dresses but that they are just as scared as he is about letting people know.
There are several reasons I liked this book for my six year old boy:
- It is ok for people to be different.
- And different does not mean not likable. This can be applied to whether my son feels different in any way, and to if he thinks something is a bit unusual about someone.
- Everyone has feelings. It is never ok to be horrid to someone – especially just because they are different.
- It gives him insight into how others make think and feel – he probably never even considered that a boy may want to wear a dress, never mind be nervous about how others would react.
- My son can wear dresses if he wants to. I want him to know whatever issues he has in his life he can talk to me. I will always love him and support him (yes I discussed this with him).
- Never let fear stand in your way of doing something you want to do, or being the person you want to be.
- Other people may feel just like you do, even if you feel at your utmost alone.
- Friendship is important – and being kind to someone, even if you fear others will not like you, is a quality you must strive for.
If you haven’t read The Boy in the Dress please do. It is aimed at 8-12 year olds but we read it with our 6 year old. As we take turns in reading with him I had missed huge parts and one day just needed to read the entire book. I got so engrossed in the sensitive and funny nature of the book that I completely missed the fact that David may have been drawing on personal experiences (even with the Little Britain references). It was only when I reached the end that the penny dropped and I realised what a brave book this was to write. I am in complete awe of David Walliams and his ability to push his own fears aside and help other little boys who may fancy putting on a dress.