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From Pictures to Words - a guide to choosing books for beginner readers:
School Stories


Bill’s New Frock by Anne Fine
Published by Mammoth Books, 1990
ISBN 0 7497 0305 9
Illustrations © Philippe Dupasquier, 1989

When Bill Simpson wakes up one morning his mother dresses him in a pink frock with lovely shell buttons. He goes to school in his frock to find that being a girl has its advantages and disadvantages, and he is amazed at the different way that girls and boys are treated both by adults and their peers.

Mean Malcolm, the school bully whistles at him, instead of kicking him, and he doesn’t get picked to carry a table to the nursery room - not being considered one of the big strong volunteers required.

His work is suddenly supposed to be much neater than the work handed up by the boys and he gets to play the Lovely Rapunzel in class.

Luckily for Bill, by the time he gets home his frock is so dirty that his mother decides it’s the last time she will ever send him to school in a frock.

Bill’s New Frock won the 1989 Smarties prize for six to eight year olds.

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