Bill's New Frock by Anne Fine

Bill's New Frock

Written by Anne Fine

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Bill Simpson wakes up to find he's a girl, and worse, his mother makes him wear a frilly pink dress to school. How on earth is he going to survive a whole day like this? Everything just seems to be different for girls. Stylishly written and thought-provoking it’s a book that’s not to be missed by both girls and boys aged around 7+. Anne Fine has a rare genius for building a funny, enriching and moving story around the nuts and bolts of school life. Many of Anne Fine’s books are ideal for reluctant readers as they tend to be quite short and also because of the great warmth and humour in her writing. These include The Angel of Nitshill Road, Ivan the Terrible, How to write really Badly, Saving Miss Mirabelle, The Chicken Gave it to me and Anneli the Art Hater. Anne also writes for older readers, the most know of which is probably Madame Doubtfire. Click here to view all titles by Anne Fine.


Bill's New Frock by Anne Fine

Bill wakes up one day as a girl, and is horrified to be sent to school in a frilly pink frock with fiddly shell buttons. There he finds life suddenly very different. The bully whistles at him, instead of kicking him, he can't be picked to lift a table - not being a 'big strong boy' - his work's supposed to be ultra neat and he's being cast as Lovely Rapunzel, who in any case never gets to say anything! By the time he gets home the impractical frock is covered in mud and - thank goodness - Bill will never have to wear it again!


'Stylishly written and thought-provoking'

; '... a gem. Don't miss it

'Fine has a rare genius for building a funny, enriching and moving story around the nuts and bolts of school life'

* 'A remarkable writer

* 'Anne Fine is an author who knows how to make readers laugh

About the Author

Anne Fine

Anne Fine was our Guest Editor in July 2011. Click here to see the books she selected.

Anne Fine was born and educated in the Midlands and now lives in County Durham. She has written numerous highly acclaimed and prize-winning books for children and adults.

Her novel The Tulip Touch won the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award; Goggle-Eyes won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal and was adapted for television by the BBC; Flour Babies won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award; Bill's New Frock won a Smarties Prize, and Madame Doubtfire became the major feature film 'Mrs Doubtfire' starring Robin Williams. Anne was named Children's Laureate in 2002 and made an OBE for services to children's literature in 2003.

Click here to read a Q&A with the author or click here to read an extended biography in which Anne talks about her writing.

Here is a letter from author, Sarah Forbes to Anne Fine, who visited her home town when she was eight and made a lasting impression.

Dear Anne Fine,
You won’t remember this, but in the late 1980s you visited Stonehaven Library as part of an author tour. Stonehaven is a lovely place: a small seaside resort on the east coast of Scotland near Aberdeen. It has an open-air swimming pool and a ruined castle. These days it’s famous for being the home of the deep-fried Mars bar. (Yes, I have eaten a deep-fried Mars bar. No, that isn’t why I’m writing this.)

I remember your visit vividly because I was an avid, avid reader of your books. You coming to town was like having a famous pop star parachute in for the day. The excitement of having an actual, real author come to speak to us! Someone whose books I could reach out and touch on the library shelves in the children’s section upstairs where you did your event.

For a kid living in a big literary city like Edinburgh or London, meeting authors might not be such a big deal. Authors tend to work hard to promote their books and the ones I know do as many events as they can. But let me tell you, rural Aberdeenshire in the 80s was not a hotbed of literary discovery, and you coming to town meant a lot. I think that was the point when I realized writing could be a career. Maybe one day, I could be a writer too.

Many, many years later, I found myself back in the children’s section of Stonehaven Library promoting my own children’s books. That felt incredibly weird and incredibly lovely all at the same time. I’m excited to say I’ll also be talking to kids about my Elspeth Hart books at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this month. I have so much fun doing my own events, but my favourite part is when I ask if anyone likes writing or wants to be a writer and dozens of hands shoot up. The ideas these kids have are amazing. I wonder if it’s easier to dream your way into becoming a writer when you meet grown-ups who’ve done the same thing?

Either way, I relish every minute of getting to meet my readers, and part of the reason I appreciate it, Anne, is you.

Warm wishes,
Sarah Forbes

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Book Info


112 pages
Interest Age: From 7


Anne Fine
More books by Anne Fine

Author's Website


Egmont Childrens Books

Publication date

4th June 2007




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