Dennis lives in an ordinary house, in an ordinary street. But he is anything but ordinary.
Whilst he loves football, he also loves fashion.
An unlikely friendship with an older fashionista at school, the beautiful and popular Lisa, causes Dennis to impersonate a French exchange student — a female one, complete with dress, high heels and makeup, all of which he simply adores wearing. Comic complications ensue.
Dennis is found out and expelled, which puts his school soccer team in jeopardy. The message, however — we’re all a bit different, and we should follow our own bliss and accept others — is solid.
This is a prototypical tale about the joys and trials of nonconformity, told by a quirky and self-conscious narrator. Walliams has a talent for emotional honesty (be it in Dennis's sensitivity or his father's gruff remoteness), and Blake's distinctive illustrations capture the boy's thoughtful nature.