Spend a week in the weird world of Walliams

Not a fan: Walliams has admitted that his own son “doesn’t like” his books.

Is David Walliams the best children’s writer? He is certainly the most popular. Walliams Week celebrates his 10-year career as an author of barmy, boisterous, bestselling books.

What’s happening

Ever puzzled over Awful Auntie’s cockney rhyming slang? Dreamed up fab flavours for Armitage’s Ices? Dreaded a visit to the Demon Dentist? You must be a David Walliams fan! From Monday, the bestselling author’s books will be celebrated with games, quizzes and competitions as part of Walliams Week.

Find out more

A decade ago, while working as a TV comedian, Walliams realised that his favourite part of the job was writing the jokes. So, he decided to try creating funny children’s stories.

He has since written a dozen books. His heroes are often misfits: a boy who wears a dress, for example. While they may be weird and naughty, they are clever and kind, too.

The stories, full of gross-out gags and made-up words, are hilarious. They can also be emotional, tackling difficult issues like death. For these reasons, Walliams has been compared to Roald Dahl.

His books are very successful. They have been translated into over 50 languages. Last year, Walliams sold more books than any other writer in the UK, including J.K. Rowling.

Is he the best writer around?

Some say…

Absolutely. Not many writers can be funny, scary and sad in a single book. Walliams manages this in all of his works. His stories are fun and imaginative, and they always come with an inspiring message. No wonder they sell millions of copies. His secret? “I just try to think back to when I was young, and what kind of things I might want to read.”

Others think…

Don’t just follow the crowd. The great thing about reading is that you can like many books equally, and your favourite author may be one who none of your friends have heard of. Books affect us all in different ways, and there is no such thing as “the best”. Being popular does not necessarily make someone good. Walliams would surely agree.

You Decide

  1. Does reading make you a better person?

Activities

  1. David Walliams once judged a competition for short stories under 500 words, written by children. Write your own entry.

Some People Say...

“Children are the toughest audience.”

David Walliams

What do you think?

Word Watch

Cockney rhyming slang
A type of slang, originally from East London, in which a word is replaced by a phrase that rhymes with it. For example, “feet” becomes “plates of meat”.
Misfits
People who do not fit in easily with others.
Roald Dahl
(1916-90) A very famous British author of books for children and adults. His novels include The BFG and James and the Giant Peach.
J.K. Rowling
The Harry Potter author was the second-bestselling writer in the UK in 2017.

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