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D.W. Read

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D.W. Read
DW HQ pic
Age 4 (s1-s2, s4-present)[1][2][3]
5 (s3)[5][6]
Grade Preschool
Gender Female
Animal Aardvark
Birthday Around November 24th (season 1)[7]
March 1st (season 3 - present)[8]
Eye color Blue (books only)[9]
Hair color Light brown
Complexion Peach
Favorite color Pink[4]
Residence Arthur's House
Family Jane Read (mother)
David Read (father)
Arthur Read (brother)
Kate Read (sister)

Thora Read (paternal grandmother)
Dave (maternal grandfather)
Gustav (maternal great-great-grandfather)
Bonnie (paternal aunt)
Sean (paternal uncle)
George (paternal cousin)
Bud (paternal uncle)
Loretta (paternal aunt)
Monique (paternal cousin)
Ricky (paternal cousin)
Loretta's daughter (paternal cousin)
Jessica (maternal aunt)
Richard (maternal uncle)
Cora (maternal cousin)
Lucy (maternal aunt)
Lucy's husband (maternal uncle)
Fred (maternal uncle)
David's brother (paternal uncle)
Claudia (aunt)
Hilary (aunt)
Ruthie (aunt)
Jane's great-grandfather (maternal great-great-grandfather)
Jane's great-grandmother (maternal great-great-grandmother)
Matthew (maternal great-great-great-uncle)
Thora's Brother 1 (paternal great-uncle)
Thora's Brother 2 (paternal great-uncle)
Thora's Brother 3 (paternal great-uncle)
Thora's father (paternal great-grandfather)
Thora's mother (paternal great-grandmother)
Thora's mother's great-uncle (paternal great-great-great-great-uncle)
Book debut Arthur's Nose
Cartoon debut "Arthur's Eyes"
Voiced by Helena McAnham (LB: ATT; AB)
Elizabeth Telefus (LB: ACA)
Michael Caloz (s1 - s3)
Oliver Grainger (s4 - s6; APC)
Jason Szwimmer (s7 - s10; AIORnR; PfB s1)
Luciano Rauso (AMP)
Robert Naylor (s11 - s15; PfB s3)
Jake Beale (s16 - s17)
Andrew Dayton (s18 - s19)
Christian Distefano (s20 - present)
image gallery
Dora Winifred "D.W." Read is a preschooler who is Arthur's younger sister and Kate's older sister.

Physical appearance

Like the rest of her family, D.W. is an anthropomorphic aardvark. She has light brown hair in the form of a bob cut, which is up to her cheeks; plus, she has bangs. She wears a white long-sleeved blouse, pink dress, light pink stockings, and blue-and-cyan Mary Jane shoes.

Alternate Outfits

D.W. also has many alternate outfits: Her footsie pajamas, pink frilly swimsuit, red polka dot dress (usually worn to formal occasions), her Arthur outfit, gymnastics suit, and much more. In some of the books, she wore pink overalls. In the episode Double Tibble Trouble, she wore dark green overalls. In the summer she either wears a light-brown jumper and a white short sleeved T-shirt, or shorts and a blue T- Shirt, like in D.W.'s Deer Friend when she went camping and in Best Enemies. She also wears her blue T- Shirt with gray jeans. In the episode D.W. All Fired Up, she wore an orange long-sleeved shirt under purple overalls, with light green pockets. In "D.W. Swims with the Fishes", she wore a one-piece ordinary pink swimsuit instead of her typical pink frilly swimsuit.

Pink Stripes

In the books, her white blouse, and leggings typically features pink stripes not seen on the television show, likely due to the budget/time constraints of television animation. The pink stripes were also present in the CGI film Arthur's Missing Pal.


Main Personality

Despite her superficial appearance, D.W. is often annoying to Arthur (he considers her a pest and once warned Sue Ellen that her name stands for Disaster Warning, though D.W. would later adopt DisasterWarning99 as her username for Virtual Goose) and sometimes, she takes pleasure in getting him in trouble, but deep down, she truly loves her brother. D.W. gets along well with most of her friends but often becomes very dramatic when things don't go her way and sometimes becomes too bossy. She is known for her many short-lived obsessions and temper tantrums, two of her longest-lived ones being Mary Moo Cow and the song, "Crazy Bus," both of which annoy Arthur to no end. She also has an imaginary friend named Nadine, whom she plays with and confides her problems to when no one else is around. She hates her full name and she has everyone call her "D.W." for short instead. She is a drama queen and also seems to be very protective of Kate.

Being a preschooler, she often doesn't understand the definition of words and she tries to use complex words for her age, such as "taxpaying" and she accidentally turns them into words like "taxipaying".[10] She also doesn't grasp important topics like where babies come from, in which she thought that they come from a large baby store.[11] She believed that teachers live at school and was rather stunned when Mr. Ratburn, temporarily staying at the Read household, told her that he has a home of his own. She expressed that the world seemed simple until then.[12] Despite all this, D.W. has often been shown to be quite intelligent for her age, such as in Arthur's Spelling Trubble when she catches on that her mom is bribing her with ice cream to leave Arthur alone to study.

D.W. has cephalophobia[13] (the fear of octopuses and squids), and once she endured a short-lived fear of fire drills (and anything else related to fire).[14] She is a picky eater[15] and once, she had a profound hatred of spinach.[15] She also does not like tomatoes and in preschool, they are allowed as her one thing she doesn't have to eat when offered.[16] She once had a snowball from D.W.'s Snow Mystery which was stolen from the fridge (apparently by aliens) and she frequently blames Arthur for its disappearance, which is a running gag. She did this continually until Arthur tried to make her feel better by giving her what looked like her snowball, at which point D.W. admitted he couldn't have taken it from her.

D.W. is also gullible. She believes that anything she sees on TV[17] that is enhanced to look good is good. This is suggested in "D.W. Goes to Washington," where Arthur brings up the story when they went to "Santa's Igloo" where you shared a sundae with "Santa" and you had to buy a sundae to share it with the guy in the Santa costume. Also, she is frequently tricked by the Tibble Twins into doing silly things that get her in trouble;[18] even though she has acknowledged many times that the Tibbles always lie.[19]

She possesses a fondness for unicorns. She has a toy winged unicorn named Uni from the My Fluffy Unicorn franchise[20] and once decorated her portion of the family Christmas tree with toy unicorns and troll dolls.[21] She would like to one day have a real unicorn and has a display of troll dolls in her room which appears throughout the series despite the fad peaking in the 1990s.[22] D.W., like many children her age, also a fondness for plush toys in general. She wanted the toy Tina the Talking Tabby for Christmas, but ended up receiving Quackers the duck instead.[21] She also owns a teddy bear[23] and a plush rabbit,[23] among other stuffed animals.

She is also known to host six episodes: D.W.'s Name Game, D.W. Tricks the Tooth Fairy, D.W.'s Time Trouble, The Secret About Secrets, In My Africa, and Adventures in Budylon.

Past life

Baby D.W. in Mr. Read's Cowboy Hat

Baby D.W. wearing Mr. Read's cowboy hat

When D.W. was a baby, she originally had just clumps of hair, but in later seasons, it depicted her with a similar, but shorter, hairstyle. While D.W. was a baby; she was wearing a pink shirt, white disposable diapers, and pink socks. As such, she also had the same crib that had eventually become Kate's crib.

Future life

You Show Up Late and Then You Eat Potato Chips

An imagined older D.W. eating potato chips at Arthur's concert

Not much was shown about her future life, although in "D.W.'s Time Trouble," she and Nadine looked older in 1 scene during D.W.'s dream where she wished that she was older than Arthur. A fantasy sequence in "D.W.'s Name Game" depicts an older version of her attending a concert of Arthur's and disrupting it by loudly eating potato chips. Her appearance is a taller version of her present self.

Other media

In the Living Books computer games, she had a brown complexion and orange hair in Arthur's Teacher Trouble and then had a pale complexion and dark brown hair in Arthur's Birthday, and she wore a purple shirt instead of a white 1 while wearing a jumper with white leggings or overalls. It was likely because of color and tone restrictions during the 16-bit era of computers and software. In these two games, she was voiced by Helena McAnham and it was by far her only female voice-over in the series, and the cartoon show that first aired in 1996, a few years after the first release of those two Living Books games had always voiced her with a male voice-over. D.W. was originally voiced by Michael Caloz in the first three seasons. Oliver Grainger took his place for Seasons 4-6, then Jason Szwimmer took over for Seasons 7-10. From Season 11-15, she was voiced by Robert Naylor. From Season 16 to 17, she was voiced by Jake Beale. Andrew Dayton is her voice as of season 18.

In the later games during the 32-bit era of computers and software (such as Arthur's Thinking Games), her appearance was the same as she looks in the cartoon show. For one at least, like all females in the games, D.W. was voiced by the late Mary Kay Bergman.



D.W. lives with her family which consists of her father (David Read), her mother (Jane Read), her older and only brother (Arthur Read) and her baby sister (Baby Kate).

  • Arthur Read: Usually Arthur and D.W are seen fighting with each other,[24] especially over their TV time and when she annoys him, but they also truly love and care for each other. In the episode "Lost!", D.W. was very concerned over Arthur's well being after she learned he was lost, and crawled in his bed at night to make sure he wont get lost again. A usual theme with Arthur and D.W, is Arthur usually forgets to play with D.W the games he promised her. It was noted that Arthur used to play with D.W all the time, until Arthur believed that D.W liked "baby stuff." She is naturally better than Arthur in many activities such as fishing,[25] storytelling, and coming up with a tune for music,[26] which made him very jealous of her. In most of her brother's fantasies, D.W. was often cast as an antagonist, Arthur had once punched her in the arm for breaking his model plane in "Arthur's Big Hit".
  • Kate Read (Baby Kate): Baby Kate is D.W's younger sister who looks up to D.W. and does favors for her regularly with Pal, e.g. finding her lost sock.[27] In the time she was born, D.W. was displeased when she had to share her room with Kate, and was planning various ways to get rid of her, or else she wants to move away. At one time, D.W. threatened to pinch Kate for taking away her toys and was sent to her room as a punishment for ten minutes.[28] Despite her initial disfavor of Kate, D.W. has come to deeply love and care for her little sister, and takes an active interest in her development.[29]
  • Pal: Arthur's dog Pal likes D.W. and D.W. regularly dislikes him and thinks that he is dumb,[30] but sometimes treats him nicely, as they can be seen playing together in the theme song.
  • Spanky: Spanky was a pet parakeet that was briefly owned by D.W. She was deeply attached to him and held a funeral following his death in "So Long, Spanky."
  • David and Jane Read: D.W. has a great relationship with her dad. She is also daddy's little girl and often tries to use him to get away with some of her behaviors, but usually fails. Two examples of this is during the episode of "D.W.'s Baby", she stated that Kate had put Dave's shoes into the dishwasher and during Go to Your Room, D.W., when she was caught out of her room and Dave sent her back. Her mom is a bit different. D.W. has a good relationship with her mom too, but it seems as though she is a bit more strict than her dad. Her early rivalries with her baby sister, Kate for example. When she is mean to her, this can invariably lead D.W. into trouble with her mom.


D.W has many preschool friends such as Emily, The Tibbles and James.

  • Tommy and Timmy Tibble: The Tibbles are D.W's friends, but often try to compete with her and pester her. They are also known to lie to D.W., often misleading her into doing foolish things for their own amusement. D.W. often finds herself at odds with them, but they usually make up later. Once also, the boys hurt her badly in Attack of the Turbo Tibbles by hitting her with a swing (Only because they imagined they were playing a show that's for kids ages 6 and up, maybe even 13).
  • James MacDonald: James is a friend of D.W.'s who is very shy at times. D.W. tried to get him to kiss her once in Kiss and Tell, thinking she would become a princess like Emily (who felt like a princess when she was kissed in Paris). He eventually did kiss her, but not much came of it, other than D.W. looking slightly shocked and she had difficulty speaking for a while afterward. This may be because she and James (despite their young age), have feelings for each other. They are usually on pretty good terms with each other.
  • Lisa: Lisa is a girl in D.W.'s preschool who may or may not be a friend of D.W. She once got D.W. into a very bad mood when she didn't invite D.W. to her birthday party, as D.W. was insulted when Emily was invited and not her in D.W.'s Very Bad Mood. Very little is known about their current relationship.
  • Vicita Molina: Vicita and D.W. are next-door neighbors and occasionally play together. They are able to relate to each other easily because Vicita is only half a year younger than D.W. They generally get along and Vicita often looks up to D.W., but D.W. can occasionally be bossy and dislikes it when Vicita excels at games that she doesn't in Arthur and Los Vecinos. They appear to be almost as close as sisters, if not as close.
  • Binky Barnes: D.W. is friends with Arthur's classmate Binky. They became friends after D.W. ate a green potato chip and was tricked by Arthur into thinking they were poisoned in The Chips are Down. She told Binky this and they became friends after they decided to spend the last of their days together, only to learn later that their poisoning was nothing more than a prank. They remained friends and they have even done ballet together in D.W., Dancing Queen, and have remained on good terms since.
  • Nadine Flumberghast: D.W.'s imaginary friend. They talk to each other a lot and go on different adventures with each other. They think out many different problems together, usually resulting in Nadine not knowing anything more than D.W.'s knowledge.
  • Francine Frensky: They don't really interact very often, but Francine is one of D.W.'s friends. She once invited D.W. to her birthday party in "D.W.'s Very Bad Mood" after Lisa didn't invite her. Also in "Arthur's Big Hit," Francine felt awfully sorry for D.W. after Arthur hit her in the arm.
  • Bud Compson: D.W. has been friends with Bud since the Compson family moved in close to the Reads. The two often spend time together, such as plotting to try to find a way to ride a rollercoaster together that they are told they're not tall enough to ride in "D.W. & Bud's Higher Purpose."

D.W. Books

In addition to the Arthur Adventure titles, D.W. has appeared in a number of titles in her own series, including:

Many of these titles were adapted for the television series, while some were initially aired as television stories and later adapted as books.



  • She is modeled after author Marc Brown's sister, Kim Brown.[citation needed]
  • D.W. is unable to read and claims to not know time even though she knows when Mary Moo Cow comes on TV and whenever New Year's starts, but it's possible she's gained an in-built clock to these skills or she's reminded.
  • She can only write her own name.[31]
  • It is clearly known that D.W hates Bionic Bunny, but in the episodes, "D.W. the Copycat" and "Arthur and the Crunch Cereal Contest", D.W. is watching and laughing. Though, in the former, she was most likely faking interest in the show as she was acting like Arthur in the episode.
  • In "Clarissa is Cracked", it is revealed that she closely resembles Grandma Thora as a young girl.
  • In the episode, "Postcards from Buster", it is revealed that she used to have an imaginary friend that was a pig named Snooter.
  • When Arthur says that D.W. doesn't like anything, in "D.W., the Picky Eater", D.W. defiantly states that she likes: peanut butter and jelly, strawberries, chocolate (without nuts), birthday cakes, and chocolate ice cream.
    • D.W. also likes spinach (or at least claims to after unwittingly eating it in a pot pie), and yaprak dolmasi, a Turkish dish.
    • D.W. also ate without complaint both the turkey dinner served by Mr. Read in Arthur's Perfect Christmas, as well as the "truly traditional" Christmas dinner that included such dishes as halva, puls, unleavened bread and roast lamb with turmeric.
  • She knows how to whistle as seen in "So Long, Spanky".
  • In the French dub, she was named as "Diminou" or her full name "Dominique Fanny Read".
  • D.W.'s hair is similar to Mowgli from Disney's The Jungle Book.

Episode Appearances


Main article: D.W. Read/Gallery


  1. "I can't believe it takes a 4-year-old girl to suggest picking straws." — D.W. Read to Arthur and his friends, "Just the Ticket"
  2. "What does D.W. have to be upset about; she's only 4 years old!" Arthur Read to Francine Frensky, D.W.'s Very Bad Mood
  4. 4.0 4.1
  5. "You know, turning five is a very big step."Emily to D.W. Read, "D.W.'s Perfect Wish"
  6. "5 year old, Dora Winifred Read eagerly gobbled up a green chip one afternoon, only to be informed by her practical joker brother, Arthur, that green chips were deadly." Arthur Read reading the newspaper, "Revenge of the Chip"
  7. "Your birthday isn't for six months!" Arthur Read to D.W. Read, Arthur's Birthday.
  8. "D.W.'s Perfect Wish"
  9. See File:D.W.'s Guide to Preschool 3.JPG, for example.
  10. "More!"
  11. "D.W.'s Time Trouble"
  12. "The Rat Who Came to Dinner"
  13. "D.W. All Wet"
  14. "D.W., All Fired Up"
  15. 15.0 15.1 "D.W., the Picky Eater"
  16. D.W.'s Guide to Preschool
  17. "D.W. Unties the Knot"
  18. "Never, Never, Never"
  19. "To Tibble the Truth"
  20. "D.W. Tricks the Tooth Fairy"
  21. 21.0 21.1 Arthur's Perfect Christmas
  22. "Staycation"
  23. 23.0 23.1 D.W. The Big Boss
  24. "Arthur's Family Feud"
  25. "Cast Away"
  26. "Arthur and the Crunch Cereal Contest"
  27. "The Great Sock Mystery"
  28. "Go to Your Room, D.W."
  29. "Baby Steps"
  30. "Arthur's Lost Dog"
  31. "D.W.'s Library Card"

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