- Name: Dora Winifred Read (Diane Winifred Read in earlier books)
- Alias: D.W.
- Handedness: Right-handed
- Gender: Female
- Birthday: March 1 (Zodiac: Pisces)
- Age: 4, then 5
- Parents: David Read (father), Jane Read (mother).
- Siblings: Arthur Read (older brother), Kaitlyn Read (younger sister).
- Grandparents: Thora Read (paternal grandmother), Grandpa Dave (maternal grandfather), Thora's mother (great-grandmother).
- Friends: Nadine (Imaginary Friend), Emily, James MacDonald, Tibble Twins, and Binky Barnes.
- Other: Jessica, Lucy (maternal aunts), Richard (Jessica's husband), Cora (cousin), Monique (cousin). Gustaf (great-great-grandfather)
- Likes: Mary Moo Cow, "Crazy Bus", Ponies, doing anything to annoy Arthur, Princesses, Unicorns, Cute KittensGreen Potato Chips
- Hates: Octopuses, The Love Ducks, when Arthur contradicts her fandom, being referred to by her real name, being grounded, being accused, and Jazz music.
- Annoyances: Arthur, Kate (sometimes), Tommy and Timmy Tibble, Emily (sometimes), Arthur's friends (sometimes), Pal (sometimes)
Like the rest of her family, D.W is an anthropomorphic aardvark. Her brown hair and the shape of it comes from her mom, Jane Read. She wears a white longsleeved bodysuit and a pink jumper with blue-green shoes. D.W also has many alternate outfits; her footsie pyjamas, pink frilly swimsuit, red polka dot dress (usually worn to formal occasions such as dramatic performances, going out to fancy restaurants, or concerts), her Arthur outfit, gymnastic suit and many more. In some of the books, she wore pink overalls. She has short brown hair that is up to her cheeks, plus she has bangs.
Like most other characters, D.W. wears different clothes depending on the episode.
When D.W. was a baby, she originally had just clumps of hair, but in later seasons depicted her with a similar but shorter hairstyle. During her babyhood, she wore a pink shirt, white disposable diapers, and pink socks. She also had the same crib that had eventually became Kate's crib.
Not much was shown about her future life, although in "D.W.'s Time Trouble", she and Nadine appeared older in one scene during D.W.'s dream where she wished she was older than Arthur.
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 light brown hair in Arthur's Birthday, and wore a purple shirt instead of a white one while wearing a jumper or overalls. It was likely due to 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 voiceover 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 voiceover. D.W. was originally voiced by Michael Caloz in the first three seasons. Oliver Grainger took his place for Seasons Four-Six, then Jane Rodriguez took over for Seasons Seven-Ten. As of Season Eleven-present, she is voiced by Robert Naylor, and Sofia Sacha Naylor provides her singing voice in Arthur's Perfect Christmas and "In My Africa".
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.
D.W. is often annoying to Arthur (he considers her a pest) and sometimes 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 Cowand 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 has everyone call her D.W. for short.
Being a preschooler, she often does not understand the definition of words and attempts to use complex words for her age such as "taxpaying" and accidentally turns them into words like "taxipaying". She also does not grasp important topics like where babies come from, in which she thought that they come from a large baby store.
D.W. has a fear of octopuses, and once she endured a short-lived fear of fire drills (and anything else related to fire). She is a very picky eater and once had a profound hatred of spinach. She once had a snowball which was stolen from the fridge (apparently by aliens) and 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 that he couldn't have taken it from her.
D.W. is also very gullible. She believes that anything she sees on TV 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, even though she has acknowledged many times that the Tibbles always lie.
- Arthur Read: Usually Arthur and D.W are seen fighting with each other, especially over their TV time and when she annoys him, but they also truly love and care for each other. 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, storytelling, and composing music, which made him very jealous of her. In most of her brother's fantasies, D.W. was often cast as an antagonist.
- Baby Kate Read: 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. 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 for ten minutes.
- Pal: D.W. and Arthur's dog Pal are in a love-hate relationship. Pal likes D.W. and D.W. regularly dislikes him and thinks that he is dumb but sometimes treats him nicely.
D.W has many pre-school friends such as Emily, The Tibbles and James.
- Emily: Emily is D.W's best friend but is often trying to compete with her and is jealous often. She is of French descent and has a French nanny named Marie-Helene.
- 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.
- 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, 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. They are usually on pretty good terms with each other.
- Lisa: Lisa is a girl in D.W.'s pre-school 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. 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.
- 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. 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, and have remained on good terms since.
- She is modeled after author Marc Brown's sister, Kim Brown.
- D.W. hates her full name "Dora Winifred", and thus goes by her initials. She's greatly annoyed whenever her real name is said out loud.
- D.W's has two favorite songs: The Mary Moo Cow theme song and "Crazy Bus", but it was later edited that she had lost interest in "Crazy Bus" in Arthur, It's Only Rock And Roll!. This was probably referencing that Joe Fallon had left the song. Joe "Toolbox" Fallon wrote and performed that song.
- D.W is afraid of octopuses.
- She absolutely loves unicorns and ponies.
- D.W cannot read and claims to not know time even though she knows when Mary Moo cow comes on TV and when new years starts.
- She cannot write, except for her own name.
- According to D.W. in "Arthur and Los Vecinos", she is 3 and 7/8. Other episodes say that she is 4. In an episode featuring her birthday, she turns 5.
- She thinks Mary Moo Cow is not a baby show.
- 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.
- She absolutely hates The Love Ducks (A show Arthur likes) because it is a "baby show", which is ironic because Arthur tells her that the Mary Moo Cow Show is also a "baby show", although Kate is much too young to watch the Mary Moo Cow Show.
- D.W. has 35 episodes with her name in the title, with the most in season one (10).
- In earlier books, her name was "Diane Winifred".
- In "Clarissa is Cracked", it is revealed that she closely resembles Grandma Thora.
- In the episode "Bleep!", she said curse words censored with a bleep.
- In the episode, "Postcards from Buster", it is revealed that she used to have an imaginary friend that was a pig named "Snooter".
- She wears 6 outfits, (including her normal clothes) This is revealed in Season 5. Picture is below
- In the episode, "Tales from the Crib" she claims to hate monkeys, though in "Never, Never, Never", she is shown to have a stuffed monkey, as well when she visited Mrs. McGrady when she had cancer.
- D.W.'s birthday is March 1st.
- D.W can not tell time.
- The place DW wants to visit the most is the North Pole (home of the snowball).
- Favorite color is pink.
- Likes telling Arthur what to do.
- Wants to be a ballerina, princess, actress, president, scientist, plumber, writer, Emperor, Queen or a doctor when she grows up.
- D.W. he is similar to Faline in Disney's Bambi.
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