|“||See; some people see their glass half-full; others just wear glasses.||„|
|~ D.W. to Arthur, "Swept Away"|
|“||🎶Arthur has a girlfriend🎶||„|
|~ D.W., "Arthur & D.W. Clean Up"|
|“||Arthur and Francine! Arthur loves Francine!||„|
|~ D.W., "Arthur & D.W. Clean Up"|
Dora Winifred "D.W." Read is Arthur's 4-5 year old sister, Baby Kate's older sister, and a middle child in her family. She attends Elwood City Preschool. She is constantly seen bugging Arthur, walking into his bedroom without asking and attempting to blame him whenever something bad happens. However, she still shows feelings for her brother and does still care for him, despite frequently acting like a selfish little brat.
Only in the Living Books computer game versions of Arthur books (and Arthur's Thinking Games) is D.W. voiced by an actual female (the late Mary Kay Bergman in the latter). In the TV series and the film, Arthur's Missing Pal, she is voiced by boys, such as, at first, Michael Caloz, Oliver Grainger, Jason Szwimmer, Robert Naylor, and so on.
D.W. is an anthropomorphic aardvark who has short brown hair in a reverse bob and wears a sleeveless magenta knee-length jumper dress, a white long-sleeved blouse, frilly beige or white underwear, sheer pink pantyhose and bluish-cyan shoes. In the books and the movie Arthur's Missing Pal, her blouse and pantyhose have pink stripes on them; these don't exist in the TV cartoon presumably to save time and money on animation.
In the computer game Arthur's Teacher Trouble, she had a slightly paler complexion, her hair was orange and her blouse and pantyhose were purple. In another computer game, Arthur's Birthday, she looked mostly the same as in the books and cartoon, but her blouse was pink and her shoes were brown.
- Pink footsie pajamas
- A white night dress with a magenta collar and frills
- A pink swimsuit with frills
- A doctor's gown and headlamp
- A blue T-shirt with beige pants and red and white shoes
- A dark green dress, light green pantyhose, a golden tiara encrusted with red gems, and black Mary Janes (dancing outfit)
- A full replica of Arthur's outfit in her size
- Purple overalls with green pockets and a light orange shirt underneath
- A dark pink jacket with two pockets, white fur on the bottom and ends of the sleeves and a white fur collar, a lime green scarf, dark green mittens and a dark green knitcap with a white tuft
- A Gretel outfit (in a dream had by Arthur in "Just Desserts")
- A lime green summer dress and white sandals with white flower decorations
- A Juliet Capulet outfit (imaginary, in "Kiss and Tell")
- A pink pajama jumpsuit with various patterns (in the book Good Night, D.W.)
- A strapped pink jumpsuit with a pocket on the front (in the book D.W., Go to Your Room!)
- A yellow tank top depicting Arthur's face and light blue and black shorts (boxing outfit)
- A light yellow dress with pink trim around the arms and a pink collar tied into a bow
- A white nurse's outfit with a pink scarf and headlamp
- A white collared button-up shirt, a red short-sleeved jacket with light yellow trim, a light yellow dress with polka dots, and maroon Mary Janes (formal outfit)
- Yellow sleepwear with purple flower patterns (imaginary, in D.W.'s Name Game)
- A yellow bathing suit with pink trim
- A yellow button-up coat with red trim, pink gloves and knitcap, blue pants, and red boots (winter outfit)
- A Bionic Bunny costume
- A magenta shirt with a white collar, a white diaper, and pink shoes with gray bottoms (as a baby)
- A magenta and pink hoodie, pink gloves, and white shoes (as a 1-and-a-half-year-old)
- A pink blouse, a green strapped dress, magenta pantyhose, and brown shoes (as a 3-year-old)
- A pink shirt with yellow trim at the ends of the sleeves and a moon and stars design on the front, and pink pajama pants (as a 3-year-old)
- A pink sweater, blue jeans, pink and white sneakers (as a 8-year-old, imaginary, in D.W.'s Time Trouble)
- A purple jacket, a yellow shirt with red Japanese letters spelling "Dora" on the front, orange framed glasses, a maroon headband, blue jeans, and purple and white sneakers (as a 9-year-old, imaginary)
- A red suit and a light yellow undershirt (older, imagined, in D.W.'s Name Game)
D.W. is mischievous, dramatic, bossy and throws tantrums easily. Usually, she acts like a selfish brat and enjoys annoying her big brother Arthur and blaming him for things he didn't do, but she still loves him deep down and has cooperated with him before to help her family. She dislikes her full name, "Dora Winifred Read", for an unknown reason, and wants everyone to call her "D.W." instead. She is also a picky eater: she doesn't like to eat anything she is not familiar with, as shown in the episode aptly named "D.W., the Picky Eater".
Because of her young age, D.W. doesn't know the definitions of more complex words and is clueless about more adult topics, such as the origin of babies. However, she is actually fairly intelligent for someone her age. D.W. is also gullible and can be tricked easily: she is a common victim of Tommy and Timmy Tibble's tricks and often gets herself in trouble as a result.
Because of how small she is and because she is the middle sibling of the Read children, D.W. often feels like she is oppressed by her parents and older brother, and when she does, she will try to defend herself any way she knows how.
- D.W. is based on Kim Brown, the sister of Marc Brown, who is the author of the Arthur books and the co-developer of the cartoon.
- In the French dub of the cartoon, her full name is "Dominique Fanny Read", and the abbreviation of her name is "Diminou".
- According to the episode "D.W. All Wet", D.W. is cephalophopic, as she refuses to swim in a lake because she thinks there may be octopuses in it.