Arthur Wiki
David Read
David Read 2
Gender Male
Animal Aardvark[1]
Hair color Brown[2]
Favorite color Lemon yellow[3]
Residence Arthur's House, Elwood City
Family Thora Read (mother)
Jane Read (wife)
Arthur Read (son)
D.W. Read (older daughter)
Kate Read (younger daughter)

Thora's mother's great-uncle (maternal great-great-granduncle)
Thora's father (maternal grandfather)
Thora's mother (maternal grandmother)
Thora's brother 1 (maternal uncle)
Thora's brother 2 (maternal uncle)
Thora's brother 3 (maternal uncle)
David's brother (brother)
Sean (brother or brother-in-law)
Bonnie (sister or sister-in-law)
Minnie Read (sister)
George (nephew)
Bud (brother or brother-in-law)
Loretta (sister or sister-in-law)
Monique (niece)
Ricky (nephew)
Loretta's daughter (niece)
Ryder Read (nephew)
Theodore Read (granduncle)
Dave (father-in-law)
Richard (co-brother-in-law)
Jessica (sister-in-law)
Cora (niece-in-law)
Fred (brother-in-law)
Lucy (sister-in-law)
Lucy's husband (co-brother-in-law)
Job Catering chef
Book debut Arthur's Nose
Cartoon debut "Arthur's Eyes"
Voiced by Bruce Dinsmore (TV series)
Tony Fardella (Living Books)

Doug Boyd (ASCC)

David L. Read[5] is the husband of Jane Read, the father of Arthur, D.W. and Kate and the son of Grandma Thora. He is a chef who runs a catering business from home.

Physical appearance

In short, he looks like an older version of his son Arthur, just without the glasses. His usual outfit is a light blue top with darker blue borders with corduroy pants and brown loafers. He was originally bald-headed in the earlier books but was later given clumps of hair that were brown in the books, although it was restricted to black lines in the cartoon in order to simplify animation process. For sleepwear, he has been seen wearing green pajamas. In the summer, for summer clothes, he wears a white t-shirt with aqua green on the top, bottom and tip of the sleeves, blue shorts, and brown sandals. In "Cast Away", he is shown wearing an orange checkered shirt and brown shorts.


Although not as strict as his wife, David can be assertive in the situation of urging Arthur and D.W. to try new foods that he bakes; when the foods are usually weird and exotic ones that Arthur and D.W. do not like. Mr. Read is equally disgusted at their preferred food, saying it will only give them dental problems. He also says that a year's supply of junk food is no prize. ("Arthur and the Crunch Cereal Contest".)

In the first season, he was noticeably somewhat stricter than he is now (probably a bit more strict than his wife back then), and was able to get serious a little bit easily. An example is in the opening of Arthur's Tooth, where he got a little bit more serious than Jane when Arthur was trying to get his tooth out (since he was using the door method), and he told his son he meant it when he strictly told him "no more hoarsing around". Another one is in Arthur's Almost Boring Day, when he, due to all the ruckus happening, got serious enough to say "EVERYBODY, FREEZE!", which literally caused Arthur, D.W and even Kate to fully pause what they were doing. By Season 2, his strictness and minor temper seem to have gone down, although he still tends to come across as hard on Arthur and D.W. a lot of times, but that's only because he only wants them to do their best in life.

Despite his role as a father, David can be a bit carefree and goofy at times. As seen in "Kids are from Earth, Parents are from Pluto", he can sometimes make jokes towards other parents, who usually don't find them amusing or funny.

Past life

When David was a baby, he wore a pink shirt, white cloth diapers with a pin, and brown shoes. During his high school years, when he started dating Jane, as seen in a photo album in "Arthur's Eyes", he had a brown mullet hairstyle and a mustache and goatee and wore white and blue disco clothes that were fashionable between the late 1970s and early 1980s. He grew up in Elwood City with his two sisters, brother and his mother, Thora Read, who possibly raised them all by herself due to the fact that her husband is unknown and has been absent throughout the series and is possibly deceased.



Other Media

In the Living Books computer games, he had a light brown complexion in Arthur's Teacher Trouble, and it was changed to pale in Arthur's Birthday. In these two games, he was voiced by Tony Fardella before the cartoon show replaced him with Bruce Dinsmore.

In the later games during the 32-bit era of computers and software, such as Arthur's Thinking Games, his appearance was the same as he looks in the cartoon show.


Mr. Read is a catering chef. He has been shown to do all his work in part of a very large detached garage filled with expensive cooking and restaurant equipment. He has his own commercial vehicle with a mascot resembling Hamburger Helper & Pillsbury Dough Boy painted on the body of the van. He delivers the food to his customers in the van. It is based on Harry Boyle's catering delivery company from the American adult animated sitcom Wait Till Your Father Gets Home. David's biggest customer is Ed Crosswire, of which he and Jane are very dependent on. If Ed were to cancel, David's business would be in jeopardy. David's biggest fan is Mr. Ratburn, who creates situations to meet David and follows Ed to the catering events. ("Dad's Dessert Dilemma", "The Secret Life of Dogs and Babies".)



The Read's family consist of 6 members of the household: David Read, Jane, Arthur, D.W., Kate and the family dog, Pal. His son Arthur always refers to him as "Dad", but D.W. usually refers to him as "Daddy", because D.W. is younger than Arthur. David has a mother also living in Elwood City, Thora Read. He has an older sister named Loretta whose only plot-relevant appearance is in the episode "Arthur's Cousin Catastrophe", with all of her other appearances being cameos. His father was never seen, and it is likely that his father may be deceased. He also had three uncles, who are shown in the episode "Clarissa is Cracked" and some or all of them may be deceased.


  • Ed Crosswire - A friend and usual customer of both the Reads' businesses.
  • Ramón Molina - They quickly become friends when they meet each other the first time. They both have a passion for cooking exotic foods.
  • Tatsuya Matsumoto - Tatsuya used to be David's pen pal when the two were children. Given his nostalgic moment when he rediscovered one of Tatsuya's letters, it can be assumed that the two were good friends when they still wrote to each other.
  • Nigel Ratburn - They went to high school together, he likes David's cooking, and was invited to stay with The Reads while the roof of his house was being fixed.
  • Bailey - They went to high school together.


  • In "D.W. Aims High," David said he was Arthur's age when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, meaning he was born around 1960 or 1961.
  • He and Jane met at a football game.[6]
  • The series never reveals what happened to his dad (Thora's husband) but is likely he passed away some time ago.
  • He and his family are Catholic.


Weird? When have I ever made anything weird? Oops, time to check on my turnip muffins!

—David Read to Arthur, "Dad's Dessert Dilemma"


Dear Adil 29
The full image gallery for David Read may be viewed at David Read/Gallery.


  1. (archived page)
  2. As seen in flashback scenes in "Arthur's Eyes" and "Operation: D.W.!"
  3. Trading Cards
  4. Arthur Loses His Patience
  5. "Behold the David L. Read Super Soufflé." — David Read to Jane Read, "Arthur's Family Feud"
  6. "Question for ARTHUR: How did your parents meet? #ArthurWatchParty"
    "At a football game!"
    — Vanessa @EducatorKeen and Arthur Read @arthurpbs, Twitter, 29 Apr 2020 (archived page)