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|Birthday||During "Return of the Snowball"
|Hair color||Medium brown|
|Residence||Reads' House, Elwood City|
|Book debut||Arthur's Nose|
|Cartoon debut||"Arthur's Eyes"
Jane Read is depicted as a tan aardvark with shaggy brown hair and wears a pink sweater over a white shirt, blue jeans, and white Velcro shoes with purple loops. Like her son Arthur, the white shirt she wears underneath the sweater is tucked into her pants. Originally, she had a long snout and was based upon an actual aardvark with the rest of her family in Arthur's Nose. She and the other aardvarks were redesigned in Arthur's Eyes, which was published three years later. In the 1980s, she and the other aardvarks had their snouts gradually shortened until they became flat. In the books, she wore different clothes of different colors. In the episode "Crushed" she dressed like a princess when filling in for the head caterer of the medieval reenactment society, and again in D.W.'s dream in "D.W.'s Time Trouble", when D.W. traveled back in time; the difference between the costumes of the two episodes was the color; it was purple in "Crushed" and pink in "D.W.'s Time Trouble". Her sleepwear is yellow pajamas with a pink collar. While she was pregnant with Kate, she was seen wearing a white collared shirt with blue jeans and a yellow dress as sleepwear. Jane's summer attire is often a cream-colored sundress and a red one-piece swimsuit with a yellow stripe, or a blue variant with a green stripe.
Jane grew up near an unidentified town on Grandpa Dave's Farm (inferred, as her father, Grandpa Dave, is said to have lived there for a long time). When Jane was a baby, she wore a pink dress with white cuffs, a white hair bow, and white shoes. Her diaper was covered by the skirt, and it is likely she wore wool diapers since they were in favor when she and others her age were babies. During her high school years, when she started going out with David, she had longer, thicker hair and wore pink disco clothes with white boots that were fashionable between the late 1960s through the 1970s. She is mostly known as a normal person. In "Arthur Meets Mr. Rogers", Mr. Rogers states that he knew Jane when she was young.
In the Living Books computer games, she had a light brown complexion and orange hair (and sometimes straight hair) in Arthur's Teacher Trouble and a light complexion and light brown hair in Arthur's Birthday. It was likely due to color and tone restrictions during the 16-bit era of computers and software. In those two games, she was voiced by Jennifer Hewitt before the cartoon show replaced her with Sonja Ball.
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.
Jane is quite caring and loving to her three children. However, some of the time, she seems to be passively exasperated on a daily basis, because of the antics of her kids. She is a bit more strict than her husband, usually with D.W. as David is with Arthur. Arthur always refers to her as "Mom," but D.W. usually refers to her as "Mommy." She wants the best for her children, such as making sure they keep their rooms clean.
Jane is also the most talented at cleaning the house. She can sometimes be quite firm when Arthur and D.W. are frequently arguing and quarreling. She also doesn't seem to mind D.W.’s bothering of Arthur, as she usually sighs and goes about her day whenever Arthur complains of D.W.’s tomfoolery.
Jane also may have a more greedy and self-absorbed side; this is shown when she fantasizes of one day escaping her family life to pursue personal interests in "Pick a Car, Any Car."
David and Jane prefer to stay at home. This is made possible by Ed Crosswire. Both are hired by Ed, and would have to get new jobs if Ed canceled. As for Jane, Ed relies on her for accounting needs. Other busy moments are during tax season, but she does not like to work long hours. Her usual station is in the den and she wears casual attire while working. Some episodes she has worn professional attire and left for or returned from work at a large company. She rarely needs Thora, Catherine Frensky, or some other sitter since they are usually at home. The only three times they are needed are when David and Jane are sick, or are going to a social event with their friends, or when they need to concentrate on work so they ask Arthur and D.W. to stay with their friends or with Thora. Jane herself also babysits.