Captain Underpants!!

Its been said that adults spend the first two years of their children’s lives trying to make them walk and talk…and the next sixteen years trying to get them to sit down and shut up. Its the same way with potty training: Most adults spend the first few years of a child’s life cheerfully discussing pee and poopies, and how important it is to learn to put your pee-pee and poo-poo in the potty like big people do. But once children have mastered the art of toilet training, they are immediately forbidden to ever talk about poop, pee, toilets, and other bathroom-related subjects again. Such things are suddenly considered rude and vulgar, are no longer rewarded with praise and cookies and juice boxes. One day you’re a superstar because you pooped in the toilet like a big boy, and the next day you’re sitting in the principal’s office because you said the word “poopy” in American History class (which, if you ask me, is the perfect place to say that word).

This nugget of wisdom comes straight from the pages of Captain Underpants and the Preposterous plight of the purple potty people, one of a series of books that to my mind, are sheer genius. These books are what gave a joy of reading to my son, for which I will always be grateful. When he started reading them aloud to me, I could tell these books were different.

The Author, Dav Pilkey, introduces his protagonists:

Meet George and Harold, a couple of wise guys. The only thing they enjoy more than playing practical jokes is creating their own comic books. And together they have created the greatest comic-book superhero in the history of their elementary school – CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS!

But George and Harold’s principal, mean old Mr. Krupp, doesn’t like their pranks or their comic books. And he’s cooked up a plan to catch George and Harold and stop their shenanigans – once and for all! This book is about what happened when that plan backfired, and Captain Underpants leaped off the page to save the day!

Captain Underpants:

Many of the things in the book are taken directly from Dav’s childhood: the practical jokes, the comics, even the cheesy animation technique called “Flip-O-Rama” (Dav and his friends used to amuse themselves by making these flip-action animated pictures in elementary school).

Dav Pilkey had reading disabilities when he was a kid. He was always discouraged by wordy texts, small type, and lengthy chapters.

“My goal with The Adventures of Captain Underpants was to invent a style which was almost identical to that of a picturebook — in a novel format. So I wrote incredibly short chapters and tried to fill each page with more pictures than words. I wanted to create a book that kids who don’t like to read would want to read.” — Dav Pilkey

IMO, Dav has stumbled upon a winning formula, and I’ve just purchased the entire set for my son. I admit I’ll be reading them too. And I’ve bookmarked his site so my son can continue the adventures after the books are done.


~ by irishgrl on November 9, 2008.

10 Responses to “Captain Underpants!!”

  1. It is that way with many words. Even sometimes the opposite. Adults are free to talk about sex. But say it once in history and you’re out. Or, for a less point-making example, the word “noob.” ‘Nuff said.

  2. At last, Moose lurches over the horizon! *waves to Moose* Now, about the “noob” comment….great tag line, by the way. Where’d you get it? I might have to borrow that!

  3. I was one of those weird kids who was never into potty humor. Never saw the appeal.

    But I like the idea. It doesn’t make sense to go straight from picturebooks to novels.

  4. I could see it now……..

    Carrots as a baby…

    “Snape ‘illed ‘umblepore!!”

  5. I hear he had a raven for a pet….

  6. Them books were awesome.
    At least what I can remember of them.
    Like, third grade was hella-long ago. But, I read pretty much all the ones that my school library had. Yup yup.
    Then again, that was the year….Eh, not goin’ there, not important.

    Anyway, it’s like the Goosebumps books. You liked ’em when you were a kid, but once you get older, you can’t help but wonder what the appeal was.
    I might admit that I was scared of the Goosebumps TV show when I was like 4, but could watch the X-Files just fine (late at night, mind you!) at the same age. *Shrugs* I was an odd chillin’.

  7. I myself think Captain Underpants is hilarious. Which means what??

  8. I have no idea.
    All I know is I don’t think I could read any of them. Not now, anyway. My mind has been corrupted by LOTR and too much Stephen King. Which of course is NOT a bad thing.

  9. Interesting. I devoured LOTR and many other Sci-Fi/Fantasy offerings as well. That said, I still laff at bathroom humor. I can travel between highbrow, lowbrow, unibrow, and nobrow with ease apparently. (and NO I havent decided what would comprise unibrow or nobrow yet, I just thought it needed saying)

  10. […] Captain Underpants!! November 2008 9 comments 5 […]

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