Book 366: The Adventures of Captain Underpants – Dav Pilkey

Pilkey, Dav - The Adventures of Captain UnderpantsWhat a charmingly cute chapter book! I read this book for Episode 7 of Come Read with Me and it was delightful! I’ve obviously heard of the story before, but have never had any impetus to read it as the book (Amazon link) came out after I was past this reading age/level.

I read this in one quick sitting while commuting home from work one day. It was definitely one of my more interesting choices for a commute read but hey no shame in my game right? I’m sure I could read the entire series, 12 “novels” and various spin offs, all in one day, and honestly they would probably be worth the read. It was engaging and there was enough humor, potty and otherwise, that I found myself smiling for most of the read.

I’m not in the least bit surprised the books appeared at the top of the ALA Banned Books list in 2012-13 (Ctrl+F “underpants” or “ALA”). If anything, I’m surprised it took until 2012-13 to get to the top of the list! The books are silly enough that parents can laugh at the absurdity and kids still find it funny. My guess is what people are challenging is that they are just on the edge of “dangerous” silly and  they’d rather their kids not read these books than teach their kids the difference between “right and wrong” and “real and pretend.”

I’m not saying it’s laziness, because I don’t have kids and don’t know what it is like to be responsible for another life. I am saying, that it is censorship which is ridiculous. Reminds me of all the crazies who wanted to ban Harry Potter because their kids might try to became wizards and witches?!?! Let them LIVE!!!!

This entire book reminded me of a blogger I follow (I of course can’t find it) who wrote about how irresponsible Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby books were. I mean I can see where they are coming from, but again it comes down to teaching your kids about what is real and what isn’t. For every “bad” role model there is in literature I’m sure there are hundreds more that are good role models.

I was surprised at how much this book gave me to think about and to discuss in our podcast and we probably spent more time discussing the book than it took me to read it! The copy I read is obviously much-loved from the library as the flip-o-rama pages were torn from little kids flipping back and forth on them. What I really found out though is that reading this only showed that no matter how old you are, sometimes going back to read a book can be worth it!

Recommendation: I thought it was adorable and like Pilkey says in the afterward, underwear are funny, you can’t help bug giggle a bit. If you see it and have 45 minutes to kill in a bookstore, why not give it a read? The illustrations were great and the comic book within the book was cute too!

Opening Line: “Meet George Beard and Harold Hutchins.”

Closing Line: “‘Here we go again!’ said George.” (Whited out to avoid spoilers.)


8 thoughts on “Book 366: The Adventures of Captain Underpants – Dav Pilkey”

  1. I missed this post before, but I have to comment on it, because my son and I read all of these books and loved them! They are silly, but they’re not stupid. I was blown away by how clever this Pilkey guy is – very creative and perfect for those kids who just don’t like to read (like my son). Yes, there is a LOT of bathroom humour, but who cares? Reading and laughing about it together is a good way to get it out of their system. Yes, George and Harold get into a lot of trouble, and the teachers are all shown to be mean and idiotic, but isn’t that what kids fantasize about? Out-smarting the teachers? I say, let them read it and laugh!
    Have you read The Adventures of Ook and Gluk or Super Diaper Baby? They’re good too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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