Discovering Captain Underpants

Being a dad has its perks. You get to play with all the cool new toys. On occasion you get to read some great books, too.

Now, after reading Green Eggs & Ham for the 20-zillionth time, I’ll admit it can wear on you. Especially when you have to get the voices just right. (In our case, “Sam I Am” has a British accent, and the ham & eggs hater sounds a bit like Richard Nixon.)

So, when we discover a fantastic new book, or in this case, series of books, I just can’t wait to read them with the boys.

Captain Underpants books

And discover we did: the Captain Underpants series of books by Dav Pilkey. My wife found a free copy of Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People at the library. The book had been damaged and discarded. It looked oddly intriguing. Despite having pages that were falling out, we carefully read it. I loved it. So did the kids. I bet the neighbors could hear the guffaws of laughter emanating from our house.

It’s got it all for kids and dads: funny illustrations, witty humor, comics, amazing alliteration, puns, and short chapters. (It’s one of the first chapter books that the boys and I have read together.)

One of the book’s features we most enjoyed is called “Flip-o-rama.” It’s like one of those hand-drawn flip books that you may have created as a child to animate a scene. In this case, each “Flip-o-rama” consists of only two pages. There’s an online version called “Click-o-rama.” Check it out!

Wait, did I mention that these books have a wee bit o’ potty humor? No? Well, they do. Actually, a whole bunch of it. The kids love it. Admit it dads, you love the potty humor, too! Apparently, not all adults do, though. There have been reports of Captain Underpants banned in school libraries. Boooooo!

Personally, I think Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People provides the best response to anybody wanting to ban the series. Chapter 2 is titled “Those Wacky Grown-ups,” and it talks about how adults encourage the potty talk until the kiddos are potty-trained. After that it becomes verboten. Why is that? Here’s what the book says on page 21:

The only answer I can think of is that adults are totally bonkers and should probably be avoided at all times.  …I’m sure we can all agree that you really have to keep an eye on most adults, most of the time.

Sounds like a good explanation for the book-banning folks, too. Personally, I could barely read that chapter aloud. Had to catch my breath in between fits of laughter.

Leave a comment


  1. springtimesoul

     /  March 21, 2011

    A Scholastic book banned? There’s some irony.

    I suppose there’s a library somewhere that would ban “The Bad Children’s Book” that I used to read to you. I particularly liked the part when the bad boy shaved the bathmat with his father’s electric shaver. To my knowledge, you never tried that at home.

    • Definitely ironic. “The Bad Children’s Book” was always a fun read. Haven’t you read it to Tim during one of our recent visits.

      Did Dad have an electric shaver? I don’t remember him having one.

  2. I’ll have to check them out.


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