It's been 20 years since 4th graders George and Harold first hypnotized their cruel principal and turned him into the larger-than-life, silly superhero, Captain Underpants. Author Dav Pilkey's The Adventures of Captain Underpants book series has been a favorite of kids who love outrageous humor, fantastic situations, and comic books.
The big news: a film version by Dreamworks premieres in theaters on June 2nd. The first trailer has just been released.
The Benefits of Underpants Humor
Yeah, but...underpants? Why?
Parents, teachers, and librarians love it because Captain Underpants gets kids reading! The joy of a book series like this is it can hook reluctant readers. And with 12 books in The Adventures of Captain Underpants series, and several spin-off book series (The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Dog Man, Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot, and Big Dog and Little Dog), kids can spend ample time reading; certainly enough time to realize that yes, reading can really be a pleasure: you just have to find the book that's for you.
Quiet and Lovely: Pilkey Has Range
But Pilkey also wrote The Paperboy, a quiet and lovely book about a boy rising early to deliver newspapers. This simple book doesn't rely on humor. Rather, it's an observant look at a boy and his dog enjoying the pleasures of solitude. Actor Forest Whitaker reads the audiobook version, available on Hoopla. It won a Caldecott Honor in 1997.
A complete list of books (and other fun stuff) is available on Dav Pilkey's Extra-Crunchy Website O'Fun.
Here's an introductory selection:
What's your favorite book by Dav Pilkey? Will you see the movie when it comes out?