They're the ones who decide to use the elements of a classroom experiment as part of a practical joke in the cafeteria, causing an explosion of goop which causes an exodus of the cafeteria ladies who are also angry about the way Harold and George depicted them in the lastest edition of their comic strip, "Captain Underpants and the Night of the Living Lunch Ladys."
So George and Harold are responsible when the principal, needing new cafeteria ladies in a hurry, hires three large, heavily made-up women who, unbeknownst to all, are really evil guys from outer space. Thus begins the adventure part of the story, the part that requires the principal, Mr. Krupp, to turn into the superhero we've all been waiting for: Captain Underpants.
But Pilkey must take some responsibility. He is the one who gives grownups names like Miss Anthrope and Miss DePoint. He is the one responsible for the wonderfully rugged drawings that ensure those who look at illustrations as they read will be more aware of plot than will those who merely read text, and therefore won't be as surprised when the dandelion growing outside the school tries to devour the main characters. He's also responsible for The National Board of Boo-Boo Prevention's warning about the incredibly graphic flip-o-rama, which leaves anyone who follows directions howling with laughter.
Jamie Whitfield writes and teaches middle school English and literature. Copyright 1999 BookPage Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2000 Spring
Space aliens land their ship on the roof of Horwitz Elementary and get jobs as lunchroom ladies. Their plot to take over the world starts by turning the student body into zombie nerds with taped eyeglasses and pocket protectors. Enter Captain Underpants (a.k.a. Principal Krupp) who, assisted by young cut-ups George and Harold, saves the day. Silly? You bet. But also laugh-out-loud funny.Copyright 2000 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Kirkus Reviews 1999 July #2
Once again, it's Wedgie Power to the rescue, in a book subtitled ``And the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds).'' When aliens Zorx, Klax, and Jennifer launch their invasion of Earth by converting the students and teachers of the Jerome Horwitz Elementary School into an army of zombies with pocket protectors, it's up to inveterate troublemakers George and Harold, with their feckless ally Captain Underpants (he's the mean principal's alter-ego), to save the planet. The deed is done in a crowd-pleasing welter of plot twists and bathroom humor, wisecracks and free shots at school food; Pilkey's black-and-white cartoons move from crudely-drawn comic books created by the boys to pages that readers are required to flip back and forth for an animated effect. As in the previous appearances of Captain Underpants (The Adventures of Captain Underpants, 1997, etc.), this gross but not gruesome adventure will have fans looking forward to the upcoming (and obviously perfectly tasteful) Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants. (Fiction. 8-10) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews 1999 July #3
Fourth-grade cut-ups Harold and George and their principal-turned-superhero are as funny as ever in Pilkey's third Captain Underpants caper. (For those in the dark, the superhero in question is an underwear-clad, toilet-paper-toting crusader for "Truth, Justice, and ALL that is Preshrunk and Cottony"). As in the earlier installments, this zany tale adopts a variety of formats, including sprightly illustrated text; reproductions of the two boys' homemade comic books; and "flip-o-rama" pages that replicate "world-famous cheesy animation technique." Captain Underpants and his errant students here go up against a trio of aliens posing as lunch ladies. Suddenly students begin turning into "zombie nerds": "Look," says George, "They're all wearing broken eyeglasses held together with masking tape... and they've got vinyl pocket protectors!!!" It's all part of the aliens' quest to take over the world: "It won't be long now," says the evil Klax. "Tomorrow we'll feed them Super Evil Rapid-Growth Juice! Then they will grow to the size of Zleqxisfp trees." Those with a limited tolerance for the silly need not apply to the Captain Underpants fan club, yet its legion members will plunge happily into his latest bumbling adventure. Ages 7-10. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 1999 November
Gr 3-6-Captain Underpants is back (and stronger than ever thanks to some "extra-strength super power juice"). Jerome Horwitz Elementary School is invaded by three "incredibly naughty cafeteria ladies" who are really hideously evil aliens in disguise. Their dastardly plan is to take over Earth by turning its inhabitants into giant zombie nerds starting with the children of Piqua, OH. Harold, George, and Captain Underpants once again save the day with quick thinking and Wedgie Power. Pilkey's hilarious black-and-white pencil cartoons complement the comic humor of the text. Added to the fun are the ever-present Flip-O-Rama pages and a zany Captain Underpants comic. Whether first-time readers of this series or avid fans, children will enjoy this outrageously funny adventure.-Krista Grosick, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.