Reviews for Adventures of Captain Underpants


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 July 1997
Gr. 2^-4. The title and the cover art, which depicts a toothy, egg-shaped fellow in a red cape and jockey shorts, are designed to keep this chapter book in constant circulation. The story is a superhero spoof: two misbehaving fourth-grade boys, Harold and George, hypnotize their school principal and turn him into their comic book creation, Captain Underpants. The boys have their hands full when the captain escapes and starts chasing bad guys in his underwear. The extra leading and slightly enlarged typeface make for easier reading, but the silliness goes overboard (picture villainous Dr. Diaper staring at a pile of rubber doggy doo), and the many action-packed illustrations rob the plot of some of its zip by commanding more than their share of attention. (The flip book pages seem clever, but they're really just a tease). Still, the humor is on target for some kids in this age group, who will undoubtedly look forward to a planned second adventure--Captain Underpants 2: Attack of the Talking Toilets. ((Reviewed July 1997)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 1998
Best friends and fellow pranksters George and Harold create a comic book superhero, Captain Underpants, and hypnotize their school principal into assuming his identity. Clad in cape and jockey shorts, Principal Krupp foils bank robbers and a mad scientist until the boys ""de-hypnotize"" him. Written in a tongue-in-cheek style and illustrated with suitably cartoonish drawings, the story is consistently laugh-out-loud funny. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1997 June #2
Few things command disrespect like the sight of a man wearing whitie-tighties. However, the bald and barefoot Captain Underpants happens to be a superhero. As one character notes, "Most superheroes look like they're flying around in their underwear....Well, this guy actually is flying around in his underwear!" The Captain, defender of "Truth, Justice, and all that is Pre-Shrunk and Cottony," is the comic-book invention of two troublemaking fourth-graders, George and Harold. He comes to life after the boys use a mail-order device to hypnotize their diabolical school principal, who sheds his outergarments and battles crime in only a cape and Y-fronts. As his creators try to snap him out of the trance, Captain Underpants threatens bank robbers with "Wedgie Power" and foils the villainous Dr. Diaper (" `You know,' said George, `up until now this story was almost believable' "). Pilkey (Dog Breath) uses a sitcom-like formula to set up the rivalry between the boys and the principal, and to strip the authority figure of dignity. After a tepid exposition, he falls back on the notion that undies and mild bathroom humor are funny in themselves and, given his intended audience, he's probably right. Line drawings of the slapstick action appear on every page, and "Flip-O-Rama" climactic sequences create an agreeably corny "motion-picture" effect. But the lowbrow jokes (the Captain uses an elastic waistband to apprehend an evildoer) chiefly constitute this tale's harmless, non-gross appeal. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 2000 February
Gr 2-5-Pilkey packs an amazing amount of humor into what could have been a one-gag novel. Besides turning their principal into a silly superhero, George and Harold play tricks on just about everyone. They pepper pom-poms, put bubble bath in tubas, and fill a football with helium. Pilkey's illustrations are half the fun, and that magical moment when the hypnotized Principal Krupp dons his Captain Underpants uniform and sings "Tra-La-Laaaaaaaa" is priceless. Krupp is a worthy successor to Lamar J. Spurgle, the nemesis of "the Cut-Ups" in James Marshall's great picture books. The "kneel here" sign in front of his desk says it all. Kid Appeal Award: Superheroes are always fascinating to kids. And children of a certain age will laugh at anything that has to do with underpants. Combining the two was a stroke of comic genius. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1997 December
Gr 2-4 Pilkey plays with words and pictures, providing great entertainment. The story is immediately engaging two fourth-grade boys who write comic books and who love to pull pranks find themselves in big trouble. Mean Mr. Krupp, their principal, videotapes George and Harold setting up their stunts and threatens to expose them. The boys' luck changes when they send for a 3-D Hypno-Ring and hypnotize Krupp, turning him into Captain Underpants, their own superhero creation. Later, Pilkey includes several pages of flip-o-ramas that animate the action. The simple black-and-white illustrations on every page furnish comic-strip appeal. The cover features Captain Underpants, resplendent in white briefs, on top of a tall building. This book will fly off the shelves. Mary M. Hopf, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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