When Dav Pilkey was a kid, he was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. Dav was so disruptive in class that his teachers made him sit out in the hallway every day. Luckily, Dav loved to draw and make up stories. He spent his time in the hallway creating his own original comic books--the very first adventures of Dog Man and Captain Underpants. In college, Dav met a teacher who encouraged him to illustrate and write. He won a national competition in 1986 and the prize was the publication of his first book, World War Won. He made many other books before being awarded the 1998 California Young Reader Medal for Dog Breath, which was published in 1994, and in 1997 he won the Caldecott Honor for The Paperboy. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, published in 2002, was the first complete graphic novel spin-off from the Captain Underpants series and appeared at #6 on the USA Today bestseller list for all books, both adult and children's, and was also a New York Times bestseller. It was followed by The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung Fu Cavemen from the Future and Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers, both USA Today bestsellers. The unconventional style of these graphic novels is intended to encourage uninhibited creativity in kids. His stories are semi-autobiographical and explore universal themes that celebrate friendship, tolerance, and the triumph of the good-hearted. Dav loves to kayak in the Pacific Northwest with his wife.
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.)
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
The critics are CRAZY about UNDERPANTS!
Irresistible. -- Entertainment Weekly Call Pilkey... the
savior of the 'reluctant reader.' -- USA Today So appealing
that youngsters won't notice that their vocabulary is stretching.
School Library Journal Pilkey's sharp humor shines, and is as much fun for parents as their young readers.
-- Parents' Choice Foundation Combines empowerment and empathy with age-appropriate humor and action. --
Booklist Celebrates the triumph of the good-hearted. -- The Educational Book and Media