No End to Silliness

The Adventures of Captain Underpants
Publisher: The Blue Sky Press/Scholastic
ISBN: 0-590-84627-2
You may be wondering why I'd go from reviewing a cute tale about pigs to... this. Have I lost my mind? No. Let me explain.
We were at the elementary school's book fare, my 8 yr. old son and me, looking for a book to buy. (Yes, one for me, and one for him. I got a cool book about dragons. Love it!) Anyway, he picks up this Captain Underpants and my parent radar goes off immediately. But he's so excited about it, bouncing as he raps of a series of "Pluuuuwwwweeeze! pleeeze. pleeze."
I always thought girls were the dramatic ones until my son came along. They can be just as bad. So I relented. Other boys were gathering around looking at the books, ohhing and awwing and chuckling at different parts.
For the most part, he complains books are boring. I hate when he feels that way. But bouncy boys have a problem sitting down quietly and looking at books unless there is something in them to catch their ever wandering attentions.
Dav Pilkey, a bouncy boy himself, knows how to grab a boy's attention. Pilkey was in high school when finally diagnosed with ADHD. He often found himself in trouble and having difficulty doing his school work. What he did love to do was create comic strips. Many of them he's made into the books children now love to read. Over time, he turned what started out to be a big problem, into a big business. Dav Pilkey has written many funny books that cause children to laugh out loud an find reading fun.
First I read one of my son's books, and I thought, "this is just pure stupidness." I'd chuckle every now and then. A few times I rolled my eyes and thought, how disgusting. No wonder boys love this stuff. Then I got into the book with it's "flip-o-rama" and practical jokes like having the reader yell out a word while moving the book to create "special effects".
There might be a few girls out there who enjoy these books, but they are strictly written for and about "boy stuff". Period.
Now for the Parental Warnings part:
1. If you only want your children to read about upstanding, honorable characters, then don't buy these books. Harold and George are wise-cracking trouble-makers. But likable wise-cracking trouble-makers.
2. If you don't like bathroom humor, don't buy these books. Unfortunately, boys seem to love this kind of humor: the belching, farting, rude-noises and embarrassing moments kind of humor. I don't believe they ever grow out of it, either.
3. If you don't like books that make adults out to be... well... endless joke possibilities, then don't buy these books.
1. If your children have trouble with pages full of text, these books help break things down and offers lots of visuals to keep their interest.
2. If your child has ADHD, Dav Pilkey knows from personal experience how to reach out to these kids and make reading interesting.
3. If your child finds reading boring, then I encourage you to seek out books that step out of the norm and may catch their attention.
And you know, I'm all for encouraging children to read and making it fun for them.
As a parent, its up to you what you allow your child to read. Here's one possibility, and soon, I'll offer more. Check back from time to time.
God Bless,
If you are interested in Dav Pilkey's books, check out the amazon links on my side bar on how to order them.