The critics are CRAZY about UNDERPANTS!
"A triumph of irreverence." --NEWSWEEK
"Call Pilkey . . . the savior of the 'reluctant reader.' " --USA TODAY
"For every downtrodden fun-seeking kid who never wanted to read a book." --SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"Subversively hilarious." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"Celebrates the triumph of the good-hearted." --The Educational Book and Media Association
"It'll make kids laugh until soda comes out of their noses." --BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY – JULY 13, 2012
Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers
Dav Pilkey. Scholastic, $9.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-545-17534-0
A toast of “non-alckaholick wine” to the ninth Captain Underpants novel—and to Dav Pilkey’s refusal to coast. In fact, the title is something of a red herring since the true centerpiece of this installment is a lengthy flashback to “exactly five years, eleven days, fourteen hours, and six minutes ago,” when mopey kindergartner Harold Hutchins first met precocious George Beard, who sports an awesome Afro instead of his usual flattop.
The boys face a nasty nemesis in the form of Kipper Krupp, the bullying sixth-grade nephew of Principal Krupp, but since Principal Krupp is years away from becoming the world’s greatest superhero, it’s up to the boys to defeat Kipper on their own. Their intricate and ingenious plan incorporates (and this is a short list) locker sabotage, fear of the paranormal, cheerleaders, pizza deliveries, a huge pair of pants, and the creation of the seminal comic “The Advenchers of Dogman.” Pilkey dials back the toilet humor considerably, but plenty of naughtiness is still afoot (there’s an extended riff on the hilarity of turning a “Brake Inspection” sign into “Bra Inspection”), and egregious misspellings abound. Supa! Ages 7–up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/13/2012
Permalink: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-545-17534-0 (978-0-545-17534-0)
Gr 2–5—This installment in the dependably goofy series picks up with George and Harold, who have been wrongfully accused of crimes committed by their evil twins, now in juvie. However, they soon travel back in time to kindergarten, courtesy of the troublemaking Tippy Tinkletrousers. Their biggest issue now is that they are stuck as kindergarteners and they don't have Captain Underpants to save them from Kipper Krupp, the sixth-grade bully. Will they be able to beat him on their own? Pilkey holds true to the formula his readers love, with clever cartoons throughout the book and plenty of humor. In spite of the fact that this is a very silly book, Pilkey does also manage to include some anti-bullying messages. It's sure to be a hit with beginning chapter-book readers, particularly fans of the series.—Elizabeth Swistock, Jefferson Madison Regional Library, VA
Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain's ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment. Not that there aren't pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison ("…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding"). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie ("not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here."). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative's lexical ante with terms like "pharmaceuticals" and "theatrical flair." Unfortunately, the bullies' sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he's not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders… Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)