All member reviews for The Adventures of Captain Underpants: An Epic Novel

Common Sense Media says

Gross bathroom humor book may appeal to reluctant readers.

Users say

(out of 49 reviews)
age 6+
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Adult Written byMediaMomPhd September 27, 2013

Teaches Bullying

All of the books in this series contain a lot of bullying, which is often presented as justified. There are also portrayals of bullying through the use of technology. In the 9th book in the series, Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Re-Turn of Tippy Tinkletrousers, technology plays a central role in the antics of Harold and George. In the story, Harold and George seek revenge on the school bully, Kipper, by carrying out a variety of pranks on Kipper and his friends. For example, they send Kipper’s friends embarrassing texts that appear to have been sent from Kipper’s phone. George and Harold were engaging in cyberbullying, which is the use of electronic technology to repeatedly harm others, either physically, socially, or psychologically. Depending on the age of respondents and how it is defined, surveys indicate that 20-40% of youth have been the victims of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is a serious problem among youth today. I would suggest that if you teach young children that it is funny to dehumanize others (be it bullies or women) and use technology to humiliate them, this is how we end up here as a society. Am I saying that reading Captain Underpants causes children to grow up to become cyberbullies? Of course not. But I do find it deeply disturbing that children, who should be learning about respectful and responsible use of technology, are getting a very different message from this book series. I do think there is a connection between the perpetuation of these messages (e.g., cyberbullying can be justifiable and is funny) and the ever-increasing tendency for youth perpetrators of bullying and violence to use technology to proudly disseminate their “conquests”. If you are going to let your child read these books, try to use them as "teachable moments" to discuss bullying of all types.
Parent of a 8 year old Written byLipstick6 May 9, 2011

Completely Unbeneficial.

If you want your kid to start making bathroom jokes at the table, buy this book. I really think it's closer to the iffy side than anything else. I had bought a couple of these for my son, but we read them together and I was so grossed out. When did it become acceptable for children to speak this way in society? When I was a child, we never learned to speak in such ways. We were taught it was socially unacceptable and rude, and as our mother always told us, nobody would ever invite us to their dinner table with mouths like that. There are so many better things for children to be reading than these.
Written byAnonymous August 24, 2011

Funny book

I used to love reading these books in the fourth grade. Personally I think it's a good read even though it has some crude humor. Words like underpants, toilet, etc.
Adult Written bya_adams April 9, 2008

A Great Book for Avid and Reluctant Readers Alike

This is a beginner's chapter book, more obviously geared for boys than girls. While the bathroom humor can get out of hand, Pilkey always gives the kids a good laugh. What I like most about the series, is that in the end of some of the books kids can write in for "fun stuff" from Scholastic if they've "spanked themselves eleven times and been sent to time-out" for reading the "incredibly graphic violence," or "Gotten in Big Trouble for Shouting Ka-Bloooosh." All in all, it's a cute and very interactive series. It's ideal for a child who has advanced reading skills at an early age, as well as reluctant older readers. There's plenty of good vocabulary words, but the text itself isn't too dense to scare off new readers. Pilkey did an excellent job with this series. One caveat, however, when the protagonists self-publish their comic books within the book, there are intentional misspellings. Use them as an opportunity to point out phonetic spellings versus actual English usage.
Teen, 16 years old Written byDrCool June 6, 2012

Captain Underpants is perfect for all ages!

I love this book! There are funny moments! The characters are perfectly drawn and it's got A LOT of action! Enjoy!
Parent of a 11 year old Written byjackson8888888888 February 19, 2011


Love it best book ever
Kid, 12 years old February 12, 2011

Inapproprite for little kids

Okay, but some changes can be made to make it more kid friendly and interesting.
Adult Written byAlphaZK93 January 21, 2011

If your kids emulate really easily, don't let them read this.

Honestly, I never had any issues with these books. I never had a negative effect with them and often found myself crying with laughter over how funny these all are. I would say that any kid over 8 should be fine as long as they don't start getting mouthy or anything. It really is pretty dang funny XD
Parent of a 6 year old Written byTrebuchet November 11, 2010

Lots of creative fun

The heroes of these books, George and Harold, are hardly good kids, endlessly pulling pranks and annoying people. But when there is a problem, they do whatever it takes to set things right, whether or not they are at fault. They are very creative, they don't take things personally, and they are quite forgiving and good-hearted. George and Harold do love potty humor, which I know annoys a lot of parents. My daughter thinks it's hilarious, and who am I to tell her what is funny? We talked about what is appropriate to say around people, and what might make others uncomfortable. And while potty humor isn't my thing, there is enough humor for adults that I don't mind when she reads them to me, which she insists on doing fairly often. I get the feeling Dav Pilkey genuinely likes and understands children, and the "About the Author" section makes it sound like the books came from his own childhood imagination. With so many moralistic, sanitized children's books for sale, I thought it was a relief to find some that were purely for fun. I know a lot of parents give these books to reluctant readers, but enthusiastic readers also like them. They also invite kids to make up their own superheroes and villains, and to try drawing and writing stories. The violence is cartoony, but it is in there, and parents trying to minimize exposure to violent stories might want to give them a miss.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byH2Clark March 28, 2010
We laughed out loud together as we read this book.
Teen, 13 years old Written byg.c.m. June 24, 2015

I loved these books!

I loved the Captain Underpants Series!!! I read them each several times while I was 8 or 9 years old! They were laugh out loud funny and will hold the attention of any young reader!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byitalocalvino March 24, 2014

Funny but poopy

It IS funny! But bathroom-related. More appropriate for kids in Grades 1,2 and 3 (or 5...only if your lucky...BUB!!!) - from L age 7
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 14 years old Written byvalley1234 October 13, 2013


its a great book your kids will really enjoy it
Kid, 11 years old September 18, 2013

A little violence but AWSOME!!!

This a really awesome book! I just go the remastered in full color and it rocks! But there is some violence though. Such as George and Harold beating the tar out of 2 robots and a massive explosion in an abandon building, but overall, Captain Underpants is a really good book!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byHardcoreMinecrafter1 June 3, 2013

Captain Underpants, Must Read Review Parents!!

Not the best of children's books. Inappropriate bathroom humor, and ridiculous jokes that don't make sense. Bad role model/ example, for kids. Misleading. Not education based.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 2 and 6 year old Written bysjjess September 24, 2012

So many better books out there.

Another parent said her son liked these books so I tried one out and I was appalled. The boys in this book have no redeeming qualities that I can make out. They are unkind to other children and adults alike. To call them "pranksters" is to laugh off a total lack of kindness, respect or empathy. Shouldn't kids be taught to consider the feelings of others? The ability to use funny potty language does not compensate for lacking a conscience.
Teen, 17 years old Written byBigbillyboy September 18, 2012

Captain Underpants is the 2nd best book series of all time,next to Diary Of A Wimpy Kid.

Man,Captain Underpants is awesome! It's soooooooooooo funny! Sure after reading the title of the book,you think it would be gay like Justin Bieber! But when you read it,you get AMAZED! It's such a funny book! I agree with JEDI micah!
Adult Written byJEDI micah September 14, 2012


This is a hilarious book! It has goofy illustrations, humorous characters, bad puns, a silly plot, and even a section of "flip-the-page" animation! I used to read this to my dad before he went to bed; he even found this book funny! Some parents may not like the poddy jokes, but come on! It's made to make you laugh! I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!
Teen, 13 years old Written bystan101 May 25, 2012

funny as heck

it really is epic.
What other families should know
Educational value
Kid, 11 years old February 22, 2012

A+ choice for reluctant readers

This "epic novel" packs a ton of cartoony, silly violence and potty humor, which will definitely appeal to young boys and/or reluctant readers. George and Harold are mostly good boys, but your kids may pick up a few things about skipping school and wreaking havoc around the neighborhood.
What other families should know
Too much violence