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

Parents say

(out of 14 reviews)
age 7+
Review this title!
Adult Written byMediaMomPhd September 27, 2013
age 8+

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
age 8+

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.
Adult Written bya_adams April 9, 2008
age 0+

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.
Parent of a 11 year old Written byjackson8888888888 February 19, 2011
age 11+


Love it best book ever
Adult Written byAlphaZK93 January 21, 2011
age 8+

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
age 6+

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 Written byitalocalvino March 24, 2014
age 5+

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
Parent of a 2 and 6 year old Written bysjjess September 24, 2012
age 8+

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.
Adult Written byJEDI micah September 14, 2012
age 6+


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!!!
Parent of a 10 year old Written bycrazydenza10 August 16, 2010
age 10+
my kid age 10 and 3quarters reads it i think its really good for kids with crude humor
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byH2Clark March 28, 2010
age 7+
We laughed out loud together as we read this book.
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byJamie and James March 14, 2010
age 6+

A smidge GROSS?

Well, James has always loved these books, but I find them awful. I wish he would move on to a different series already, but at least he can't stop reading!
Educator Written byjbcsmom November 28, 2009
age 5+


It ain't bad one bit.
Adult Written bySheri Tallman April 9, 2008