Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Family movie night? There's an app for that

Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.

Parents' Guide to

The Adventures of Captain Underpants: Captain Underpants, Book 1

By Stephany Aulenback, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Gross potty humor, funny pranks will hook reluctant readers.

Book Dav Pilkey Humor 1997
The Adventures of Captain Underpants: Captain Underpants, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 22 parent reviews

age 9+

And we wonder why this generation lacks respect

the main characters are terribly disrespectful to the adults. and the reader is made to laugh at this behavior. for new readers this book is filled with poor sentences. this book is popular just as candy is more popular than veggies. so sure give them tons of candy because that is easier.
age 10+

Excessively violent, not for pre-teen children

These books are visually stimulating and interesting to your children. Unfortunately the storyline consists of a fantastic amount of graphic violence. The story promotes violence, bullying, prank playing and blackmail. The solutions to all of these issues according to this book is more violence. This is a terrible guide to a developing child, for those that are looking for a way to get your child interested in reading there are many graphic novels and storybooks that are visually stimulating and do not condone and endorse violence. It's the format that attracts the child, not the story. The book does have some witty, political and social commentary, all of which is way above the head of the target demographic for this book.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (22 ):
Kids say (40 ):

While no one would mistake this for fine literature, playful and engaging artwork by writer-illustrator Pilkey just might hook a reluctant reader. But The Adventures of Captain Underpants is full of borderline mean jokes, puns, bathroom humor, and disrespectful behavior, so if you or your kids can't stand the thought of using a piece of "fake doggy doo-doo" to fight a diaper-wearing mad scientist, then this book isn't for them.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate