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Parent reviews for The Adventures of Captain Underpants: Captain Underpants, Book 1

Common Sense says

Gross potty humor, funny pranks will hook reluctant readers.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 23 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 39 reviews
Adult Written bybmmonge January 16, 2019

Are these parents serious?? XD

I am shocked at how many parents think this book is inappropriate for kids, some even going as far as saying it should be for ages 18+. LOL! Really?? I was still in Elementary school when the first few books came out and I always looked forward to buying them at the school book fair. There's nothing more than just some childish humor but that was the whole point! Just something to read and have a good laugh. Some comments state that it endorses bullying. They were only harmless pranks. Other comments complained about the language. Look, I am 28 years old. I have never bullied anyone or even spoke like the kids in the book because I realized ITS JUST A BOOK. A book like this is made just for laughs and not to imitate. Sheesh, how will kids grow up to be mature when their own parents act like babies. BTW, I only came across this site because I am a writer and wanted to find out what the age recommendation was for this book and use it as reference for my next book.
Parent of a 6 year old Written byLJB80 August 16, 2018

Read it together

Got this for my 5 year old and he loves it. I was a bit worried about the toilet humour as he was already big on that but I find by reading it with him we can talk about anything that might be inappropriate so it's quite useful. He loves it and it has opened up a whole new world of early chapter books.
Parent of a 6 year old Written byailbhed July 20, 2018

These books are hilarious and smarter than they seem

My son, who's almost 6, has worked his way through 8 of the Captain Underpants books so far (we read them aloud to him). He LOVES them, and I enjoy them too. They're ridiculously rude, but that's part of the fun! The Common Sense review says that no one would mistake them for great literature, but in fact they have a lot in common with great literature; particularly modernist literature, which explodes chronology and is radically honest about bodily functions. They explore questions about time travel and history in a clever way, each book building on the previous ones. They're full of running jokes and mad surprises. My only concern about them is that they have a terrible approach to gender issues and a certain streak of homophobia: there's an episode where some footballers are tricked into behaving effeminately, for instance, and this is considered a humilation. However, I understand that Dav Pilkey's no-nonsense approach is meant to appeal to kids who might otherwise find that children's books don't reflect the (awful) truth about elementary school. I think these books are so much fun. My recommendation would be to dive in, read them aloud to your children, and use the problematic parts as an opportunity to talk about issues around bullying / gender / homophobia with them.

This title contains:

Educational Value