A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dav Pilkey's The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby is the first of two Super Diaper Baby books, and it is part of the humor writer's Captain Underpants series of graphic novels. Like the Captain Underpants titles, this is a comic book-within-a-book that is supposed to have been written by two young boys: George Beard and Harold Hutchins. Super Diaper Baby is a regular baby who becomes a super hero on the day he is born when he accidentally drinks the "super juice" that a villain tried to steal from Captain Underpants. The villain, Deputy Dangerous, is later mistakenly turned into a giant piece of poop. To say there's potty humor in this book would be a gross understatement. The book mainly consists of potty jokes, as well as cartoon slapstick violence and general silliness. It is both a pro and a con that Super Diaper Baby is exactly up the alley of middle graders. On the positive side, many reluctant readers learn to love books by reading Pilkey's hilarious comics, but kids also will learn gross bathroom jokes and language from this book, and the fictional authors, George and Harold, are atrocious spellers.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Dav Pilkey's The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby is a graphic novel spinoff of his Captain Underpants series. Like Captain Underpants, Super Diaper Baby is a super hero, only he is a baby in a diaper instead of a man wearing underwear. He's invented by George and Harold, two schoolboys whose principal catches them bursting ketchup packets in the gym and orders them to write a 100-page essay on good citizenship. The comic is their essay. At the start of their story, an evil villain named Deputy Dangerous and his sidekick, Danger Dog, lure Captain Underpants into a trap so that they can steal the "super juice" that makes Captain Underpants powerful. Danger Dog drinks some of the juice, but the remainder is accidentally consumed by a newborn baby, Billy Hoskins, who then becomes Super Diaper Baby. Later, Deputy Dangerous delivers a diabolical invention to the Hoskins' home -- a crib that will transfer Super Diaper Baby's powers to Deputy Dangerous via satellite. However, Mrs. Hoskins leaves a dirty diaper in the crib, and Deputy Dangerous is instead turned into a piece of poop, whom Danger Dog dubs Deputy Doo-Doo. The good baby and Danger Dog join forces, and battle it out with the poopy villain for world domination. In the sequel, Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers, the villain is a pee monster who steals everyone's toilets so that others will smell as bad as he does.
Is it any good?
Read once or twice, Super Diaper Baby is really pretty hilarious. Pilkey seems to have a direct line to the kid sense of humor, and his drawings are adorable and entertaining. The only problem is the humor is almost all of the bathroom variety, and it is soooo funny to kids that they will read it, and talk about it, many more times than adults might want. Parents also must grin and bear the many deliberate misspellings by George and Harold, the same way many of us accept the intentional grammar mistakes in the Junie B. Jones books.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about superheroes. What kind of superpower would you have if you could have any superpower?
What kind of comic book would you write if you made one of your own?
What do you like about Super Diaper Baby as a superhero?
Why do kids think poop jokes are so funny?
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