Monday, September 10, 2012

From Pooh to poo - Why I like Captain Underpants too (hey, that rhymes!)

Goodbye Winnie The Pooh, hello Captain Underpants! (as long as they like reading... right?)

One thing I will never get used to is how much joy potty humor brings my two boys.  Are girls like this at 4 and 6 years old???

The newest Captain Underpants book was released at the end of August.  I LOVE that Dave Pilkey gets boys interested in books, and I will admit to giggling at some of the jokes aimed them (Pilkey is a deceptively smart story teller who knows his audience).  

Although we have yet to read the newest one (we will be buying it thorough the Scholastic book club at my son's school), I can tell you now that my kids will love it.  

I was weary about starting the series (especially with my older son), for fear of potty humor escaping into the school/classroom.  As grade one sped along, I quickly realized I can't do much about his choice of humor at school (or anywhere else).  We try to teach him the right time and place for potty humor:  with friends at recess - yes; when talking to your teacher/principal - no; when playing with your brother - yes; at the dinner table - no. 

Potty humor aside, the books are fun, and creative.  (A note to squirm-ish parents:  the spin off graphic novel series "Super Diaper Baby" is shameless with it's potty humor - explained by the concept that the comics were written by the two main characters in Captain Underpants) .

With the success of the Underpants series Pilkey's other books have been shoved out of the spotlight. A fabulous series that Dave Pilkey wrote following Captain Underpants is Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot. 

It's about a bullied boy who is befriend by a giant robot and ends up saving the world at the end of every book.  Again, aimed at boys, but with NO POTTY HUMOR. Each book has a different villain who invades Earth from one of the planets in our solar system: Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Vs. the Jurassic Jack Rabbits From Jupiter
 Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Vs. the Mutant Mosquitoes From Mercury; and so on.

Unfortunately, the Ricky series stops at Uranus - two more books where (supposedly) intended for the series, but with the success of Captain Underpants and Super Diaper Baby, is seems that Pilkey has been cashing in on the "sure sell" of poo and farts. 

As for story time at our house: I have given up suggesting Winnie the Pooh, the Gruffalo and and other kids books I might nostalgically enjoy more then my kids.  As long as they are interested in books, I can put up with the potty words - it's fun to laugh with them and I like that they look forward to story time still.  It won't long until they won't need me to read a story to them, and one day (I've been told), I'll miss it.

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