THE ADVENTURES OF SUPER DIAPER BABY

THE FIRST GRAPHIC NOVEL BY GEORGE BEARD AND HAROLD HUTCHINS

Familiar faces and familiar themes reappear in Pilkey’s newest addition to the Captain Underpants family. George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the merry pranksters of his wildly popular series, are back, this time as authors of a “graphic novel.” Punished by their principal, Mr. Krupp, the boys are sentenced to write a 100-page essay on “Good Citizenship.” Of course, that doesn’t happen. The story of Super Diaper Baby is their not-so-contrite response to the punishment. There is plenty to be offended by in this truly “graphic” work. Adults and children who can spell well will surely be distracted and occasionally confused by the plethora of misspelled words and missing punctuation marks. The bad guy being turned into a giant “piece of poo” and many more visual and written references to human excrement will revolt grownups and embarrass some members of the intended audience. When Diaper Dog reassures the newly transformed Deputy Dangerous that it could be worse, “you could have been turned into diareah [sic],” most adults will consider closing the covers and turning to more serious fare. But most children get a delicious thrill from reading forbidden and naughty things, and Pilkey has filled this niche for the emergent reader. Silly puns abound. Scatological humor is the order of the day, crowned with a toilet-paper–wrapped Deputy Doo-Doo being delivered to, you guessed it, Uranus. Adults will want to use this book as a birdcage liner, and young readers with elementary senses of humor will revel in the humor and silliness. Some readers might feel encouraged to design their own comic books. More sophisticated readers will better appreciate the forbidden humor of Roald Dahl. (Fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-439-37605-X

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2002

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Pilkey is still having entirely too much fun with this popular series, which continues to careen along with nary a whiff of...

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE WRATH OF THE WICKED WEDGIE WOMAN

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 5

Trying to salvage failing grades, George and Harold use their handy 3-D Hypno Ring on termagant teacher Ms. Ribble—and succeed only in creating a supervillain with a medusa-like ’do and a yen to conquer the world with wedgie power. 

Using a pair of robot sidekicks and plenty of spray starch, she even overcomes Captain Underpants. Is it curtains (or rather, wedgies) for all of us? Can the redoubtable fourth graders rescue the Waistband Warrior (a.k.a. Principal Krupp) and find a way to save the day? Well, duh. Not, of course, without an epic battle waged in low-budget Flip-O-Rama, plus no fewer than three homemade comics, including an “Origin of Captain Underpants” in which we learn that his home planet of Underpantyworld was destroyed by the . . . wait for it . . . “Starch Ship Enterprize.” As in the previous four episodes, neither the pace nor the funky humor (“Diapers and toilets and poop . . . oh my!”) lets up for a moment.  Pilkey is still having entirely too much fun with this popular series, which continues to careen along with nary a whiff of staleness. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-439-04999-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2001

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Ironically, by choosing such a dramatic catalyst, the author weakens the adventure’s impact overall and leaves readers to...

ESCAPE FROM BAXTERS' BARN

A group of talking farm animals catches wind of the farm owner’s intention to burn the barn (with them in it) for insurance money and hatches a plan to flee.

Bond begins briskly—within the first 10 pages, barn cat Burdock has overheard Dewey Baxter’s nefarious plan, and by Page 17, all of the farm animals have been introduced and Burdock is sharing the terrifying news. Grady, Dewey’s (ever-so-slightly) more principled brother, refuses to go along, but instead of standing his ground, he simply disappears. This leaves the animals to fend for themselves. They do so by relying on their individual strengths and one another. Their talents and personalities match their species, bringing an element of realism to balance the fantasy elements. However, nothing can truly compensate for the bland horror of the premise. Not the growing sense of family among the animals, the serendipitous intervention of an unknown inhabitant of the barn, nor the convenient discovery of an alternate home. Meanwhile, Bond’s black-and-white drawings, justly compared to those of Garth Williams, amplify the sense of dissonance. Charming vignettes and single- and double-page illustrations create a pastoral world into which the threat of large-scale violence comes as a shock.

Ironically, by choosing such a dramatic catalyst, the author weakens the adventure’s impact overall and leaves readers to ponder the awkward coincidences that propel the plot. (Animal fantasy. 8-10)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-544-33217-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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