Here’s a dirty little secret. I like Captain Underpants.
Yes, I am a sucker for a good fart joke. Here’s my favorite scene from last season’s Brooklyn 99, featuring Terry Crews, um, farting.
My favorite Parks and Rec episode? The one withy Jerry’s fart attack. I laughed so hard I cried.
So, it should come as no surprise that my favorite Underpants line, found in The Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds, is: “And they could leap tall buildings with the gassy after-affects of their ‘Texas -style’ three-bean chili con carney. B-r-r-r-t.” You really need the visuals.
But here’s the thing, Dav Pilkey’s books are not only laugh-out-loud funny, but teach kids about writing too. How many third graders know about misdirection, a technique frequently used in suspense and mystery writing? Yet, Pilkey explains this in the beginning of one of his books after it looked like our intrepid heroes, George and Harold, had perished. I mean, the books are about writing. George and Harold are graphic novelists (fancy word for comic book writers) after all. Even Pilkey’s publisher, Scholastic, offers this guide for using Captain Underpants in the classroom.
So, in honor of Banned Books Week, here’s to Captain Underpants. And here’s a video Pilkey did just for the occasion: