Ugh. I remember the first time I came across The Adventures of Captain Underpants as a kid. It was during the Scholastic Book Fair, I believe–it may have been a different one, but it was one of those events–and I vaguely recall being uninterested. Flash forward some time and for some reason, I still cannot fathom to this day I read the first of the series. Looking back on this story, all I can really manage to think is yikes.
I hated this book back then, I still hate it now.
It’s kind of fascinating to me that they ended up making a movie out of this. And, granted, my distaste for the bathroom humor that is riddled throughout this book is really a personal thing. I’ve worked with enough kids to know that fart and poop jokes will always be hilarious to many of them. And so, it makes sense that this book has entertained many, many children.
So, why one star?
Well, there’s the gross factor. Then there’s the blatant disrespect for adults that crops up again and again. The main characters, Harold and George aren’t really good role models at all. It seems to me that the merit of these books is largely in amusing the heck out of kids with vulgarity. Which, fine, I get that. But also…ew.
I don’t like the artwork, either. Frankly, it just kind of always bothered me more than the book itself. The story is one thing, but every time I see the cover I cringe. I just could never bring myself to like anything about this from the imagery to the descriptions. But then, I was never an eight-year-old who found disgusting funny.