I picked this book up on a whim in my ever expanding quest to teach my autistic 10 year old son to read for pleasure. He's always been a fan of the Da...moreI picked this book up on a whim in my ever expanding quest to teach my autistic 10 year old son to read for pleasure. He's always been a fan of the David books by David Shannon and despite connecting with those real well it is time to move toward something more his grade (and reading) level. The set up of a superhero and two friends who get into loads of trouble piqued my interest. I shelled out for the super special collector's edition because it came with a cd that has bonus features, like a mini game and a music video. I thought spreading the book across multiple medias would help engage him (not to mention he loves playing on the computer).
And I completely scored on this one. From chapter one my kids loved this book. (And the book itself, not the cd!) Harold and George's adventures are mischievous and outrageous enough to not just get the kids reading, but rereading on their own and telling other people about it. When we finished they begged to go out and get the second one, which definitely pleased this book-loving mom.
In this first adventure kids can meet Harold and George, best friends who are also major tricksters. Harold and George often go way too far in their pranks (in fact, ruining everyone else's fun is a reoccurring theme and not shown in a positive light). But when really serious problems begin (like Dr. Diaper sending his evil robots to take over the world) Harold and George manage to do the right thing, proving they aren't bad boys, they just get carried away.
There are a ton of illustrations on every page and the super hero himself, Captain Underpants is so corny and over the top that it's hard not to love him. This book is a great option for middle grade readers,somewhere between Dr. Seuss but not ready to read chapter books on their own, or for tough to engage readers. I think can appeal to boys and girls and should absolutely be a part of public or school collections aimed at children. Teachers looking for a read on the fun side, with short, punchy chapters will find these books have a lot to offer too. And of course, parents might not like Harold and George's naughty natures, or the crudeness of some of the parts, but the moral of the story and getting kids reading trumps all.
If your kids (or you) like the Captain Underpants series it's only a matter of time before you find this book. A side growth...moreWe bought this book used.
If your kids (or you) like the Captain Underpants series it's only a matter of time before you find this book. A side growth of Pilkey's much-loved series Super Diaper Baby is written in the style used to show George and Harold's comics in the Captain Underpants books, and even features a cameo from the main man himself. Outside of that this book is a 125 page poop joke.
If you couldn't handle the gross outs and juvenile jokes of the original series then avoid this one. But well, though gross (the main bad guy gets turned into poop pretty early in and the jokes just spiral from there) my kids thought this one was hilarious (and kept correcting me that Dav Pilkey was the author, not Harold and George.)
Mom and Dad, however, were less amused so any re-read value here will be kids only. Altogether it wasn't bad, Pilkey does an excellent job of nailing the kid mindset (the same kind of maturity range that Nickelodeon is also an expert at reaching). The book is filthy fun, but at its heart it's encouraging silliness, doing the right thing and true creativity. However it's probably not a great choice for public or school collections as the subject matter is bound to be fertile (get it?) for causing problems with sensitive kids or picky parents. Teachers and public librarians are better off sticking with the Captain Underpants books and letting fans pick this one up at the store.
Contains: LOTS of poop jokes (visual and language-based)(less)
The bad part of these girl-centric books is the Disney need to slap on a message. This particular book doesn't do well when...moreWe bought this book used.
The bad part of these girl-centric books is the Disney need to slap on a message. This particular book doesn't do well when it comes to establishing the fairy world, or even Beck as a character and instead focuses—a lot—on a great civil war between forest critters where the only casualties are berries. While fighting and battles themselves aren't funny by nature, even my six year old got bored with the whole fighting-over-a-misunderstanding premise, which she informed me was the case right away. This book was just a huge miss with us. My son was bored out of his mind by the glittery cover and girly point of view (but we switch who gets to pick the books and it was my daughter's turn) and even my daughter didn't get nearly as excited or involved with the book as she usually does. She was hoping for more bits about taking care of animals (which was in fact why she picked this book up, because Beck is an animal-caretaker fairy). She also failed to connect with the tension at the climax because it involves a hawk as an uber bad guy and this past summer we met a few hawks at a presentation from the Louisville Raptor Rehabilitation group. In the end we just all ended up feeling like this book was too little for its audience despite how much we wanted to like it.(less)
A cute little story about an Appalachian cryptid named the Snallygaster, Beware the Snallygaster is quick-paced and filled with mystery. Holly and Pet...moreA cute little story about an Appalachian cryptid named the Snallygaster, Beware the Snallygaster is quick-paced and filled with mystery. Holly and Peter are two intrepid fifth graders determined to find out whether the Snallygaster is real or not for the sake of their reputations (and grades). But how do you catch a mythical monster that might be dead? While some of story vocabulary might above the reading level for the ages Amazon lists it for (9-12), Beware the Snallygaster is a fun and very modern Halloween-themed story, good for before bed reading or for parents who love cryptids and want to share that with their kids. Recommended for public collections as well. Contains: alcohol (including moonshine which is essential to the legend), references to violence and gore(less)
Big Bear Hug is a short picture book with an environmental theme about a bear who loves his woods so much he hugs everything (and everyone) in them. O...moreBig Bear Hug is a short picture book with an environmental theme about a bear who loves his woods so much he hugs everything (and everyone) in them. One day he comes upon a person cutting down a tree and is faced with a dilemma of how best to defend his forest (he is a bear after all).
While this is, literally, a “tree-hugging” book in the end I thought it was far more about individualism and being true to yourself, keeping the green message clear, but not hitting readers over the head with it, or with guilt. It's cute too, and easily charmed both my children.
Good for libraries that might need a variety of themes, or parents who want to teach care of the environment without taking too hard of a line, or for kids who love animals. Big Bear Hug is one of the better quality books out there, in both content and illustrations.(less)
This tale of a bunny found in a movie theater showing Dracula is as old as I am. But the lovably dumb dog who is the point of view character and his c...moreThis tale of a bunny found in a movie theater showing Dracula is as old as I am. But the lovably dumb dog who is the point of view character and his cat friend who is too smart for his own good really seem to connect with kids. This books also has just enough tension to be exciting and enough camp to make the mystery safe rather than scary. Horror fans take note, this is a great starter book for the genre. (less)
Parents who aren't already on the Captain Underpants bandwagon are missing out. These books are fun, funny and most of all they get kids engaged with...more Parents who aren't already on the Captain Underpants bandwagon are missing out. These books are fun, funny and most of all they get kids engaged with real books, not just game screens.
Harold and George are best friends and a pair of truly mischievous kids. In the first book they kinda sorta accidentally brainwashed their mean principal into becoming Captain Underpants, the comic superhero they created. In this book Principal Krupp (Captain Underpants' alter ego) is holding the second annual Invention Convention, and after George and Harold ruined the last one with a new body heat activated, super fast drying glue he's declared them not invited. Upset George and Harold break into the gym and prank all the other inventions. However their mischievous actions (which unfortunately in this book have no redeeming qualities) cause a bunch of trouble when they accidentally misuse an invention which brings the bad guys from their latest comic to life. The book is fun, well illustrated and beyond wacky. The collectors edition includes a cd with music videos, games and other fun side features (a must have for real fans, and also an extra way to engage those tough to reach kids. My son is autistic and he cannot get enough of this series and even asks to go to the bookstore to get the next in the series as we finish each one.) Highly recommended, despite the fact that Harold and George are at times jerks, because of how it reached kids.
The last Pilkey book we read was the disgustingly over-the-top Super Diaper Baby. Now back to the core series we found the gross...moreWe bought this book.
The last Pilkey book we read was the disgustingly over-the-top Super Diaper Baby. Now back to the core series we found the gross out factor is destined to remain high.
In this book Harold and George, our heroes, teach their classmates a prank called "Squishies" which will have parents checking the toilet before sitting down for weeks. Their classmate Melvin Sneedly tries to show off an invention that combines two things (like a bionic robot and a hamster). Despite being smart Melvin is not a good kid and he reacts badly to his classmates being less interested in watching him yell at his hamster than trying out a prank.
Probably not the best of moves, Harold and George turn Melvin into a spoiled brat monster in one of their comics which pushes Melvin to show everyone how much cooler he is than George and Harold by turning himself into a bionic robot. Too bad Melvin has allergies and sneezes right before the combining.
Surprisingly Melvin, unlike the rest of Harold and George's victims, doesn't turn evil until he's assaulted by a tissue man on a school field trip. Then George, Harold and Captain Underpants have to defeat their grossest bad guy yet, and all during cold and flu season.
Despite what parents think, kids adore this series. It has the right combination of gross, funny and meat to it. And it does redeem itself by showing that you don't have to get straight As or always be right to be the good guy. It also pokes fun at itself and combines a subtle use of language with the subject matter which helps push middle grade reader boundaries.
I'd be surprised if libraries don't already have this series, but parents looking for books to encourage their kids to read for pleasure outside of school should definitely try this series. It's funny, gross, sometimes a little bit scary, but all in a safe way.
When we last saw our heroes they were facing down three terrifying boogie monsters. In this book, Sulu the bionic hamster saves them, but that just fl...moreWhen we last saw our heroes they were facing down three terrifying boogie monsters. In this book, Sulu the bionic hamster saves them, but that just flings George, Harold and Captain Underpants into their wildest adventure yet. If Mr. Krupp and Melvin Sneedley having switched bodies wasn't enough now Melvin is principal! And that means Melvin has Mr. Krupp's super powers and Captain Underpants has none.
This is a tangled plot that only...time travel can fix?
The Captain Underpants books are fun, silly (and a little gross) books that kids really love. They're good for reluctant readers since there aren't huge blocks of text to overwhelm them. Best for a 6-13 age range they make excellent library or class collection books as well.(less)
We love the Captain Underpants books here, the kids for their silliness (and yes, gross humor) and the parents because these books have gotten our aut...moreWe love the Captain Underpants books here, the kids for their silliness (and yes, gross humor) and the parents because these books have gotten our autistic son excited about reading and more importantly talking about reading, like no other. He eagerly snatches up the new book and runs over to show us which new sign Harold and George are going to mix up and turn into something gross this time. We've even caught him reading his Captain Underpants books—by choice!
Now our daughter loves reading—anything--so getting her engaged isn't as hard. She, too, loves these books for their high giggle factor.
In this third book (intimidatingly titled “Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds)” ) finally brings Harold and George, creators of both the comic and real Captain Underpants and major prankster, into full hero roles as one of their pranks (a sciency one!) leads to them being the only students not turned into evil zombie nerds by alien invaders. So they and their principal, Mr. Krupp as his heroic alter ego, Captain Underpants, must save the world, and the school, from total destruction.
Despite their sometimes destructive and often naughty ways it's stories like this which prove Harold and George and sweeties (and heroes) at heart. This is probably our favorite Captain Underpants story so far.
In the last book Mr. Krupp, the grumpy principal who students George and Harold accidentally hypnotized into believing he was a comic book superhero g...moreIn the last book Mr. Krupp, the grumpy principal who students George and Harold accidentally hypnotized into believing he was a comic book superhero got real life super powers after tangling with a trio of evil aliens. Those powers are going to come in handy because in this book George, Harold and Captain Underpants are going to have to defeat a crazy scientist who's mad because everyone keeps making fun of his name.
The Captain Underpants books are part comic, part story, all hilarious (and inappropriately so, as George and Harold point out, making fun of their own franchise, and meta-storytelling.) They're a series of fun books and increasingly George and Harold are shaping up to be real heroic good guys, capable sidekicks to Captain Underpants' outrageous, goofy goodness.
The fifth book in the Captain Underpants series brings things back to the beginning and even busts out the 3D HypnoRing that...moreWe bought this book used.
The fifth book in the Captain Underpants series brings things back to the beginning and even busts out the 3D HypnoRing that started it all. Long-time troublemakers Harold and George try to break free from the smothering demands of their school by tricking Principal Krupp into asking their teacher, Ms. Ribble. to marry him. Ms. Ribble responds by flunking them. George and Harold try to correct things with the hypno-ring but only end up with a super powered evil woman on their hands.
In a stellar super hero showdown featuring underwear, giant robots and prehensile hair George and Harold must save Captain Underpants from himself and get their teacher back to the mean old ordinary woman she's supposed to be.
The Captain Underpants series is hilarious, fun and silly enough to pull in even the most resistant reader. The conflict is often based around George and Harold making mistakes and having to fix them and the language features a lot of puns and in jokes, which while silly are also great for helping kids with comprehension and language development. It should be a part of public collections for kids for sure and makes for great before-bed reading as well.
Chester and Harold are back, along with new partner in crime Howie. Unfortunately Bunnicula is missing...moreWe bought this book from the library book sale.
Chester and Harold are back, along with new partner in crime Howie. Unfortunately Bunnicula is missing, and Chester takes it upon himself to teach Harold and Howie the dangers of having a vampire bunny on the lose (in the form of veggie ghoul minions wandering around the neighborhood). So now the trio are on a mission to stake all the white vampire victim veggies they can find before they rise, and to find and imprison (or destroy) Bunnicula for good.
This book is hilarious and outrageous, made more so by the fact that kids will know right away that there's some huge misunderstanding going on. It can be read if you haven't read the others first, but of course there's more enjoyment when you've followed the series so far. If you children love almost-smart animals as leads this is definitely a good "spooky" mystery series to pick up.
Coraline Jones, ignored, unappreciated and outright bored, lives in a house with a crazy old man who trains rats in the flat above her, and a pair of...moreCoraline Jones, ignored, unappreciated and outright bored, lives in a house with a crazy old man who trains rats in the flat above her, and a pair of retired actresses and their dog in the flat below her. In her flat there is a most wondrous door, which leads to nowhere, except at night, when it leads to a whole other world built just for her.
By now between the book and the movie, you've probably heard of it, if not seen or read it. But for those who haven't met Coraline and her creepy, button-eyed other mother there's a few things they should know.
Coraline isn't Gaiman's best work, or the prettiest as far as story or prose goes. What it is is incredibly imaginative and unlike any other scary kids book out there. The stand out element isn't the true bizarreness, but Coraline herself, strong, courageous and most importantly a very smart little girl.
This book is as much about how a child deals with the bad things in life as it is about parental abandonment or the scary things that go bump in the night. Like the Harry Potter series faces themes of losing the people you love, Coraline contains a subtle, encouraging message about being strong, fierce and bringing your own bravery into all the challenges you face.
For this reason alone it's a must-have addition to any child or child-oriented library. The other elements just add to the experience, making Coraline a potential children's classic for years to come.(less)