Earlier this year my youngest son asked me to read Captain Underpants with him at bedtime. I typically read whatever he chooses, so I had no problem reading this. I didn't know what to expect except I did assume there would be potty humor. After reading the book, I flipped back to the About the Author section. I was saddened and impressed. The author, Dav Pilkey, stated that as a kid he struggled. He was repeatedly sent out to the hallway for disrupting the classroom. This made me really sad for him as a child. He has dyslexia and ADHD. He was not supported by his school experience as a young child. He was and is very creative. Kids LOVE to read his books. Is there gross potty humor? Yes. Do kids love reading it? YES! I'm glad my kids enjoy reading his books. Does it increase the potty humor in our house? Not really. My boys have engaged in potty humor since they were very little, long before they could read Captain Underpants. I am thankful that Dav Pilkey is open about his dyslexia and ADHD. I'm sorry he struggled as a kid, but I am thankful that he was able to create Captian Underpants. Many people have heard of dyslexia and ADHD but not that many people really understand. We need more awareness of how ADHD makes kids different. It doesn't make them “bad” or “problem children”. If you can understand more about how their minds work you will be able to help them succeed in school and life. By helping them harness their gifts they can excel! A different way of thinking and learning should not be looked down upon, but celebrated! I love the creativity of these books and kids like it too. Too often the creative kids that don't fit the norm are not supported. Even the main character, George and Harold have ADHD. In several of the books, Dav talks about how George and Harold are smart in different ways. I'm glad Dav was able to stay true to himself and carry on creating “silly comic books” for us all to enjoy!
Not only do my kids like to read them, they are good books! They include a lot of words to expand young children's vocabulary such as “coagulated” and “humongous”. It's also full of alliterations which my youngest loves to point out since learning about it in school this past year. I love that my kids get excited to read, even though it's summer break they each wake up and read with breakfast and read before going to bed. Sometimes they even read in the middle of the day. We also recently went to see the Captain Underpants movie, it was definitely a hit for my 2 boys. If you are struggling to get your elementary kids to enjoy reading I highly recommend the Captian Underpants series. With at least 12 books, it will keep them reading for at least a few weeks, if not all summer! to start your collection of Captian Underpants books click here