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Recommended for ages 7-10
Warning: this book contains lots of disgusting snot, booger, mucus, and drippy, sticky gunk. The title should tip you off: Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part One, by Dav Pilkey. This is the sixth in the Captain Underpants series of graphic novels.
Even if you’re a fan of Captain Underpants already, you might not like this if you don’t like stories about snot blowing and dripping and flinging and flying. Because that’s basically all that happens this time.
You might already know that Harold Hutchins and George Beard are two friends at school who have a knack for getting into trouble. They are budding comic book artists. They write and illustrate their own series of comics featuring a superhero named Captain Underpants.
In reality, they have hypnotized their school principal, Mr. Krupp, to turn into this superhero whenever he hears a finger snap. He strips down to his underwear and a cape and flies off to fight evil, villains, and silly made-up monsters, like the one in this book.
The humor here is mostly based on the grossness of a robot who was crossed with a classmate who sneezed, producing a snot-dripping robotic kid monster thingie. At any rate, if you think kids sneezing and spewing mucous everywhere is funny, you’ll love this book.
On the other hand, if you think that’s disgusting, stay away. Because that’s basically what happens. Sure, the robot kid drippy snotty monster thingie goes on to make even more trouble, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens, and how Captain Underpants gets involved.
Once again, like in the other books in the Captain Underpants series, there are a few pages of Flip-O-Rama action. This is where you turn one page back and forth rapidly, so you see that page and the page after it. When you do it fast enough, it makes it look like a cartoon.
These are really fun to do. They usually involve some hitting, screaming, pained expressions on faces…that sort of thing. And you are encouraged to add your own crazy sound effects, which is great fun if you are an imaginative, dramatic kind of kid who likes that sort of thing.
Because it’s a graphic novel, it has lots of pictures–one on every page, at least. This is great to attract reluctant readers, who will then want to read more to find out what happens.
One of my students said, about the book, “It’s not even funny.” But there are tons of kids out there who love it. So you have to be the type who finds silly, disgusting humor funny. If not, you might want to stay clear of Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part One, by Dav Pilkey.
By Alina Niemi