By Dav Pilkey
From the back cover
JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO FLUSH…
The Turbo Toilet 2000 strikes back! The carnivorous commode known for devouring everything in its path has built up a real appetite… for REVENGE! Luckily, the fate of humanity is once again in the hands of George and Harold and their annoying nemesis Melvin Sneedly. Will Wedgie Power prevail? Or will the amazing Captain Underpants be flushed away forever?
Captain Underpants is the most banned book in schools by parents and teachers in America. However, I have seen books of this series in almost every 3rd-5th grade student’s hands. Kids find them funny, silly, and interesting and many parents are encouraged to purchase them for their reluctant readers. I have read numerous reviews on this book before writing my own and I found that adults either really love it or they really hate it. I am not surprised. Here’s a breakdown of the contents of this book in the series:
In a gist…
None except at the end there is a subtle mention of animals mating, the kids scream out “eeeww” and one of the children questions “how could a mammal mate with a reptile?” Only to be met with more “eeww’s” from the other kids. This is all that is mentioned though.
There are countless scenes of cartoon violence. The violence is mostly of Captain Underpants fighting with a giant toilet.
Mild language including the words idiot, dumb, and the word fat was directed to the robot.
Degradation of Family/Islamic Values
– Captain Underpants books have been banned from many schools because parents and teachers believe that the stories encourage young children to disobey and insult authority figures, especially school authority.
– The school teachers and principal are portrayed as evil and heartless bullies.
– The boys prank their school staff and trick them into believing that they were living a dream and we suddenly find the whole school running around in their underwear (Chapters 23 and 24 see pictures below). They all get arrested and sent to jail for this behaviour.
– A school staff pulls down a police officer’s pants in chapter 24, however she gets punished for that with jail time.
– The school principal suddenly gains superpowers while wearing underpants and a cape.
– There are many drawings of rear ends in this book
– Melvin is portrayed as the saviour, the book states that “Whenever anybody needed help, all they had to do was lift their heads to the sky and cry out ‘YO! Big Melvin!’ And Big Melvin would drop whatever he was doing and zip to the scene and save the day”. This falls under the same ideologies as seeking help from a superhuman, like Superman, or any creation instead of the Creator, instead, children should be taught to lift up their heads and cry out “Ya Allah!”.
– There’s an illustration of a boy kicking a monster in his private area.
– There are two pages of this book where Captain Underpants is drawn spanking a robot on it’s human-like rear end (Chapter 29, see picture at the bottom of this review)
This book contains parts that are supposedly written by the two boys, George and Harold. These parts of the book contain terribly misspelled words (like “prinsiple” instead of “principal”, “blackmale” instead of “blackmail”, “hipnitized” for “hypnotized” to name a few) which made me wonder about the type of influence this would have on a beginner reader’s writing and reading abilities. The book also includes made up words like “evilly” and “superherodom”.
Captain Underpants books have been banned from many schools in the United States for understandable reasons. I have pointed out all the controversial points in the above breakdown and I leave it up to the parents and guardians to decide whether they feel the books will have a negative influence on their children or not.