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Book Review

This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the sixth book in the “Captain Underpants” series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Fourth-graders George Beard and Harold Hutchins have created their own comic superhero named Captain Underpants. They begin this book by drawing a comic for readers that recaps how they developed the character. They also show how they accidentally brought it to life when they hypnotized their principal. Now whenever someone snaps his fingers, Mr. Krupp turns into Captain Underpants and fights crime wearing only his briefs and a curtain for a cape.

As usual, Harold and George are causing trouble for teachers and classmates. On Demonstration Day, they give a speech on how to make "squishies" by placing folded ketchup packets under toilet seats. Soon, kids and teachers all over the school become victims or victimizers of this messy prank.

Brainiac Melvin Sneedly is put off by the boys’ immaturity. He has a real scientific demonstration to present. He has created the Combine-O-Tron 2000, a machine that will allow him to combine his hamster with a robot and make the hamster his cyber-slave.

Melvin becomes angry and frustrated when the transformed hamster, Sula, will not obey his commands. He starts to punish Sula with a paddle when the hamster paddles him instead. Melvin storms out of class. George and Harold feel sorry for the hamster he’s abandoned, so they take Sula to live in their treehouse.

Melvin tattles on George and Harold for starting the string of squishy pranks. George and Harold get detention, and they spend their sentence writing a Captain Underpants comic involving Melvin. The comic delights the other students, but Melvin vows to get revenge. He decides to use one of his bigger robots and combines it with himself. He envisions himself becoming heroic, muscular and powerful. But at the moment he turns on the Combine-O-Tron 2000, Melvin sneezes a gigantic glob of mucus on his hands. The machine incorporates this third element in the transformation.

Melvin becomes strong and robotic, but he is also covered in dripping boogers. Trails of slimy snot follow him wherever he goes, and everything he touches at school gets a coating of mucus. When he sneezes, he showers entire classrooms with nasal slime.

On the class field trip to the tissue factory, Melvin’s condition takes a turn for the worse. The more tissue the owner, Mr. Snoddy, pushes Melvin’s way, the angrier, larger and more violent Melvin becomes. Soon, he is enormous, and the city is covered in snot. George and Harold snap their fingers to turn Mr. Krupp into Captain Underpants.

Captain Underpants immediately saves teacher Miss Anthope from Melvin (i.e. Booger Boy) before Booger Boy swallows Captain Underpants whole. Sula hears the commotion with his bionic ears and comes to save the day by taking down the Bionic Booger Boy. Melvin’s scientist parents eventually manage to save Captain Underpants and return Melvin to his normal state.

In the process, however, three robotic booger chunks come to life and begin to chase the boys and Captain Underpants. Readers learn the outcome of the battle in the sequel to this book.

Christian Beliefs

None

Other Belief Systems

None

Authority Roles

Principal Krupp will stop at nothing to catch the boys at their pranks. When Krupp becomes Captain Underpants, he and the boys work together to fight bad guys. Melvin’s parents, who are scientists working on their own project, ignore him as he rants about his evil plans.

Profanity/Violence

The word heck appears once or twice. Several humorous warning pages appear, stating that extremely graphic violence will be shown in the pages that follow. What actually appears is mild cartoon violence, such as a person being hit in the head or the gut. No blood or serious injuries are depicted.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

A female teacher gives Captain Underpants a wet, sloppy kiss after he saves her life.

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

Bathroom humor and general grossness: Underpants are mentioned frequently. Silly cartoon drawings, which appear frequently throughout the book, depict Captain Underpants as a pudgy, bald man wearing fitted white briefs and a red cape. The large underpants never reveal any hint of the anatomy beneath. A robot in the boys’ cartoon drinks prune juice. Then the children he has just swallowed come pouring out his back end like diarrhea. Many detailed descriptions of mucus appear, as well as images depicting people and objects covered in chunky, warm, green nasal slime. The boys teach their classmates a trick in which they place ketchup packets under toilet seats. The result is ketchup being squirted all over the victim’s pants. Even one of the teachers finds it funny and plays the trick on the principal.

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

8 to 10

Genre

Humor

Author

Dav Pilkey

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Scholastic Inc.

Released

On Video

Year Published

2003

Awards

Unknown

Reviewer

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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