Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinketrousers

Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinketrousers

Fall 2012 Fiction
Ages: 7 & Up
Author: Dav Pilkey
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9780545175340
Hardcover Price: $9.99

The infamous superhero is back in Dav Pilkey's long-awaited ninth installment of the Captain Underpants series. In Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers, the plots and pitfalls are as smart and fun as ever.

It's hard not to be charmed by Pilkey's motley cast of characters, and this book introduces some new ones that are equally delightful. It begins with a flashback to the day Harold and George, the series' fourth-grade heroes, first met in Kindergarten. Pilkey introduces readers to what he humorously illustrates as the Banana Cream Pie Paradox-the idea that altering anything in time travel has real consequences in the present. Past storylines are affected, explained and tied in to the explanation, including epic showdowns between Captain Underpants and Tippy Tinkletrousers. Pilkey's sharp humor shines, and is as much fun for parents as their young readers.

Harold and George bond on their first day of school over a common nemesis: Kipper Krupp. Kipper and his menacing cohorts are the sixth-grade bullies at Jerome Horwitz Elementary. Since Kipper's uncle is also Principal Krupp, he gets away with everything. The gang is seemingly invincible. But the multi-phased scheme George and Harold pull to bring the bullies down is perfectly-paced and brilliant. Pilkey's accompanying renderings of the boys' original comic books, with their misspellings and malapropisms are also pitch perfect.

For readers unfamiliar with Captain Underpants, there's enough back story here to hook them and fill in the gaps, and it's a satisfying ninth book for followers of the series. Children and parents concerned with bullying will especially enjoy this comedic approach to the issue.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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