Title: Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers
Author: Dav Pilkey
Year published: 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Inc
Number of pages: 192
Recommended age: 7+
Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)
Amazon (US) * Amazon (Canada)
1. What is the story about? Tippy Tinkletrousers, Captain Underpants, George, Harold,and their little pets keep traveling back and forth through time. There were lots of different sizes of Tippy Tinkletrousers and there were old and new Captain Underpants, Harolds, and Georges and they met in the future.
2. What do you think of the cover and/or the pictures in the book? I liked all the pictures – they make the story funnier. My favorites are the Flip-O-Ramas. They are fun and I like doing them. I really liked the cave drawings that Harold and George drew. It was cool seeing Ook and Gluk because I like that book too.
3. What is your favorite part of the story? I liked the part where George and Harold were explaining to the cave people what they had to do to defeat Tippy Tinkletrousers. I liked how there was a lot of Tippy’s like Mega-Tippy, Tiny-Tippy, and Supa Mega Tippy, Slightly Younger Tiny Tippy, Big Tippy. It was also funny how George and Harold meet themselves in the future and learn that they are teachers.
4. What is your least favorite part of the story? The song in the book, “I’m Smarter Than You” was my least favorite part of the story, because it was inappropriate. It had bad words like “dumber” and all of it is teasing and teasing is mean.
5. Who do you think would like this book? This book was funny and I loved reading it. I want to read all the Captain Underpants books. I think all boys (kid boys) would like to read this book.
Son Rating: ★★★★★
What it’s About:
The 10th book in the popular middle grade series by Dav Pilkey begins where the 9th left off. George and Harold have been transformed into giant zombie nerds and have snuffed out the only person who can transform them back to normal: the super-villain Tippy Tinkletrousers. Oh, whatever shall happen now?
Well, things are not quite as they seem and it turns out that we readers have had the wool pulled over our eyes. Tippy Tinkletrousers, in fact, is still very much alive. I know – shocking, isn’t it? Tippy uses his Tinkle-Time Travelometer to travel to the past to undo his misdeeds so that he could, in his words, stop the “…chain reaction that resulted in the total destruction of the Earth, more or less!” But Tippy isn’t the only one capable of time-traveling. George and Harold also have a home made time machine, the Purple Potty, that they use to try to influence the past, present, future (ok, it’s kind of hard to follow, I admit).
Well, of course, George, Harold, and the title character, Captain Underpants save the day once again, but not before we are left with yet another cliffhanger in the form of their old nemesis, Melvin Sneedly who appears from the past and nabs our three heroes once again. The title of the 11th (and upcoming book), you ask? Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000.
My Decision to Review This Book:
Oh, Captain Underpants!! What am I to do about you?! For those of you who have either read our review of the first Captain Underpants book or who have seen and/or participated in our recent comment thread, you know that I’m not a big fan of these books. I, like countless other parents, teachers, educators, librarians, and others, have issues with many of the themes and the overall appropriateness of the books. The problem is that my son LOVES the books. He comes home with them on his school library days. What’s a Mom to do?
If there’s one thing I am, it’s open-minded. I will listen to the arguments emerging from both sides and weigh them in my mind. It just so happens that I received an email from a publicist promoting the 10th book in the Captain Underpants series. After I explained that I trashed the first book on our website, she encouraged me to have a look at the book before I made up my mind. With much ambivalence, I agreed to read the book with an open mind.
So, what did I think? Well, I begrudgingly must admit that some of the issues I had with the first book do not seem to be as much of an issue in this book. George and Harold, who behave badly in the first book, really are the superheroes in this book. They spend the entire book working side-by-side with Captain Underpants and the cave people in defeating the evil Tippy Tinkletrousers. In fact, at their darkest hour they go so far as to say “We’re going to be responsible and mature from now on!” Of course, they change their mind when they meet their future selves, but you just have to read the book to see why.
There is still potty humour (e.g., the name of the supervillain is Tippy Tinkletrousers) and the story itself is beyond ridiculous and silly, but there are truly laugh out loud moments. For example, I really enjoyed reading how the crater in the Yucatan peninsula REALLY was created. That being said, the storyline is pretty convaluted and confusing with the time traveling back and forth and the multiple selves that go along for the ride. In fact, even my son couldn’t really say what the story was about. I think his exact words were “I have no idea” when I asked.
There is one thing in the book that even my son was taken aback by. As he mentioned in his review, there is the “I’m Smarter Than You” song near the end of the book. It actually made him uncomfortable – he didn’t find it funny and nor do I. He read the book before I did and he was telling me, “Mom, there’s a part that I really don’t like in the book and I know you won’t like it either.” He was right. It just didn’t need to be included – clearly it’s there simply to create controversy.
I think you have to dig really deep to pull out a meaningful message. I keep hearing the argument about the underlying message of the books: friendship and loyalty; but really it’s just a story about good versus evil whose purpose is to entertain readers. I liken these books to candy. It has little nutritional value and it is consumed solely for the pleasure of it. So, at the end of the day, if my son reads through it, finds it amusing, and moves on to a
better different book, then I can live with that.
Oh, one more thing … Did you know that there is an official Captain Underpants grown-up guide for adults which includes a guide for including Dav Pilkey’s books in the classroom? I know! That alone is worth reading. It is hosted on the Scholastic website.
My Bottom Line:
If your kid likes the Captain Underpants books, I can report that I do feel the 10th book has less of the issues I had with the earlier books in the series. There are definitely amusing parts to the book even for adults. It’s just not a genre that resonates with me. I would say these books could be read by children 7 and up, but there truly are better books out there. I’m sure your library has copies if you are desperate to read these books. I’m just sayin’.
I will squeeze out 3 stars only because I have to be honest and say that I had less issues with this book and I did actually laugh out loud at more than a few parts.
Mom Rating: ★★★☆☆
* This book was provided to us by a publicist free-of-charge in exchange for our honest review.*
About the Author:
Dav Pilkey has written and illustrated numerous popular, award-winning books for children, including the Captain Underpants and Dumb Bunnies series; DOG BREATH, winner of the California Young Reader Medal; and THE PAPERBOY, a Caldecott Honor Book. He lives with his wife in the Pacific Northwest.
For more information on Dav Pilkey and his books, please visit www.pilkey.com.
** Giveaway **
Well, I think YOU should judge for yourself. Do you see the differences between the 1st and the 10th books in the Captain Underpants series?
Prize: TWO winners will receive a print copy (US/CAN) of the 1st book (The Adventures of Captain Underpants) and 10th book (The Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers) in the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey.
Contest runs: April 23 to May 7, 11:59 pm, 2013
Open to: US/Canada
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send us an email!
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